Answer: Calabash gourds are a type of Japanese edible gourd. Gourds thrive in hot, sunny weather, so you should have no trouble growing them in your climate. Since they produce prolific vines, it's a good idea to grow them up a trellis, to improve air circulation (decreasing disease) and aid in harvesting. Be sure it's a sturdy trellis!
Plant seeds when all danger of frost is past. Like their relatives in the squash family, gourds like warm weather and plenty of water during the growing season. Keep an eye out for various insect pests like squash bugs--you might try covering the new seedlings with a floating row cover until they begin to form flowers. (Be sure to remove the covers when flowers open, so insects can do the pollinating.)
You can purchase seeds from Shumway's, PO Box 1, Graniteville, SC 29829, ph# 803-663-9771.
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