How to Plant Gourds:
Gourds grow on vines like pumpkins or cucumbers, and take up a fair amount of room. To eliminate sprawl, use a trellis or fence to hold the vines. After the last frost, plant seeds in small hills that are about 8 feet apart in full sun. Plant three to five seeds in each hill about 3/4 inch deep. Water frequently. Thin to one seedling. To create more gourds, cut the end off the main vine when it reaches 8 to 10 feet to stimulate more lateral growth.
How to Harvest Gourds:
When a gourd matures, its stem will wither and dry out, indicating harvest time. Caution: Harvesting before then will make the gourd shrivel and rot. Set the gourd in a dry, airy place. You can wipe the mold off from time to time, but it's not necessary. Three to nine months later, when the gourd is light and the seeds can rattle, it is dry and ready to be cleaned. Wrap the gourd in a wet towel for two days, then use steel wool or a dull knife to scrape off the outer skin and mold. Let it dry again. Now the gourd is ready for you to unleash your artistry.