Anyone know how to keep gourds and small pumpkins from rotting?

sheaSeptember 8, 2010

I've had little luck in the past getting my gourds to last until Thanksgiving. They always seem to get nasty beforehand, and I end up tossing them. I suppose I should buy them later, but can never resist purchasing them when they appear at the farmer's market in the fall. I have tried spraying them with hairspray.

I just read that as soon as you bring them home, wash them in a solution of 1 T. bleach to a gallon of water to remove mold spores and bacteria. Does anyone have tips that have been successful?

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Did you google gourds on the net? Lots of ideas there.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 4:20PM
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Hi Marie, thanks for your response! I did google it, and that's where I read about the bleach process. Last year I googled, and saw the suggestion about spraying them with hairspray, which didn't seem to help for me. I was wondering if anyone here had met with success with any of the many ideas on the internet, so I might have a better idea what to try next!

Also, a lot of the info is about drying gourds for crafts. I'm just wanting to display them in a basket. Maybe I should buy them right before Halloween, instead of September!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 5:17PM
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When I buy Halloween pumpkins and sit them on the porch, they are still ok at Christmas. Wouldn't that be just like a gourd? But as soon as they are carved, they start to rot right away.

I really have nothing to offer here except that there is a pumpkin and gourd forum, but they are discussing growing them, not the ones you buy in the store. I love them too, so pretty, such a nice reminder that we have survived another summer! Fall is my fave season, maybe yours too.

Here is a link that might be useful: pumpkins/gourds

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 5:25PM
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2 years ago DD got married October 23. We bought gourds about this time for the tablesas decorations. I washed them in soapy water, just holding over the sink and washing with a rag that way to get any dirt off. On newspaper laid them flat (not stacked) on the garage floor set a fan on them and turned every I dunno day or two I think it was? After a week or 10 days I sprayed them with clear spray paint (cheap at Walmart) let dry, turned over and did the other side. It gave them a nice shine, not overly glossy...I might have even gave them two coats of spray paint I can't remember. I still left them lay on newspaper til the week of the wedding. (we had a BUNCH of them! LOL) There were a few that we lost, not enough to matter because we bought so many. People were taking them home for fall decor after the wedding. I know mine were finally thrown away after Thanksgiving. I always spray them with shellac or spray paint to give them a hard covering. It has worked for me.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 5:29PM
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Socks, I love autumn, too. The colors, smells, the cooler weather, just everything (except that Christmas shopping is around the corner!) I wonder if your pumpkins keep because of being outside where it is cool? Thanks for the link.

NDgal, I can't believe it's been 2 years already since your daughter's wedding! Time flies. I didn't know there is clear spray paint! You had a big job with all those gourds. I'll try your method, thanks for taking the time to step me through it!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 10:36PM
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Them wot knows how to grow 'em ...

... are sure to know how to store 'em, it seems to me - so visit their thread and ask, why don'tcha?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 7:09PM
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FlamingO in AR

True gourds should stay on the vine until it withers or a severe frost comes. Then they're picked and hung in nets in a warm, dry barn for about 6 months until they are hard and dry and rattle inside. Then you can wash them and drill a hole in them to empty them if you want. The little decorative ones in the grocery stores aren't the same kind of gourds, I don't think. They always go bad, no matter what you do.

I had a white pumpkin last for 3 years, that thing was amazing. All of sudden, it rotted which surprised me, because it was looking like it would "live" forever. :)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 9:21PM
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The University of California agriculture department has a booklet about produce, and it recommends that pumpkins be stored at room temperature in an area with good ventilation.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 9:24AM
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When I was a kid, we once had a Halloween pumpkin that wasn't carved. Mom set it near the fireplace and it simply dried out. You could shake it and hear the seeds inside. Not sure why that happened. She didn't dip it in bleach or spray it or anything. Just happened.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 9:30AM
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I know you can dry gourds by sitting them up on something off the ground with some ventilation underneath,like a wooden pallet.I never washed them or sprayed them with anything until after they had dried.It take several months to dry a gourd,depending on the size.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 3:04PM
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