In the fall, we grow many varieties of gourds. Gourds are not edible and are only used for decoration. When a gourd starts to get black spots on it, don't throw it away. It is just drying out. Let it dry. Clean it up and decorate it!
Drying/Cleaning Method #1
- Before the gourd naturally dries, scrape off the green outer skin with a knife.
- The gourd may seem dry, but store it in a dry place for a month.
- Advantage - Quicker results, but more labor intensive
- In a dry place, set the gourd on a screen or hang it by a string. Make sure air flow is good. Do not set it on a table. Depending on the gourd, it may have to dry for 6 months to a year.
- Once the gourd is dry, soak it in a bucket of water overnight.
- With a wire brush, knife, or brillo pad, scrape off the dirt, mold, and skin.
- Soak the gourd again if skin is difficult to rub off. Don't leave gourd unattended for too many days, or the water will smell.
- When the gourd is completely clean, leave it in the sun to dry.
- Advantage - Is a long process, but not very labor intensive
Once the gourds are clean and dry, they can be painted, dyed, and carved. The possibilities are endless. 90% of gourds will dry, but some shrivel up.