On this very cold day, I’m going to think back to the warmth of summer and the plants I grew! And, up for potential space in your 2017 garden is the birdhouse gourd! I bought my seeds for about a quarter from Dollar General. I figured they would be worth a try!
So, I started the seeds in late May in the house until the threat of frost was gone. Then I planted the seedlings by the chicken run, but you obviously don’t need a chicken run! In no time they will give you beautiful blooms!
The blooms were beautiful along the run, and the bees loved them! Very quickly the gourds started growing!
And they grew and grew!
This plant served 3 purposes! It obviously gave me gourds, gave the bees some pollen and kept the chickens cooler because the vines provided shade. And they did look great!
Just look at the before and after:
Before a heavy frost, I cut the gourds from the vine and stored them in the basement to dry out!
After about 3 months, some have dried out all the way! So, to make birdhouses, we cut the hole in the front of those dried ones and pulled out all the seeds and “other” stuff!
I was able to get this big ol’ bag of seeds from just 3 gourds!
The mister drilled the entrance hole, some drainage holes on the bottom and attached a chain that we had on the top! And Voila!
I had to scrub them really well because they grow some weird fuzziness and other moldy stuff on it! (Totally normal!) After it dried, it was stained. But, you can paint them or decorate however you’d like!
These will definitely make another appearance in my 2017 garden!