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

Mesilla Park, NM

Dee, when is your last frost date? These babies grow really fast, so if you plant them, they need to be in a big container because once they get too big, their roots don't like being disturbed and most likely will stunt the plant.

The other thing, don't remove the shell off the seed, you will ruin it, it is like taking off the protection it needs, moisture will get in there too fast and probably rott the inside, it should be left on. When you say the hard shell, do you mean the gourd itself or the hard shell which is the seedcoat? If you can, make a small round circle either in front of the gourd, or on the bottom to get the seeds out. You can make a birdhouse or something else if you take care how and where you make the hole.

I suppose you can just plant the whole inside of the gourd, but you would lose so many seeds and if you want to get some nice gourds, you should give nourishment only to that one plant, if you have too plants many growing from all those seeds, you may only get small gourds and maybe lose alot of plants that are competing for nutrients..

Probably more than you wanted to know. Good luck, let's hope someone else comes and gives some advice.

Antoinette


P.S. edited to say: I don't knick the seeds, but I do soak overnight before sowing... the other thing is that some people use an emory board and just lightly file one end of the seed till they see a little bit of white . I haven't tried that because I'm afraid I'll file off too much. Sometimes, I only have one seed to play with, so I'm careful with that. But, it is certainly worth a try.


This message was edited Mar 11, 2009 8:54 PM

Vandalia, IL

thank you for the reply..Our last frost date is april 19 to may 1..so 6-8 wks away..I know when I plant them outside,,it takes for-ever,,due to soil temps??.. so the hard shell i was talking about,is the seed..Ive grown gourds for years,,,just never indoors,,I planted some acouple years ago,,,,just cleaned out my stock,,put them all in the dirt...luckly,,,tons grew,,and I got to thin them out "and transplant " them also...no problem,,,BUT this year I got some special seeds and I really dont want to mess them up..I plan to start some every 2 weeks.. indoors...we dont have a long hot spell,,pretty much 4 defined seasons...plus humidity..any comments welcome..thanks Dee

Crossville, TN

Dee...Those big seeds ....the gentleman that gave them to me told me to just "shave" the outside edges of the seed....allowing water to seep in ....soak over night and start in a peat pot or something...having them ready for outside planting when the soil warms up. Jo

Vandalia, IL

Do you feel starting them 4 wks ahead,, is enough time,,we start getting frost on oct.. so it may only have 150 days to grow,,and I read somewhere,,some take 120...Im so anxious,,I REALLY want these to make it! I have 6 seeds,,I thought Id do 2 every 2 weeks,,am I wasting my time? will you also teach me how to tell the differance between males and females...thanks so much,,dee

Crossville, TN

The males and females grow on different vines (from the main plant)....and are propagated by a certain moth at night...on the male vine you will see just a bloom...on the female vine there will be a little "bulb" under the bloom....this will be your future gourd.

Little gourds may start to form all along your female vine...but will shrivel up and die if not propagated...if no moths...then you may have to do this by hand. Jo

Vandalia, IL

i would love to do it by hand,,im a bit impatient,,I want to do it, and not wait for the moths. :):) do you think I should start seeds inside? how long is maturity for these big ones?? thanks for the info..jo,,dee

Crossville, TN

Just start one for now...let's see how long...I haven't grown these yet. Jo

Mesilla Park, NM

One lady I know of had a huge snake gourd, I mean huge, and it took into the following year to dry, I believe it was like April of the next year by the time it dried, so it could take a long time, depending on the size. If it gets big, real big, you should place it off the ground maybe on a couple of pieces of wood with the wood being a few inches apart for ventilation, like an old wooden pallet. or sling it. But don't know what is strong enough to hold something like that.

I may start a couple this week too, I'm getting really anxious here.

Crossville, TN

The gentleman who gave me the seeds sat these big gourds up on little foot stool type things...a wooden pallet would be great!! Jo

Mesilla Park, NM

I like that footstool idea too, that also prevents some of the bugs from eating it and also from rotting. You could probably also give it the umph needed for the bottom to sit and get flat so it can sit up, you also need to sit them up when they are growing to keep them from tipping over.. and that also gives them the flat bottom.

Crossville, TN

Well said, Gourd...Jo

Vandalia, IL

well I started 2 of the african and club,plus dipper,snake, swan, and bird house,,, the 12th,,,I will start somemore if and when these start..Ill let ya know! will big chunks of baled straw be a sufficent resting place for the BIG african gourds? or the pallet,where it can breath?

Crossville, TN

I like the pallet idea best...Jo

Vandalia, IL

I have growth!! 6 of the 8 varities have movement,,hehehehehehehehe pallets are easy to come by thanks so much..Ok who knows how to get a gourd to make thick shells?? Dee

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