Nola wants to know what a flippin’ gourd is.
And Abe wants to see how I prepare these for birds to take up residence.
So this post is for them and anyone else who may be interested in birdhouse gourds.
These are birdhouse gourds, after drying over the winter.
A gourd is inedible. Usually used for decorative purposes or vessels to hold liquids. Or in this case a high rise apartment to hold birds.
I grew these last year and put them up over the winter to dry.
Now that they are dry, they are ready to make into birdhouses. I don’t clean them up when using them for birdhouses, I try to keep them as natural as possible. So they blend in naturally when dried.
I cut an opening, which will be the entrance to the birdhouse.
Then I clean out the dried seeds and membrane from the inside, using a long handled screw driver.
If you decide to do this, I am obligated to tell you that it is believed that the inside of this is poisonous. And it is necessary to wear a face mask, so you don’t breathe in any of the dust while cleaning out the dried insides of the gourd.
Then I drill small holes in each side of the top of the gourd.
Then push a wire through to make a hanger.
And you have birdhouses. All naturally made.
I also drill a few small holes in the bottom of the gourd.
Just in case water does get inside during a downpour, it will let the water drain out.
Then I hang them all over the farm.
Now, what to do with all these seeds.
You can keep them to plant in next years garden, share them or throw them in the compost heap.
If you decide to keep or share them, first clean the dried membrane from them.
And store in a cool, dry place in an air tight container.
I still have several to prepare and hang around the farm.
If you decide to grow these, I must warn you, the plants are viney and they’ll take over a garden in no time. It is best to grow them along a fence or trellis. Something strong enough to hold the weight of the plant and the gourd as it grows.
These are very light when dried. But while growing they can be rather heavy. Weighing down whatever it is that they climb.
From one plant I got a total of eleven gourds.
Here is another example of birdhouse gourds hanging. A picture I took at Lake Wylie.
I call it a bird condo.