(Luffa acutangula) The Ridge Gourd is a versatile vegetable that, when picked early, can be prepared like okra or summer squash and is delicious in vegetarian cuisine. When left to mature and dry, the fibrous flesh works as an excellent, all natural sponge and makes wonderful skin scrubs and exfoliators.
Beautiful, large vines produce yellow flowers and loads of long, ridged fruit. Highly resistant to insects and disease. Performs best when supported by a vertical trellis.
|Germination Temperature||Planting Depth||Days to Germination||Plant Spacing||Row Spacing||Sun|
|70-85||1/2"||10-25||24-36"||6" on trellis||Full|
Sow outside 2-4 weeks after average last frost and when soil temperatures are above 60° F. Gourds are sensitive to transplant, but can be started indoors 2-4 weeks before average last frost using biodegradable containers.
For best germination results, soak seeds in warm water for 24 hours before sowing.
Gourds grow best on a sturdy vertical trellis or fence. If they are resting on the ground, it can cause discoloration or rot.
Gourds require a long growing season of frost free weather.
As a vegetable, harvest fruits when they are small and tender. Add these to stir-fry, curry, soup, or lightly fry as you would okra.
As a sponge or birdhouse, wait to harvest gourds until the turn brown and rattle with loose seeds when shaken. You can also harvest earlier and let them dry for a few weeks until the skin turns brown.