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Harvesting and Drying Gourds
Once harvested, they will need a cool, dry place to complete the drying process. Most gourds will need some indoor drying time before they are ready to use. Wipe them down with a weak bleach solution and lay them out in a well-ventilated area to dry. Gourds are completely dry when the seeds rattle around inside. Small gourds will dry in less than a month, and large ones can take up to six months. If mold appears during the drying process, scrape it off with a knife. Thin-shelled gourds dry best when hung in a mesh bag. They are completely dry when you can hear the seeds rattle inside when you shake them. This may take several months.
To fashion your birdhouse
Drill a hole 1 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Smaller holes will accommodate small birds such as wrens, while a larger hole will allow larger birds such as martins to take up residence. You should also drill a few tiny holes in the bottom of the gourd for drainage. Drill two holes in the top, and thread a cord through them. Now your birdhouse is ready to hang. It will last up to two years untreated, or you can varnish the gourd for a longer lasting birdhouse.
Now your gourds are ready to decorate. Use a wax or varnish for protection.
Strawberries, Sugar Snap Peas, Apples, Pears, Plums, Pumpkins, Herbs and Perennials ....
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