Gourds, Ornamental: Wings & Warts by Renee's Garden
Wings and Warts
Our whimsical Wings and Warts gourds are fun and easy-to-grow from seed. The 5-6 inch gourds come either smooth-skinned with unique winged bulbs, or warted and shaped like spoons, pears or globes and come in artful combinations of harvest colors. You'll have an abundance of gourds in shades of orange, gold, buff, green and cream. Wings and Warts are perfect long-lasting decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving. These quirky gourds are ideal for growing with kids of all ages.
To start seeds early: Several weeks before last spring frost date, sow 2 seeds each, 1 inch deep, in individual pots of potting mix. Keep warm and moist and provide a strong light source. When seedlings are well-established and outside temperatures are above 50°, pinch to one plant per pot and acclimate them to outdoor conditions. Transplant seedlings at sunny garden edges to ramble or 12 inches apart along a sturdy fence or trellis to form a lush canopy.
Start seeds outdoors: only in areas with a very long growing season. Plant after night temperatures stay above 50°. In full sun, sow seeds 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart in rows 4 feet apart. Thin seedlings to final spacing 1 foot apart. Or, plant 6 to 8 seeds in hills 8 feet apart, thinning to 3 or 4 per hill and allowing vines to ramble or grow them up fences, trellises or tepees.
Gourds need full sun, very rich fertile soil and warm temperatures. For earliest and best yields, hand-pollinate gourds: break off a blooming male flower and dust pollen onto fresh female flowers (the ones with small fruits at the base). Repeat as new flowers appear. Pollinated fruits start growing larger within several days. Gourds are mature when the tendril next to the stem turns brown and rinds are tough. Harvest with several inches of stem. Dry in a well-ventilated place.