Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Birdhouse Gourds

Preparation always helps me fight off cabin fever..... Preparation? Spring preparation of course!

The children and I decided to work on our bird house gourds. We grew the gourds ourselves two gardens ago. At the end of their growing season they were pitched into the rafters of our barn for drying.
                                                    (Recycled picture)

We have used the gourds over the last few seasons for various art projects, but this time they were turned into something of practical purposes....

The plan was simple, using a gourd no smaller than a 8 inch diameter, drill an entry  hole,  drill seep holes in the bottom, and two holes in the neck for hanging. 

But first they had to be washed and scraped. I used a metal swatch to get the layer of mold off.
                                            (Recycle picture)

After they dried the holes were drilled and cut. We cleaned them out, collecting the seeds for use in the spring.

 Then we painted them white.

Aubs eventually painted most of himself as well... good thing he wore his work hat...

Hopefully in the spring we will have a string of inhabited bird houses across our garden. 

- Remember that when you invite the birds into eat the bugs from your garden you should not use pesticides. 


  1. Those are the cutest little bird houses! Oh I want a yard so I can watch little birds! I need to move out of this apartment...

  2. These look great Leigh! I'd love to try growing them myself, one of these years!

  3. The gourd birdhouses are really neat. My gourds never grew larger then a baseball. What's your secret to growing them? Thanks for sharing!

  4. You probably already know this, but it's to keep a little distance between houses so the occupants won't constantly be fighting over territory.

  5. We tried growing pumpkins this year and most of them rotted on the bottom. Your gourds look awesome! I think I am inspired to figure out what I did wrong and try again.

  6. Rev... got a balcony??? :)

    They are sooo much fun to grow and very rewarding.

    They are so multi functional too! I have them all around the house. Some have dried arrangements and others are cut in half and used as change bowls. No secret really, try pinching off some of the blooms leaving only a few blooms per vine, that should help target the nutrients to few fruit resulting in bigger gourds. Good Luck!

    I am thinking about a foot and a half? Too close ya think?

  7. Uglydog,
    Sounds like you may have had blossom end rot.
    Try this link might help.
    Best of Luck!

  8. I was lucky enough to recieve some seeds from a blogger buddy..cant wait to plant them this spring. Hopefully the squirrels will not find them.

  9. tberry,
    You wont be sorry you planted them! I am actually looking into getting some other varieties of them like the ladle and loofa gourd. I'm looking forward to some spring experiments!

  10. Such a great idea! The Youngun always wants to plant gourds, maybe we'll do that this year. We've planted them before, but just the small ornamental ones. They were fun watch develop.

  11. Ah, it's that time of year. Christmas is done, and over with, and our thoughts turn toward... summer. And gardening dreams! I'm right there with you. ANd I love, love, love birdhouse gourds. I have always been able to grow them well enough, just not dry them. Now I can see from your picture what I need to do. I am also going to plant Loofah gourds this year, because when cut and put into soap, it makes an awesome after-gardening soap! (And great christmas presents!) Is there a reason you paint the gourds all white? Never thought about the holes needed in the bottom, too. Thanks for this great post. You've inspired me, yet again!

  12. The Goodwife,
    We really really enjoyed ours! I am hoping to try the Ladle gourds soon. You can wrap rope around the stem as it grows and it will form a "twist".
    Good luck with your next season!

    Dog Hair,
    Pick them when the vine dies back. Then keep them somewhere sheltered to dry out. Make sure air can circulate around them... if you have to lay them flat just periodically check on them and turn. We paint ours white because it attracts Purple Martins which are great bug catchers! Let me know if you have any questions I have tons of gourd links! :) Best of Luck!


  14. Happy New Year to you too! All the Best!

  15. Did you grow yours climbing out or up?? We did some many years ago with my MIL, but I don't know that I ever ended up with any to hang at my house. Wasn't home for watching much back then.

  16. Happy New Year Leigh! I hope 2011 started great for you!

  17. Karen Sue,
    We used pole to try to trellis them which we quickly learned wasn't really productive because the fruit is so heavy (most ended up on the ground). If we used t-post with hog panels then used milk jugs or pant hose to tied to the fence it might work to grow them "up"... its a lot of work on that though but the down side to growing on the ground is that you will tend to have a flat side... and the side that touches the ground "can" become warty. I have a variety of ways I am going to try to manipulate the formation of the gourd... placing the growing gourd in something such as a half cut milk jug (with seep holes) will get you a flat bottom gourd (which is nice if you are going to convert your dried gourd into a vase). I hope this helps some. :)

  18. Uglydog75,
    Happy New year to you as well! It has started off to be a great one!
    All the best in 2012!