Saturday, March 31, 2012

Turban Gourds

I went to a gardening symposium a while back, and got a turban gourd as a table decoration.  Such odd things...  I had a photo, but seem to have lost it somewhere in my picture files. 

I added it to my autumn color home decor, and later stuck it on top of the microwave to dry out.  I wanted to save the seeds. The gourd is peeking over the middle in the photo here, a dark orange color.  The green and orange gourd, and the pale one with stripes were also from the symposium.  I didn't keep their seeds.  The others are just from the grocery store.  I will be planting my own tiny pumpkins this year, Baby Boo (white) and Jack Be Little (orange).  I am counting on the turban gourd to produce true to its type, though I read some of these strange gourds may produce shapes different from the parent.  Turban gourds are not supposed to be trellised, for the best shape leave the vines on the ground. 

I didn't know that I was supposed to harvest the seeds right away (nor was I aware turban gourds were edible), so after reading up on it last month I thought I would try.  Hoping for a "better late than never" sort of outcome.
I removed the seeds and let them dry on a baking sheet for a few weeks, turning them over every so often.

They were supposed to be dry when they could be snapped in half, but all of mine were too tough to break or even bend.  I put one in a damp paper towel inside a baby food jar (no, we have no babies, but we use the jars for science a lot so I keep some around, after eating the apple sauce) in the kitchen window.

It has now been a couple of weeks, and it looks like it is growing.
So, in a few weeks I will plant some in peat pots in the house for transplant in mid-May.  Mid-May...that sounds so very late.  It is taking some adjustment to a last freeze date of May 15.

Only six more weeks to go! 

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