How long do gourds last? This is a common question most people want to know when growing them in the garden.
Yet, finding the right answer to this question will depend on different factors, such as varieties, caring methods, or climate.
Considering the detailed factors can help you know how long your gourds are good for, maybe a few weeks, months, or even up to many years.
Besides, the lifespan of gourds also varies when used for various purposes.
This article will give useful information to have the best answer for the shelf life of gourds. Plus, it helps you know how to grow and store gourds to keep them last longer for your desired use.
Keep reading for details!
What Are Gourds?
Gourds are a fruit type belonging to the family of melon, cucumber, and pumpkin that are also flowering plants.
They are available in multiple varieties with or without hard shells and different colors, such as oranges, greens, browns, reds, or yellows.
Besides, their fruits have diverse shapes with a wide range of sizes. Some types of gourds are small, while others have a large size and heavy weight.
How Long Do Gourds Last?
The normal gourds often last about 2-3 weeks or longer, depending on how you cure and store them.
If you want to extend their lifespan, apply the proper storage, such as painting them with a varnish for better protection.
How Long Do Decorative Gourds Last?
They may last about 6 months or more. In addition, the lifespan of decorative gourds may be up to many years if you know how to seal them properly after drying them.
Because of their long shelf life, these ornamental gourds are great to become a wonderful gift for others or to spice up your house and room.
How Long Can Mate Gourds Last?
Mate gourds may last a lifetime when you clean, give them proper care, and keep them mold-free.
My mate gourd has been more than 4 years old and is still in good condition with my careful care and cleaning.
How Long Do Preserved Gourds Last?
The best answer is for several weeks. If you know how to store gourds, they can last longer, such as many months, or years.
The lifespan of preserved gourds often depends on various factors, including humidity, and temperature in your room or house.
In addition, some other factors, such as preserving conditions, container type for storage, and quality of gourds once harvested also decide on their lifespan.
Thus, remember that proper preservation will keep your gourds fresh and retain their taste and texture for better longevity.
How To Preserve Gourds?
Proper storage is useful to help increase the longevity of gourds and keep them always fresh with good quality. Follow the simple tricks to preserve gourds without difficulty.
You should check the fruits on the vine every day to harvest them at the right time. It’s not advisable to pick the gourds from their vine too soon to avoid withering or rotting conditions.
Yet, you should not keep gourds on their vine for a long period, as well.
You may consider some obvious signs that tell you when you can collect the gourds. First, feel the weight of the gourds to determine whether their water evaporated.
If you find them lighter, it’s time to pick gourds for storage or other purposes.
Besides, well-grown fruits and dead vines are clear indicators of the maturity in gourds. Also, their outer skin may look dry or dull.
Plus, their stem will start to turn brown or shrink when they are ready for harvesting.
Most species of gourds may take 120 days to mature and get ready for harvesting. When cutting, leave their stems 3-4 inches long to help the plants become healthy when they heal.
Rinse and Dry Them Well
This step is necessary to remove the soil, bacteria, mold, and dirt from the outer shell of the gourds to prepare for better storage. Use soap with water to wash the surface of each fruit.
Plus, it’s advisable to rinse the gourds with diluted bleach to kill the harmful bacteria that make them rot.
Doing this task is easy by mixing 1 tablespoon of diluted bleach with 1 gallon of fresh water in the bucket and soaking gourds into it within a few minutes.
Then, take the gourds out from the bucket, clean them one more time, and leave them dry to do the next step.
The time for complete dryness often depends on the thickness of the outer shell and the fruit’s size.
Paint Them For Decoration
Painting will help your gourds become more attractive to decorate your house or room or give other persons an amazing gift.
Also, coating a varnish on the surface of fruit is helpful to extend the lifespan of gourds and protect them from the bad effects of the outside environment, such as heat, moisture, mold, and bacteria.
This is why the decorative gourds can last from years to years.
Give Them Proper Storage
After you finish the decorative painting, store your gourds in well-ventilated, clean, and dry places without direct sunlight to allow them to survive longer.
Properly preserving gourds may help them last for several months to years.
Besides, pay attention to the environmental conditions, the right temperature and humidity at the place of storing gourds.
It’s best to keep them at the humidity range of 50 to 75% with a temperature of 50 °F.
How Do You Grow Gourds?
To grow gourds properly, you must prepare the gourd seeds or seedlings and a fence or trellis with the desired design to build a sturdy vine for your small plants.
If you choose to plant gourds from seeds, wait for the first germination indoors within about eight weeks before the final frost is over.
Then, transplant the seedlings outside for three weeks after the final frost.
You should soak the gourd seeds within 24 hours to increase the germination rate before growing these plants in your garden.
When you move the seedlings outside, plant about three to four seedlings in mounds with a distance of 12 inches.
Each mound should have space from 4 to 6 feet. Plus, grow three plants per half-barrel for containers with fence or trellis support.
It’s ideal to plant gourds in the warm season in fertile and well-drained soil. Also, frequently water your gourds to help them grow best with a high yield of fruits.
Do Gourds Go Bad?
Yes, they do. Gourds can go bad if you don’t store them properly once harvested.
They are susceptible to the attack of mold, harmful bacteria, or pests in the place with unfavorable conditions, such as excessive heat, severe humidity, or extreme temperature.
It’s simple to determine if your gourds go bad through the signs of appearance, texture, and taste. Once you feel the terrible taste of gourds, it’s time to discard them to prevent health issues.
When the gourds appear scales or bruises, they also go bad already. Plus, remove them if the texture deteriorates with a feeling of softness to the touch.
How Can You Dry Decorative Gourds?
After you wash the gourds with fresh water and bleach to remove the mold, bacteria, soil, and dirt, dry them with a clean cloth.
Then, keep the gourds in a dark, clean, dry, and cool place to make them dry faster. It’s possible to boost the drying process by applying the electric fan system in your room.
Remember to regularly check your gourds to determine whether they have a thorough dryness and in a good status.
How long do gourds last? They may last from 2 to 3 weeks with normal conditions at room temperature.
Yet, this time can change, depending on various factors, such as harvesting time, caring ways, climate, environment, or gourd varieties.
It’s possible to extend the shelf life of gourds by applying proper preservation. After picking them from the vine, rinse them with clean water and bleach.
Then, dry them thoroughly, coating paint on their surface, and keep them in a well-ventilated place to help them last longer.