The long gourd plants are really taking off. They are now over the top of the gourd trellis or tower as I like to call it and filling in. They seem to like the heat, humidity and extra moisture we’ve been getting lately-in fact all the gourds have gone bonkers. Caleb is coming over today and after we check the bees, we are going to reinforce the top of the tower they are growing on as I hear they get extremely heavy as they get longer. They already have some babies growing but not on top where I want them. If they get big enough this month I will put those smaller ones in the State Fair at the end of the month.
I read and heard from a fellow gardener at the SF Farmers Market that gourds are pollinated by night pollinators like night moths. I’ve never seen a honeybee interested in them. We must have some night pollinators here as I have some baby fruit growing on them.
I’m growing three types of gourds this year-giant long gourd, giant pear gourd and a mystery gourd (not sure what type it is but looks like a small pear). All the gourd seeds were extremely hard (at least for me) to germinate-they took forever to come up and some I had to plant twice, but once they came up and I put them in the garden, they have been easy keepers and give a certain lushness to the garden without lots of water. They are part of the Curcubita genus which includes, pumpkins, squash and cucumbers. I bet you didn’t know pumpkins and squash are part of the gourd family did you?
So far none of the gourds seem to attract bugs-like the squash bug, perhaps because of their scent when you handle the leaves. They are kinda stinky but not too bad. But like I said, they are beautiful to look at and the leaves and small furry fruits are fantastic. Both are really soft to the touch, like suede, unlike pumpkins or squash whose leaves are rough. They also have beautiful delicate flowers. I’m really enjoying them so far.