I tried something different with my birdhouse gourd. I cut small pieces of material and use Mod Podge and made the gourd look like a crazy quilt. I'm working on another one that will look like Grandmother's Flower Garden and a lady wants me to do a Double Wedding Ring pattern on a gourd for her. Will post pictures after I finish them.
roadrunner, yes I used docopodge on this one. I had some small pieces of material lying around and gave it a try. I have also used paper napkins that I've found with flowers on them or butterflies or birds etc. Everytime I go into a Party Store I look for napkins that I can work with. I'm teaching a class of decopodge to my grandson's pre-school class on April 11th. Should be interesting!! 14, 4-5 year old kids, decopodge and gourds.
Im a Slacker and I know it! After having lost so many of my gourds ,( way back) I kind of gave up on them. but now Id really like to start back on them again! this forum gave me the "urge" to get started. ...and since Jo is going to be visiting Georgia again...well I guess I had better get going!!!!!
Good for you. I put a thin coat of decopodge on the gourd, apply the material and than smooth it out with more decopodg after it drys I spray the whole thing down with clear acrylic sealer, gloss or matte, your choice and that seals it so it can go outside.
One thing I do recommend to people about this gourds outside. If you want them to last a really long time than when the birds move out in the fall, take down the gourds, clean them out and let them hang in a dry place like a garage for a few days. Sometime before spring, give them another coating of the sealer, let dry and air for a week than put them out again for the birds. It will make your birdhouse gourds last longer.
I am very glad to see this forum open again. I noticed it wasn't around awhile ago and when I inquired I was told there had not been enough activity to keep it open. So yeah for the new activity. Lets keep it going.
I have my gourd seeds and will be setting them out soon.
Hello all, I am so glad you are here in a recent thread. I really want to grow some gourds for my own use in birdhouses and art projects. I have a little experience with flowers and veggies from seed. Will a new kid like me have any success with gourd growing? Any pointers before I take the plunge and soak the seeds tonight? I plan to start them inside and transplant to a low hillside that gets lots of sun. Also, the photos of gourd art have been so inspiring! Every pic is better than the last. Oh, The Toad Abode is great!
Confessions from a "brown thumb"...If I can grow gourds...ANYONE can grow gourds!~
I lover starting seeds in side...but when I transfer them to the ground I loose lots of them. I was able to grow some gourds and louffas...so if you even have a slight green tint to your thumb you'll do great!!
Where is Newport, TN...I'm coming to TN the last of May.
Thanks for the encouragement. Newport is in east TN between Knoxville, TN and Asheville, NC. I love it here, Moved here after 5 years in NYC and never looked back! Spent time in CA high desert as a kid, so AZ sounds great.
So, I have 10 seeds each of dipper, bottle or birdhouse, and a generic 'round' soaking. I nicked each on the long side of the seed. Should I use garden dirt, potting soil or seed starting mix? Will a solo cup work ok or something bigger? can you tell i am overeager for this to work? The word mollycoddle comes to mind! haha. But really.
I used potting soil...just remember they take lots of watering until they are about ready to harvest...I like to let mine dry on the vine...I love the Swan gourds as well as Apple Gourds Heck...I LOVE all gourds. Jo
OK, seeds are in dirt...i guess i will be spending alot of time with my nose perched on edge of cups...waiting. Although I can fill in the gaps by coming here and admiring the art everyone posts. yay!
I usually put the seed directly in the garden. Transplanting is tough on the seedlings. Now the exception would be if you live in the north and have a short growing season. Gourds take along time to grow so you need to consider how long your growing season is as to whether you should start the seeds early inside.
Does anyone know how to increase the thickness of the gourd shell while its growing? I have heard that gourds grown in the east are never as thick as ones grown out west. Maybe certain types of fertilizers? More water? Less water?
I have grown a lot of gourds but it has been hit and miss on the quality of the shell.
Thanks for all or any growing tips anyone has.
Up in MD a couple years ago, I bought 1 bird house gourd plant in a 4" pot. Planted it next to the trellis in my veg garden. Basically ignored it. Well it went up the 6' trellis then latched on to the fence. Luckily my neighbors & I are friends. One day they asked what I was growing on their side of the fence.
In the end I had over 50 gourds - all rather large. Had to go into their yard to harvest 20 of them!!!!
I tied cord to the stems and hung them in every conceivable spot in my garage over the winter.
Big excitement folks!!... One birdhouse gourd seedling has appeared. WoooHooo!
well, I thought it would be an uneventful weekend, but maybe more will poke their little heads up through the dirt. :)
Actually, this is gonna be a busy weekend. I am putting in a new hummingbird/butterfly garden where there was only grass and weeds before, and with such nice weather here in East TN i plan on pulling the last of the weeds and getting my new plants in. I guess i will have to wait to get my gourd hillside ready until i know if i will have any to plant. I am crossing my fingers for my new seedling to make it.
Geez, they just keep coming up! yay! Still no action in dipper or round gourd. So, The seedlings are in gallon milk jugs with the top cut off. I guess about 4 inches deep. 5 seeds in each. I can see that there are roots all over the bottom. Can I plant them in a clump of 5 or should i separate each one? I am worried that by the time they get true leaves, it will be too much disturbance to get them un-tangled. Plus, I might break them. I seem to remember reading that gourds dont like to be transplanted. What to do?
if my luck holds, and I not only get gourds from these plants but they dry out properly, the birdie real estate market is going to experience massive growth in my sector. Perhaps I can diversify and break ground on the Toad Abode project next year. A gal can dream can't she? ;) tee hee!
