I am very interested in making things out of gourds. All the sites I have gone to do not tell how to dry them. Does anyone know? Also any tips you might have would be appreciated as I am just beginning this new project.
Aquarius from Ontario Canada
after they are completely ripe and the stem just about falls off, gather them and put them in a shed or other dark cool dry place and leave them all winter. they will get moldy looking. and check every so often for rotten ones to be tossed out. do not stack them, lay them in a single layer. by spring they should be dry. most of the mold will rub off but you can sponge them off with bleach water too. then wax or paint them to seal.
You can dry your gourd by taking a metal skewer and poking holes in the gourd. do a couple around the stem end, and a couple down the sides.
Make sure to wiggle it around so the hole doesn't close when you pull out the skewer.
Let air dry in a dry location but not in the sun.
When my son was young we would get a couple of gourds each autumn and save them ( I still have a bunch). I am in NJ and honestly never did anything but just let them be. I kept them in one of those mesh hanging baskets in the kitchen and they would eventually dry out. Then I would usually wash them with a bleach water solution (if I am recalling correctly lol sorry) and then shellac or just leave them be. I know I never put them anywhere special and I never had a problem with them rotting or anything. Good luck!
I have grown & crafted gourds for several years. I like to dry mine in a loft of an old barn or in any other cool dark place to were I have plenty of room. I do not let them touch. I check them often and rotate them. I do this to keep the seeds from clumping in one big hard ball inside of the gourds. You crafters know what I mean by talking about a clump of seeds on the inside. The gourd will go through different phases as they dry. they will eventuly look gooey, old, and moldy. If you find any that your finger will go through, get rid of them. it takes the hard hulled , bigger gourd such as the kettle gourds about one year to dry before crafting. You do not want to drill holes in the bottom to speed up the drying process. When I pick up a gourd to craft, I let the gourd tell me what to make out of it. I do not want tobe disappointed by finding a hole in the bottom when I may need to show the bottom.
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