Gourd – Drying

Q: Where can I find how to dry and utilize gourds?

A: Allow your gourds to ripen on the vine. The best way to determine they are ripe is to wait for the stem to wither in cooler weather. Clean the gourds with mild soapy water and a soft brush.

In humid weather, mold can grow on the gourd rind before it drys. To prevent this, try a recommendation from The American Gourd Society: mix 1 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax into 3 cups of hot water. Stir until dissolved. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm. Bring another pot of water to a boil. Dip the gourd into the boiling water briefly, then soak it in the borax solution for 15 minutes. Do not rinse, but hang gourds in a cool place to dry for several weeks.

You can leave the gourds whole or cut a small hole and remove the seeds. Vigorously shake a handful of gravel inside a gourd to loosen the fibrous interior and then pour everything out. When the gourds are completely dry, they can be waxed with a good quality liquid floor wax.