I could not be happier with my decision to plant ornamental gourds this year. Truly, my only regret is that I didn't have the space to plant more varieties. There is always next year, though, and there will be a next year. I already have a plan.
Many of the gourds that are growing are ready to harvest. You can tell because the stem begins to dry. I just love the twisty stem on this green Crown of Thorns, though it's not ready to pick.
Another sign the plant is ready to give up its bounty is the loss of its leaves. When the plant is spent, the leaves wither, making the gourds easy to spot.
Though I would love to say I have a really cute wicker basket with a handle and maybe a burlap liner in it to collect my first gourds, I do not. But this plastic grocery bag did the trick (reduce, reuse, recycle).
I picked 5 today that I THINK were ready. If not they will begin to rot pretty quickly. I did give them each a good scrubbing with a 1 part bleach and 3 parts water solution to kill any bacteria on the surface.
Hopefully, they will make it and I will be validated in my skills to harvest at the right time. You know I'll have at least one more post on these beauties, so I will let you know how they faired