Be careful when harvesting the calabashes
Be careful not to harvest calabashes too early. It is best to wait long for the plants to begin to wilt. During this time the days and nights are already getting cooler.
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Note: If you harvest the bottle gourds too early, there is a risk that they will rot as they dry - in which case it is impossible to continue using the fruit and make something beautiful out of it.
How to properly dry calabashes
Choose a dry and warm place to dry your calabashes. A cellar and a quiet place in a garden shed (€ 7.70 on Amazon *) are ideal.
Not all bottle gourds can stand on their own. For this reason, we advise you to either hang the calabashes on the neck with a gardener's bast or alternatively put a ring made of cardboard or solid material underneath.
You may be wondering what exactly happens during the drying process. Here is the answer: the pulp becomes woody and impermeable to water. This allows you to store liquids in them at the end when the calabashes are completely dry.
Important: Calabashes MUST be air dried. Just don't try to speed it up by pulling in the oven. This procedure is okay for other fruits, but fatal for the bottle gourds.
And: don't touch your calabashes while they are drying. Even small changes or damage can cause your pulp to rot.
You can tell that calabashes are ready to dry when the seeds rattle loudly and clearly when you shake the pumpkins. Try this out after a while (a few days).
How to proceed after drying
After drying, you can work on the calabashes with a saw, for example - it is up to you whether you build a birdhouse or other objects from them. Your creativity is required. Even original lamps can be made with dried calabashes. All you have to do is saw off the floor and run the cables through the neck. In addition, you can paint the outer skin of the calabash wonderfully, whether with acrylic paints or simply with a glossy clear varnish. If you peel the pumpkins after they have dried, the result is unique vases.
Last but not least, a note: Only use fully ripe calabashes with an already slightly woody fruit wall for drying and further processing.
The garden journal freshness-ABC
How can fruit and vegetables be stored correctly so that they stay fresh as long as possible?
The garden journal freshness ABC as a poster:
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