The Q&A Archives: Gourd Bird House

Question: How do you dry a bird house gourd? We grew several big ones, but now I'm not sure what to do with them.

Answer: Dry the mature gourd until seeds rattle inside. One way to do this is to tie a string to the stem and hang it to dry in a place that gets good air circulation. Large gourds may take 3 to 6 months to dry, small gourds should dry in 3-4 weeks. After they're completely dry you can cut holes of the proper size for the type of bird you want to attract. Cut the entrance hole by drilling many small holes close together and then kind of popping the piece out. Scoop out the seeds and pulp, then soak the gourd in some warm, soapy water for about 15 minutes. Scrub inside and out, and allow to dry. Remember to make a drainage hole or two in the bottom. It is NOT necessary to add a perch. You can coat the gourd with wax, polyurethane or exterior latex to make it last longer. If you do this be sure that the coating goes on the OUTSIDE ONLY!

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