August 25, 2000

Harvesting and Curing Gourds

Gourds are a diverse group of plants. The fruit of the small ornamental gourds are often colorful and distinctly shaped. The fruit may be white, cream, yellow, orange, green, or blue. Some are bicolored. Their surfaces may be smooth or warty. Fruit shapes include ball, egg, pear, bottle, spoon, and turban. Large gourds, such as the dipper, birdhouse, and bushel, are often fashioned into utensils and birdhouses or used in crafts.

To Spray or Not to Spray

Your plant is showing signs of stress. The leaves may be curling, distorted, or have holes in them. What should you do? In a state of panic, you look for a chemical that will solve the problem. While pesticides and other chemicals can be helpful, they are often improperly and unnecessarily used. A small amount of energy spent researching the situation can save time, money, and reduce potential harm to the environment.