Gourd Seeds For Sale
The photo above shows some young gourd plants started from seed.
The Gourd Growing Process
First, you need to start your gourd seeds. Typically you plant gourd seeds in the spring. This can be done indoors or outside if it is warm enough in your area. If you live in a warm, sunny state such as California, Arizona, Texas, or Alabama (just to name a few,) you should have no problems growing your gourds outside. If you're growing gourds in the Northeast states, you will probably need to start your gourd seeds indoors, as April can bring some cloudy days and cold nights.
Second, if your gourd plants are inside, re-plant the gourds in the ground outside. Make sure they have lots of room to spread their vines! Gourd vines spready like crazy, especially in warm climates, and you don't want gourds on top of each other. Naturally you want good fertile soil; you can add manure for fertilizer if you want.
Third, harvest the gourds after a long growing season. How do you know when to harvest? Just wait for the leaves and stems of the gourd plants to completely dry up.
Why Grow Gourds from Seed?
Some people find joy in growing gourds. It can be rather exciting because you never know exactly what shape of gourds you will get! So you wait and watch to see all the different gourds taking shape right before your eyes. I also find fun in trying to shape gourds as I grow them. For example, you can influence the shape of a dipper gourd's handle by tying the gourd up and influencing which direction it grows.
Another interesting aspect is that gourds do grow relatively fast. So it's interesting to check on them every day to see how they are doing. It's a lot more fun than watching grass grow!
Gourd Seed Dangers!
Buying gourd seeds is not quite the same as buying seeds for flowers or vegetables. See, just because someone is selling seeds out of an apple gourd doesn't mean that you will grow nice apple gourds from those seeds.
The problem is that gourds cross pollinate easily. In normal gourd fields, open pollination is a problem. It is entirely possible that said apple gourd had mixed parents, i.e. one apple gourd plant and one dipper gourd plant. So if you plant the seeds, you might get an apple gourd, you might get a dipper gourd, or you might get an oddly shaped gourd that partially resembles both apple and dipper gourds.
If you want gourds that are true to shape, you'll need seeds from gourds that were either hand pollinated or grown using field isolation techniques (i.e. only one pure type of gourd is grown in each area, and fields are isolated from each other.)
Save Your Own Seeds
Not worried about cross pollination? Want to be surprised by all your gourd shapes? Then be sure to save the seeds out of gourds you grow. You can also save the seeds out of any whole dried gourds that you purchase.
The only catch is that you have to keep the gourds from freezing during their drying process. If the gourd freezes, the seeds may or may not sprout next year. Also keep this in mind if you are using seeds from a purchased gourd - it would be best if that gourd was grown and dried in a warm state.
Where to Buy Gourd Seeds:
You can buy gourd seeds online, but you have to be careful. You absolutely have to order from a reputable dealer so you can trust that you are getting gourd seeds for the type of gourd you want to grow.
I personally recommend Sandlady's Gourd Farm for your gourd seed needs. Scroll down to the bottom of her page and you can find gourd seeds for about $3 per packet.