The Q&A Archives: Preserving Gourds

Question: I have been growing gourds for a few months now, and things were going just fine until I found a few more gourds eaten by an unseen animal every day. I was forced to pick the remaining gourds before the stems were brown, so as to salvage a few. However, it is only early August, and I am afraid the gourds won't last until Halloween (and I don't want the gourds to become hollow and lose their color.) I would just like to know how I can preserve them. Also, whenever I see gourds in the store, they seem to be sprayed with a shiny finish (the gourds seem to last long that way.)
What can I spray on the gourds to preserve them and make them shine?

Answer: I'm not sure you will be able to hold them as long as you would like to -- they become hollow as they dry out over time. The best you can do is to keep them in a cool dry place place, rotate them and check them periodically for rot. Clean mold off the outsides as it occurs and discard any that go soft.

The gourds we see in the stores are sometimes sprayed with polyurethane and sometimes rubbed with oil or wax to make them shiny. You may find the Gourd Artist's Guild FAQ at helpful as you work with your gourds. Good luck with your project!

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