- Variety Info
- Sowing Info
- Growing Info
Days to Maturity: 100 Days
Native: Africa, probably Zimbabwe
Hardiness: Frost-sensitive annual
Exposure: Full sun
Plant Dimensions: 8'–12' vines
Variety Info: Speckled Swan' is a hard-shelled gourd. Mature gourds are bright green with light green speckles and are 14"–18" long with a 6" base. The round base tapers to a narrow, swan-like neck.
When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 1 to 2 weeks after your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is 70°‒85°F.
When to Start Inside: Not recommended except in very short growing seasons, 2 to 4 weeks before transplanting. Roots are sensitive to disturbance; sow in biodegradable pots that can be planted directly into the ground. Add if it fits: Transplant when soil temperature is at least 60°F.
Days to Emerge: 6 – 10 days
Seed Depth: 1/2"–1"
Seed Spacing: 2 – 3 seeds per mound
Thinning: When 3" tall, thin to 1 per mound
Harvesting: Hard-shelled gourds should remain in the garden as long as there is any life left in the vines. (Some hard-shell gourd growers leave gourds in the garden during the winter, which adds some color variation and character for craft projects, but results can be variable.) As soon as the vines are dead and the gourds’ skin has begun to turn an ivory color, cut them from the vine with a sharp knife or pruners, leaving 1"–3" of stem attached to the fruit for a handle. Choose only those that do not have cracked or broken skin.
Special Care: Grow gourds near a fence or a trellis; keeping the gourds off the ground will result in more consistent color and more well-shaped gourds. Alternatively, set gourds on a board, a stone, or some straw to keep them off the ground. Prune vines when they reach 8' to encourage branching and more gourd production. Remove any poorly shaped or rotting fruits to encourage more fruit production.