If pumpkins are too large for autumn decorating around your home, plant a bigger drop favorite — “Goblin Eggs” gourds (Cucurbita pepo “Goblin Eggs”). These gourds grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. The ornamental gourds, produce miniature, 3-inch-long egg-shaped fruit. Understanding how long it takes for them to achieve maturity and knowing when they’re ripe can help you pick them in just the correct moment.
Period to Maturity
“Goblin Eggs” gourds take less time to reach maturity than bigger members of the gourd family because they are smaller compared to fully grown. This kind of gourd only requires 80 days before it’s ready for harvest. Most other types of ornamental gourds need 90 to 100 days to achieve whole maturity.
Signs of Ripeness
As opposed to relying only on the number of days after you see the fruit seem to plan your harvest, look closely in the gourds and their vines. Gourds need to dry on the vine, and their skin ought to be hard before harvest. The telltale sign is a dry vine using a ragged appearance. This means that the gourd is about to be harvested.
When harvesting, never pull “Goblin Eggs” gourds from the vine because that could cause damage to the fruit which could encourage rot during the drying phase. The best way to harvest gourds is to cut on the vine 3 inches from where it enters the fruit using a pair of sharp shears. After selected, Washington State University’s Clark County Extension recommends you avoid doing any damage to the outside of the gourds to prevent creating entry points for bacteria that could cause rot.
Handling After Harvest
After harvest, you need to disinfect the gourds using a bleach-free solution like sulphonaphthol. Go the “Goblin Eggs” gourds to a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. During the drying process, rotate the gourds to ensure even drying. Dried gourds will sound like rattles when shaken because the flesh which held the seeds in place has shrunk from the drying procedure and the seeds are free to move around within the gourd. When this happens, you can preserve the entire gourd using a layer of wax.