The Q&A Archives: 30' Gourd Vines

Question: My gourd vines, some over 30' long are still growing just as vigorous as ever. They are also still producing small fruit. I have birdhouse, luffa, bushel basket and most other kinds. Will it hurt anything to cut the new growth on my vines. They are taking over everything including covering all trees and our camper. If it is OK to cut them back, how far back can I cut them? Is it OK to cut them back to the last ones that have time to mature?

Answer: It's okay to cut them back some, but if you cut them back too far you will be removing the foliage that helps fuel the plant and might stunt the gourds. When you cut them back also remove any gourds that are too young to mature to help conserve the plants' energy for the gourds you want to keep. Since they are really in the way, you might find that you can redirect the vines into a more acceptable path -- this is easier to do earlier in the season but you can still try to do it now. Remember too that the season is coming to a close so they should slow down soon.

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