The Q&A Archives: Drying Gourds

Question: Is it possible to remove birdhouse gourds from the vine at different stages of growth so I could make things with them, or must I wait until the stems of the gourds start to turn brown?

Answer: Unfortunately, you are going to have to wait even longer than that. Birdhouse gourds, like other lagenaria gourds, should be left on the vine until the stems turn dry and brown. (They should be cut off the vine before frost though or they will be ruined.) Next they need to go through an external or surface drying process for about a week, and then a second internal drying or curing stage which usually takes a few months in a warm dry well ventilated area. You will know they are ready when they are very light weight and you can hear the seeds rattling freely inside. That's when they are finally ready to seal and decorate. Good luck with your projects!

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