Answer: Gourds can take up to 120 days to mature. If your vines are wilting in mid-summer, I'd suspect a problem either with the roots, or with insects invading the vines. Usually a frost will kill the vines back. When frost threatens, the gourds are harvested and dried in a protected area. When completely dry the seeds inside will rattle when you shake the gourd. You can try harvesting the gourds from your wilting vines and placing them in a dark, airy place to dry. If they are mature they will dry and you can decorate them. If not, they won't harden and your crop will be a total loss. If you grow gourds again, be sure to plant them in a different part of the garden.
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