When my husband brought home some birdhouse gourd seeds last spring, he was so excited about growing our own gourds, painting them and making birdhouses out of them. All I could think was, “Wow, that seems like a lot of work.” But since he did the work of planting the garden, I smiled and said how neat that would be.
Well, it turns out they were not that much work at all! they take up quite a bit of space in your garden, since they are vines, but you can train them up a trellis or even a tree branch if space is limited.
We planted the gourds in the corner of our garden, and basically left them alone all summer! We used an organic pesticide method called Diatomaceous Earth, which is a powdered rock dust sprinkled on the plants. It basically causes insects to dehydrate and kills them (aaawww, poor buggies!)
Then we harvested them, cleaned them, and left them in the basement to dry… all year. You can get more detailed information about drying Birdhouse Gourds here.
This spring, we got our dehydrated treasures out of their dungeon, and made our Royal Bird Mansions!
Judd spray painted primer onto them. If you want them natural-colored, you can just sand them down.
Then Judd drilled holes in the front. Different birds like different size holes, and for the house to be hung at different heights from the ground. Here is a great chart on what size to make Your Birdhouse Gourd’s hole
Make sure you drill a few small holes in the bottom of rain water drainage.
The final step is to put on a coat of Polyurethane to seal the paint.
And that’s it! This is basically a plant-it and forget it item for the garden, and it’s so fun to create something that you nurtured from the very beginning!! All kinds of lessons for the kids!
Have you ever grown Birdhouse Gourds? How did it go?