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90 to 95 days to maturity. Lagenaria leucantha var gourdaMiniature Bottle Gourd Seeds. Heirloom, Annual, Non-GMO. These miniature bottle-shaped gourds grow up to 12 inches long, and have a diameter of 4 to 5 inches. These are best harvested after the plant is fully mature and dry. They can be used as containers or decorations. While it is possible to eat the cooked immature gourds, they are bitter and can cause indigestion. Approximately 450 seeds / oz.
Because the seed coat is hard, it should be soaked in warm water for 24 hours or lightly scarified before sowing to encourage sprouting. Then prepare fertile, well drained soil. Sow seeds in the late spring or early summer, but always after the last frost. Grow in a warm, sunny location.
A good strategy is to plant the seeds in well-spaced mounds, this is known as hill planting. Form the soil into 1 foot diameter mounds, about 3 to 4 inches tall. Space the mounds 4 to 6 feet apart. On each mound plant 1 or 2 seeds. Keep the soil moist and fertilize as needed. Hand pollination is usually necessary. A trellis or some kind of vertical support allows for good air circulation and ease of harvest. Gourds can grow on the ground if there is enough space, but the gourds will lose their rounded shape without support.
Harvesting Miniature Bottle Gourd
Allow gourds to hang on the vine until they are fully mature and the skin dries and hardens, usually at about 90-95 days. The gourd will be about one foot in length. The hard-shelled gourd is a good size for using as a dish or a container, and can also be used as a decorative display.
Typically this plant is grown for the gourds to be used as containers. While these gourds can be harvested early for use in recipes, caution is needed. They should not be consumed raw. Cooking immature miniature bottle gourds completely is important. The raw immature gourds are very bitter, and may cause digestive issues.
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