Gourds are primarily grown for crafts, decoration or other functional items. They are categorized into three main groups; hard shells, ornamental and luffa. Hard shells contain gourds like Birdhouse and Dipper long handle. Ornamentals contain gourds like Turks Turban and Little Pump-ke-mon.
Luffa gourds make sponges. Gourds can be started indoors in sprouting trays to give them a jump start on the season but they can also be started outdoors in hills. They are sensitive to frost so be sure to wait till the risk of frost has passed before planted outside and if started indoors harden them off by exposing to outdoor elements in increasing increments for a week. Be sure to give them plenty of room to spread out, of course some gourds such as the hard shelled and luffa benefit from being grown on a trellis. Make sure the trellis is sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the gourds and larger gourds will benefit from support if trellised. Crucial to growing gourds is when to harvest and curing them. Some can be cured on the vine luffa should be harvested when skin is yellowed or browned. Some ornamentals can lose their vibrant color when left on the vine too long so should be harvested earlier. The hard shelled gourds should be harvested when the vine begins to rot, then washed in bleach and left in a well-ventilated area, wiping them when moisture appears on surface. Gourds are completely cured when seeds rattle inside the gourd.