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60-65 Days to Maturity (after transplanting). Lagenaria siceraria ’Nam Tao Klom’. Nam Tao Klom Gourd Seeds. Non-GMO, warm-season, perennial, hybrid. This vigorous climbing hybrid produces round-shaped fruit with light green skin and flesh. Fruit size is approximately 4 inches x 5 inches and can weigh up to 1 lb. It requires a lengthy, warm growing season. The bottle gourd is suggested as a healthy food by the American Diabetic Association. The gourds can also be left on to harden and develop into a receptacle. Approximately 200 seeds / oz.
Other Common Names: Hu la gua, edible bottle gourd, hyotan, calabash gourd, dudi, white-flowered gourd, moo gua, hu gua, hairy gourd, bottle gourd, hard-shelled gourd, hu lu gua, po gwa, poo gwa, oo lo kwa, snake gourd, upo, opo, or wu lo kwa.
How to Grow Nam Tao Klom Gourd
In warm climates, sow seeds after the last frost in a bright location. For higher germination rates, sprout seeds indoors by soaking in water for twenty-four hours and then lightly clipping the tops. Wrap the seeds in a wet paper towel and keep them warm (between 75-85°F) in a dark place. Plant them after sprouting. Keep the soil moist and fertilize midseason. Low soil temperatures may result in reduced germination. Mound planting can improve drainage.
Don’t hesitate to prune back non-lateral branches and shoots that develop a few leaves past the fruits. Allow it to climb vertical supports (such as an obelisk) for better air circulation and an easy harvest. This persistent climber will ramble up with surprising strength on any structure nearby. May require hand pollinating for a more abundant harvest.
Harvesting Nam Tao Klom Gourd
For consumption, harvest before the skin has hardened and when the fruits grow to be about 4 inches x 5 inches. The younger the gourd is, the more tender it will be. If left to fully mature, the gourds develop a shell for use as a container.
Bottle gourd is favored in Asian cuisine. The young leaves and shoots are palatable and prepared like greens. Cook bottle gourd as you would squash. Young tender gourds are delicious sauteed, stewed and stir-fried.
Tips From Our Gardeners
“I have seen some really cute natural birdhouses grown from the Bottle Gourd. Let the shell mature and harden, hollow it out, cut a doorway, and hang it outside to provide rental property for a bird family.”
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