Birdhouse Bottle Gourd

Birdhouse Bottle Gourd, Lagenaria sicerari

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A great project and circle of life lesson for children. Birdhouse Bottle Gourds annual, vigorous, monoecious, climbing plant often grown in warm climates. It attracts many different bird species including: swallows, bluebirds, wrens nuthatches, chickadees and many more.

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Description

Approx: 10 seeds

The birdhouse bottle gourd is a white flowering gourd species that produces a hard shell fruit used mostly for crafts. They can be grown on mounds, but much more effective to trellis them. They have a long growing season and may rot on the side touching the ground.

The birdhouse bottle gourds are vigorous growers and develop large plants. Vines may reach 20 feet, trellising will allow fruit to hang, resulting in a straight neck. If allowed to grow on the ground, the fruit will curve in various directions. At maturity, the birdhouse gourd will change from bright green to a tan. The stem will also become more rigid and dry.

The birdhouse gourd is a great project for kids. There are many learning opportunities in growing this particular variety.

Bottle gourds have been cultivated for more than 10,000 years. Originating in Africa, they were first used to make musical instruments, containers and even fishing floats. A study of bottle gourd DNA published in 2005 suggest that there are two distinct subspecies of bottle gourds, domesticated independently in Africa and Asia. A newer study now indicates that both subspecies originated in Africa and is possibly the first domesticated plant species.

Days to Germination: 5-10
Days to Maturity: 85-110

Birdhouse gourds prefer warm areas that are in full sun to grow. They require something to trellis to vine and produce fruit. They can grow is any soil type so long as it does not retain so much water as it becomes liquid or muddy. Gourds do not require any fertilizer, but organic material mixed into the soil is a benefit.

Companion planting Bottle gourds:

Keep near: Celery, Corn, Melon, Onion, Radish.

The serving size of 116 grams contains 16 calories and provides 13% of Vitamin C and 7.36% of zinc. The same amount of Bottle gourd provides 174 mg of Potassium, 13 mg of Magnesium, 15 mg of Phosphorus and 2 mg of Sodium. Bottle gourd possess various amounts of nutrients, minerals, vitamins, lipids and amino acids.

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