The Compost Gourd


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It is pretty common for random plants, including weeds of course, to sprout in our compost. Tomatoes, melons, potatoes, we’ve seen all sorts of things sprouting. This year a gourd sprouted in the right compost bin, the side that we’re currently not resupplying and are using in the garden when we need compost.

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The vine grew up and over the side of the compost bin before we knew it and since we weren’t actively adding to that side we opted to let the gourd continue growing. I’ve had to maneuver it off of the water hose multiple times, redirecting it to head for the fence and vegetation on the neighbors side multiple times. The vine grew and grew, well over 10′ up the pine tree and ambling over the yaupon and other shrubs.

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When it finally flowered the I realized it was going to be a gourd of some kind but we weren’t quite sure what. When fruits started to form Chris thought perhaps it was going to be a birdhouse gourd, but the fruits seemed to stay small or end up not being pollinated so they fell off.

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And then one day Chris found this. It had been hiding on the back side of the pine tree and the vine grew too heavy to stay up and it fell to hang lower! Chris recognized it as a gourd we had on our porch last autumn for decorations and I was able to figure out that it was a gooseneck gourd. Chris cut it off the vine the other day because it was really wearing on the vine and we’d like to get a few more gourds off the vine before it dies back in a few months. It looks like we can dry the gourds and use them as we would other gourds so I’ll just set it aside and see how it does in a few months. One of our birdhouse gourds from the community garden four/five years ago just broke in half after hanging up in our fig tree for several years so it will be good to replace that.

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