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Welcome to Kasin Hunter's 
2001 Gourd Garden

Hot Gourds!

It's been such a thrill to see these wonderful plants take off so well after I've been virtually gourdless for two entire years. At the end of March of this year, I took a variety of gourds, radishes, sunflowers, squashes, and (oh, a bunch of seeds) and tossed them together in a jar of warm water, let them stew for 24 hours, then planted them at random around the small postage stamp size garden I just worked for the first time this year. I added some compost I'd been brewing over the last several months, a little sand, a little gypsum to break down the thick, clay soil. THIS was the result! Enjoy! 
(Pictures taken in June, 2001.) 

Looking east. Tall rise just left of center is gourds on metal trellis. Trellis is 8 feet tall. Bright red splash of floral color to right is Bird of Paradise. 
looking east from the workshop


 At base of gourd trellis on its north side, a white resin chair is being overtaken by gourd vines. The gourd vine growth is lush and lovely. I love the feel of soft gourd leaves.
garden chair

  To the right, south, of the gourd trellis is a stand of 8 foot tall native sunflowers with "faces" that measure 12 inches across. Seeds were purchased from the Native Seed SEARCH here in Tucson, Arizona. I gladly share with those who want some. (How do I know these sunflowers are eight feet tall? My roommate is 6'5" and they are well over his head!! smile) 
8 foot sunflowers
More pictures later of the gourds themselves. 


  Some of the gourds now on the vine in my 2001 gourd garden. These pictures were taken about a month and a half after the pics above.
This netting was macramed from plain string and serves as a hammock for this bushel gourd.
macrame hanger

Here's a couple examples of using socks and sunscreen material as hammocks to hold the gourds up, taking the weight off the fragile stems.

One thing I did besides using string and cloth to hang my gourds is use wire. I wrap a spiral around the gourd, then hook the end and hang it off the fence. Here's one that is starting to grow into the wire. When done and dry, the metal hanger will serve as a hanger for the finished gourd art or utility piece.
using metal wires
as hangers with gourds

Here's a cutey - a gourd that grew under the mail box. I redistributed the weight with the cloth strip. I think the mail person gets a kick out this because he hasn't complained about it being there.
mailbox gourd

During the hotest hours of the day, all the gourd leaves wilt down and look like this. For us in the desert, this is normal. Come evening, they perk back up, but ONLY if they had been adequately watered that morning or have retained water from the day before in well mulched soil. If they don't pick back up come the cooler temps of the evening, they could easily die.

Here are those sunflowers you saw above. Now they are mature. The heads are bent over due to the sheer weight of the seedhead. I've measured the seedheads, and they average a foot across. To protect some of the seed crop, I've fashioned "shower caps" out of plastic sunscreen cloth and drew it round each seedhead with string. This keeps these seeds safe from the many birds that visit each day. I let the birds have the rest of the crop. These protected seedheads are for me, however, and will be next years sunflower crop. I purchased these seeds from Native Seed SEARCH, here, in Tucson, Arizona. They are heirloom seeds and will generate more crop next year with ease.
sunflower bonnets

Now a look at the garden from the Fall, 2001.

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