Ornamental gourd is a plant that becomes more popular every year. The stunning, brightly coloured gourds perfectly decorate the garden in late summer and enable you to create charming autumn decorations.
Creeping and climbing ornamental gourd varieties that intertwine with flower beds, vegetable gardens, or garden architecture offer a unique way to create marvellous compositions that last until first chilly days.
Briefly about ornamental gourd
Ornamental gourd is not a separate species. All varieties available on the market belong to the same species (squash, also called pumpkin and giant squash) as the edible cultivars. Most of the ornamental gourd varieties are inedible due to their rough, thick peel and unpalatable flesh.
There are some notable exceptions, though. You can use varieties like ‘Baby Boo’ or ‘Sweet Dumpling’ in the kitchen. Small, colourful fruit of ornamental gourd are fairly sturdy and maintain their ornamental qualities for a long time. That durability makes ornamental gourd a perfect decoration of the garden and home alike.
Gourd in various shapes can be used as containers for autumn flower compositions and charming lanterns. You can grow climbing varieties over a pergola, treillage, and balcony railing. You can use ornamental gourd in many ways, your imagination is the limit here.
How to grow ornamental gourd
Plants of that group have similar requirements as edible varieties. These annual plants need a quiet, warm situation that is sheltered from the wind. Fertile, nutritious, humous, and moist soil suits ornamental gourd needs and supports its growth.
Gourd needs warmth, it develops best in temperature between 20 and 28⁰C. Grow ornamental gourd from seedlings or direct sow. Seeds germinate after ten to fourteen days. Do not forget that gourd is a vigorously growing plant that needs plenty of water and space for its shoots. Like many other plants, ornamental gourd responds well to fertilizing, two rounds per vegetational season suit it fine.
Harvest fruit in September when it has acquired ed perfect shape and bright colours. Wipe each gourd dry with a soft cloth and leave to dry in a dark, dry, and ventilated room. Properly prepared gourds can decorate your interiors for several months.
Most intriguing ornamental gourd varieties
Ornamental guard seeds are available in all major garden stores at fairly reasonable prices. You can choose from many intriguing varieties. Many interesting ones you can find here: https://premiumseeds.eu/kategoria-produktu/vegetable-seeds/pumpkin-squash-and-ogurd-seeds/
They produce smaller or larger, unicolor, or multicolour fruit that fit into every garden. The most stunning yet widely available varieties are:
‘Autumn Wings’ – its elongated fruit is adorned with flattened spikes. Intact, undamaged fruit of this exceptionally productive variety store very well.
‘Turkish Turban’ – the turban-shaped fruit are covered with bicolour peel. A sunny spot guarantees brighter colouring.
‘Crown of Thorns’ – belongs to most decorative gourds. Rows of the sharp-pointed spikes bend upward.
‘Yellow Crookneck’ – the entire surface of its bright yellow, bottle-shaped fruit is covered with spikes.
‘Pear Bicolor’ – its pear-shaped fruit are dark green in the bottom half and contrastingly yellow in the upper part. Lighter stripes that run along that gourd add an additional twist to the already intriguing variety.