This is the first time I've grown gourds. These little gourds were doing just fine and growing bigger, however, now they've all shriveled. They're planted in containers and getting watered regularly. Does anyone have an idea of what happened to them? Photos included.
I haven't actually checked for a borer (these vines are at my work place) but the vines themselves don't appear to be damaged yet. I've had borers in my squash before so I'm quite familiar with them. If this is some sort of nutrient deficiency, what would it be? I only garden organically so I won't use a chemical fertilizer but there's probably an organic solution if this is what is suspected.
momherb, it doesn't seem to be a nutrient deficiency. I can't tell exactly what kind of gourd they are and it's hard to judge the "proper" size of them or tell how old they are in your pics. However, first thing that comes to mind is that those female flowers didn't get pollinated (or were poorly pollinated). When that happens it is very common for the (potential) gourds to die.
Normally gourds are pollinated by night time moths. If you have a bug zapper near by that would be the first thing to turn off. Also if you have bright lights that would attract the moths away from the flowers you might want to turn it off as well.
OR, you can easily hand-pollinate by taking a male flower and rubbing the pollen onto the female flowers.
Hope this is helpful. And thanks, Jo, for giving me a holler!
Well, if your yard light is a security light maybe you can just turn it off during the early evening hours; might be best to turn it back on for safety's sake when you go to bed, eh? (Don't you get night-time "pedestrians" sometimes sneaking by your way at night?)
You know, today I looked VERY carefully at the gourd plants. There are some morning glories planted in the same container and they are completely healthy but the gourd vine appears to have declined considerably. I missed this because all I saw was the green morning glory vine and didn't realize the gourd vine was unhealthy. I didn't see any sign of a borer but I do notice that the vine is growing again from the roots. I suspect that someone may have forgotten to water the plant somewhere along the line. Anyway, the new vine appears to be green and healthy so we'll hope for another harvest that is properly cared for.
I'm only guessing, but it is also my personal experience that Morning Glories, although lovely, can literally CHOKE the life out of any other neighboring plant.
I, too, had a few Morning Glories sprouting up around my gourd plants. When I actually pulled them up and tossed them, the gourd plants TOOK OFF in renewed vigor, and are now, finally, giving me VIABLE FEMALE blossoms to hand pollinate...
I would suggest relocating the Morning Glory "starts"/vines away from your gourd plants, and see if things improve afterwards...