Botanical Name: Luffa aegyptiaca
Days to Maturity: 110 Days
Native: Asia or possibly Africa
Hardiness: Frost-sensitive annual
Plant Dimensions: Vigorous vines can reach over 2′ in length.
Variety Information: 12″ long, light green gourd with pale black stripes, thicker at the bottom end, somewhat like a baseball bat.
When to Sow Outside: 2 to 4 weeks after average last frost, and when soil temperature is above 60°F.
When to Start Inside: Recommended for cold climates: 2 to 4 weeks before average last frost. Roots sensitive to disturbance; sow into biodegradable pots that can be directly planted in the ground.
Days to Emerge: 10 – 25 days
Seed Depth: ½”
Seed Spacing: A group of 3 seeds every 12″–18″
Thinning: When 1″ tall, thin to 1 every 12″–18″
Harvesting: Hard-shelled gourds should remain in the garden as long as there is any life left in the vines. Some gourd growers leave gourds in the garden during the winter, which adds to their characteristics for craft projects. Use a sharp knife or pruners to cut stem leading to gourd, leaving 1″–3″ of stem for a handle.