RR, I would be delighted. should i dmail my info to you?
Alrighty then, edge of your seat news,... final count is 6 seedlings. I guess i am going with the clump idea. They all have the start of true leaves, so i plan to put them in the ground early this week. i am giving up on the dipper and round. Well, am off to dig in the dirt. Hope you all had a lovely weekend.
My gourds are growing!! The clump of six is doing fine. all have 2 good leaves. I had a bit of a freeze scare on Sun &mon. Forecast was 34-36 and of course I had to cover everything, just in case. Fortunately it stayed over40. Here in E. TN we are looking at 70 day and 60 nights at the lowest...hope we are out of the woods.
Runner...i'll try to dmail you. if it doesnt work, LMK.
Hi, just planted my first birdhouse gourd seeds. Didn't realize they could be made into such beautiful works of art until I saw your post. I think I would like to learn how to do that. I've got to grow them first! Thanks for the beautiful pics.
Purplehew, Gourds are great! This will be the 3rd year of growing them for me. I can't imagine my garden without them now. The pretty flowers are nice in the evenings, and they bring some interesting moths to pollinate. I am nowhere near as talented as the artists you see here, but I really enjoy making and hanging the birdhouses. The first year I got about 7 gourds from 3 seeds. Last year, I had about 12 from 4 seeds, and almost all dried well. I gave some away to neighbors,for them or the kids/grandkids to decorate and it is nice to see the birdhouses hanging in the trees. The birds appreciate them too! I even made a toad house from a broken gourd. I am an equal opportunity landlady. ; )
I will be growing six or 8 plants this year. They do take up some room, so I will be giving them a spot of their own (4'x8' raised bed.. I just pick up any runaway vines and direct them back in the box) I hope to do some experimenting with natural dyes. Usually though, I just scrub off the mold, sand it smooth and i may paint some kind of design or not and then I give it a light coat of polyurethane(outside only). After that, it goes up in the trees. I have just scrubbed off the mold and hung it in the tree with nothing on it and it is still there 3 years later.
Gourds are fun and can be as simple or complicated as u like. Happy growing! and keep us updated on your progress.
scarletbean, it sounds like you have fun with your gourd. Have you joined the American Gourd Society or the TN Gourd Society? Here in Georgia and in many other states gourders are organized and have meetings (called patch meetings). If this is all new to you I recommend you find some other gourd heads as we call ourselves, to learn techniques and have fun together.
Here are couple of my gourd creations. I carved them and then used a wood burner, dyes and paints.
Oh my, Helenchild! they are LOVELY! I really like the dogwood blooms. Is this designed for a light source to be inside? Even with out a light, it glows!
I can't imagine me being able to create such beautiful artwork. I have not joined a society, but did sign up for wellburn gourd farm newsletters (which come relentlessly to my inbox! ha.) They advertise many stick n burn kits and workshops. I have not tried because i am afraid it will be beyond me and I will be stuck with the equipment. (basically I am a cheapskate and a scaredycat. :-D lol!) However, I think I may give it a go this year. The winter is when do most of my crafty stuff. Besides, The gourds take time to dry. If my efforts pay off, I would like to make some pretty things to donate to a spay/neuter organization I volunteer for(we are called Beat the Heat) as a fund raising item. I seem to remember a thread here talking about someones gourd art as a church auction donation.
What a great idea. Donate your bird houses to your charity fundraiser.
What is great about joining the local Gourd Patch is they will teach you how to do different kinds of art projects with gourds. Of course there is nothing wrong with doing your art work alone. Painting gourds for birdhouses is great. Just have fun. I am glad you have fun and are successful in growing and drying your own gourds.
I think you are right, with others who are interested it can open up avenues you never dreamed of. Thats what happened with the Spay/Neuter group. I started volunteering at the animal shelter and although it was rewarding, the problems are neverending and overwhelming (and of course under funded). By interacting with others, I decided that helping to reduce the population of cats and dogs, there would be less unwanted litters and then less overcrowding at the shelters ( then less unnecessary euthanasia). So, I found out about something that really makes me happy and I am making a difference.
I am saying all that to say this: Yes, I enjoy my little bird houses, but, with exposure to other people with similar interests, I may find something really great. Thanks, good idea.
brendak, how interesting to see the nests they have built. I think stuff like that from nature are really beautiful.
I used some paper wasp nest material to line this gourd bowl. I decoupaged it and then sealed it with varnish/polyurethane. I also put the material in the outside carve areas. I like the effect.
The second picture is a weaving technique I learned at the South Carolina gourd festival this past spring. Its fun to get together with other creative crafty people and work on a project. The teacher for this particular class was fun.
helenchild - Thanks for sharing your pictures and telling me that you had used the wasp nest material to line this gourd bowl. What gave you the idea to use the wasp nest material? Most interesting that I was sharing the yellow jacket activity, then to know that you had used something similar on/with gourds. Your gourd work is very attractive and I'm sure it took a long time to complete them. Pretty!
Have you tried growing the bushel basket gourds? I bought seed this year (I think there were only 5), and I'll have to try that again, as I did not have good luck. The bulk of my gourd growing this year was spinner gourds and goose necks, a few dippers and some ornatmental. Oh - and a few luffa.