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nicking gourd seed

Vandalia, IL

Im in zone 5-6 Central Illinois,,and starting seed today,,and why cant I just get the center part out of the hard shell and plant it?? Does the outside serve a purpose?? I got a gift of african gourds and I dont want to mess them up! Does anyone start their seeds 6wks before last frost date expected?? any info would be appreciated..this is my first year w/a glass house,,and so far Ive planted things too soon,,,Im runnung out of room :):): Dee

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