One Stupid Gourd
Next problem, where to plant them? I have a large yard, but I didn't
want to bother with digging up grass. I found a nice spot behind the
fence where grass had been cleared away. I could easily dig that up
and plant my seeds.
pictures on the gourd seed packages were so pretty that I
couldn't resist purchasing a package. I could hardly wait for
the ground to become warm enough to plant them. I fanaticized
about the colorful crafts I would make. I would have
bright orange mini pumpkins, green striped gourds, and yellow
fruits to decorate for fall.
And so I did: Braving the scorching sun, measuring the distance
between the holes, carefully dropping two seeds in each hole in case
one didn't germinate. I expected that my gourds would be big and
beautiful, just like the pictures on the package.
Gourds are supposed to be easy to grow without much intervention,
but I intervened anyhow. I checked the patch daily and before long
tiny sprouts started appearing. Success! They are growing. I found a
package of liquid fertilizer in the garage and gave them a drink of
water spiked with the growth drug. It couldn't hurt to give them a
little extra nourishment.
The leaves became large and green. The lush vines grew over the top
of the 6 foot fence. They were strong vines with little curly things
that help them to stay attached to whatever they were growing on.
Giant orange blossoms soon appeared. I was thrilled. If I have a fruit
for every blossom, I will have bushels, I thought. But not every
blossom creates a gourd.
I looked up “How to Grow Gourds” on the internet and read all
the comments. They are easy to grow and require little care. “Easy
to Grow” is the magic word as far as I'm concerned. I weeded and
watered all summer long, braving the heat, sweating, slapping
mosquitoes, scratching chiggers and nursing sunburn.
After jumping the fence the monster vines tried to take over the
patio. They grew foot long runners over night. I turned the vines
around and routed them back to where they came from before they
covered the entire house. I was afraid to go to bed at night lest they
grow through the windows.
Although the vines continued to grow, I saw no baby gourds. It must
be too early. Finally, I saw a small orange ball in the shadows of the
leaves. From the numerous gardening articles I had read, I knew that
it should not be picked until the vine died. I waited. At last
the vines began to dry up and it was time to pick the gourds.
While I was researching gourd growing, I also studied articles
about how to dry decorative gourds. I spent hours studying so I could
do everything exactly right. I read about the various ways that gourds
can be dried and what to do to kill bacteria that might cause them to
I went outside ready to harvest, but there was only one gourd.
After I slaved away in the heat and spent hours doing research -- one
lousy gourd! This was the entire crop for the summer? And it wasn't
even a decent gourd. It was a tiny orange orb about 2 inches in
diameter. It will probably rot like 50% of its siblings. I don't know
why there were no gourds. I can only guess that the bees were loafing
on the job and didn't pollinate the flowers.
So, I ended up buying gourds at Walmart. "Did you grow those
gourds?" Honey asked, seeing them in a bowl on the table. I was
too aggravated to reply.
One stupid gourd for all my trouble?
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