Once properly cured, hard-shelled gourds, such as 'Birdhouse', can last for decades and can be painted, carved, cut, or drilled as you would do with wood, for hundreds of craft projects. 'Birdhouse' gourd of course makes a great birdhouse—leave natural or paint any color you want. Grow 10'–16' vines on the ground or up a very sturdy trellis to produce mature gourds in 80 to 140 days. Also attracts hummingbirds!
Botanical Name: Lagenaria siceraria
Days to Maturity: 95–110 Days
Hardiness: Frost-sensitive annual
Plant Dimensions: 10'–16' vines
Variety Information: Light green gourds have a 10″–12″ diameter, round base with narrower neck. Turns tan when dried.
When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 2 to 4 weeks after your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is at least 60°F, ideally 70°F.
When to Start Inside: 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date, recommended for areas with short growing seasons. Sow in biodegradable pots that can be planted directly in the ground.
Days to Emerge: 5 – 10 days
Seed Depth: 1″
Seed Spacing: 4 seeds per mound
Thinning: When 3″ tall, thin to 3 per mound
Harvesting: Hard-shelled gourds should remain in the garden as long as there is any life left in the vines. Some gourd growers leave gourds in the garden during the winter, which adds to their characteristics for craft projects. Use a sharp knife or pruners to cut stem leading to gourd, leaving 1″– 3″ of stem for a handle.