Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How to Dry Gourds for Crafts or Decoration

Last Fall I Dried my Gourds from the Farmers Market


Be sure your gourds are fully mature before picking. If gourds are picked too early they have a tendency to rot more easily ( just ask at the Farmers Market let them know you want mature gourds to dry). If you are on a Farm or Have a Large Garden leave your gourds right in the field attached to the vines, they will dry. You don't have to go out and put anything under them to protect them from the damp ground. Gourds dry by themselves and do just fine.
I am not on a Farm so do not have that option...So these are the steps I took and it worked great!
Gently clean your gourds with a damp cloth to remove debris and dry them completely.

Store your gourds in a dry place that has plenty of air. Gourds need a lot of air and ventilation to dry correctly. If you live in a warmer climate, an enclosed porch works well.

Make sure that you don't crowd your gourds, keep them spaced well apart.

Turn your gourds occasionally to help speed the drying. The drying can take anywhere from Two month to Eight months depending on the size and type of gourd you use.

Don't be alarmed if you see mold on the outside of your gourds. This is common and can be cleaned off easily after the drying is done.

Do not cover your gourds; leave them exposed to as much air as possible.

Check your gourds regularly for rotting. If mold only seems to grow in one area or you see a darker spot on your gourd, gently push on it to see if there is a soft spot. If you find soft areas, there isn't much to be done with the gourd but throw it out. I had a few that had to be thrown out.

Decorate your gourds when they are light and hollow. You should be able to hear seeds rattling around when you shake the gourd.

                           Take your Gourds from this                                           To This

These small gourds I had on a glass plate on the table in the room with the wood burner and they dried in about three weeks

Now that I have my dried gourds I am trying to decide if I want to paint them or leave them!
I think they are a great decoration either way.