Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - (Page 34)

Growing glorious gourds Functional and decorative, gourds are well-suited for Georgia gardens BY LYNN COULTER G ourds keep a low profile for most of the year. Then by fall, they seem to show up everywhere. Bins at grocery stores and farmers markets spill over, enticing us to decorate our tables and porches with their odd shapes and peculiar forms. These members of the cucurbitaceae family, relatives of melons, squash, cucumbers and pumpkins, have been used as storage containers and musical instruments. Today, growers turn them into birdhouses, lamps, artwork and more. Gourds need 80 to 100 days to mature, perfect for Georgia’s long growing season. Look for seeds at your local nursery or garden center, or in the Georgia Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin, which is online at bit.ly/duyGgk. Start your seeds indoors in individual peat pots four weeks before the last frost. Or, since the seedlings COURTESY OF MADERIBEYZA,WIKI COMMONS, GNU FREE DOCUMENTATION LICENSE resist transplanting, sow them directly into the garden when all danger of frost has passed. Give your gourds a sunny, welldrained spot with lots of room to grow, and mix organic materials into the soil. Apply a general garden fertilizer, and reapply when the vines begin to grow vigorously. Keep the fruits on supports when they form. Gourds are ready to harvest when the stems dry and turn brown. Before using the fruits, dry them in a dark, well-ventilated space for a week. They’ll need another month or more to completely cure, or dry on the inside and harden on the outside. Turn them often and wipe off any mold that appears. The gourds are ready when they feel lightweight. All you’ll need is a little imagination to make them into beautiful, useful items for your home and garden. Above left: Jane Ballou used wood-burning tools to add dragonflies, flowers and other garden images to this gourd, which is a bushel variety, almost too big, she says, to put both your arms around. Above: Ballou’s “Daises” is a tall gourd decorated with ink dyes and wood burning. Gourds as art Jane Ballou knew she was onto something when she searched online one day for gourd art and found more than 800 entries on eBay, a shopping and auction website. Ballou, a library assistant in Lithia Springs, first became interested in decorated gourds when she noticed them at arts and crafts shows. “They caught my eye with their connection between art and nature. I like that I can grow them in all different shapes, sizes and colorations. They’re my canvas and October garden chores: • To keep the yard and garden neat and disease-free, keep leaves and fallen fruit raked up. • Gather a soil sample before the ground freezes and send it to your cooperative extension service for analysis, so you’ll know what amendments and fertilizers to use next spring. • Join Cornell University’s Project Feederwatch, and help count feeder birds around the country, www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw. • Prune away dead, diseased or damaged wood from trees and shrubs. • Pot herbs and keep near sunny windows for winter use. More online at www.georgiamagazine.org GEORGIA MAGAZINE This bottle gourd, ‘Calabash,’ is believed to be one of the first domesticated plants used by man for drinking and eating utensils, and for musical instruments. 34 COURTESY OF STEVE PRITCHARD AND JANE BALLOU. http://www.bit.ly/duyGgk http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - October 2010

Georgia Magazine - October 2010
Contents
Viewpoint
Mailbox
Picture This?
Georgia News
Calendar
Currents
Special Energy Report
Branching Out
Unforgettable Alabama!
Restoring Warplanes and Honoring Veterans
My Georgia
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks
Cookbook of the Month
Snapshot

Georgia Magazine - October 2010

Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Georgia Magazine - October 2010 (Page Cover1)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Georgia Magazine - October 2010 (Page Cover2)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Georgia Magazine - October 2010 (Page 3)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Contents (Page 4)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Viewpoint (Page 5)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Mailbox (Page 6)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Picture This? (Page 7)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Georgia News (Page 8)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Georgia News (Page 9)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Calendar (Page 10)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Calendar (Page 11)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Calendar (Page 12)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Calendar (Page 13)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Calendar (Page 14)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Calendar (Page 15)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Currents (Page 16)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Currents (Page 17)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Special Energy Report (Page 18)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Special Energy Report (Page 19)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Branching Out (Page 20)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Branching Out (Page 21)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Branching Out (Page 22)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Unforgettable Alabama! (Page 23)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Unforgettable Alabama! (Page 24)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Unforgettable Alabama! (Page 25)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Unforgettable Alabama! (Page 26)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Unforgettable Alabama! (Page 27)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Restoring Warplanes and Honoring Veterans (Page 28)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Restoring Warplanes and Honoring Veterans (Page 29)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Restoring Warplanes and Honoring Veterans (Page 30)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Restoring Warplanes and Honoring Veterans (Page 31)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - My Georgia (Page 32)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - My Georgia (Page 33)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Georgia Gardens (Page 34)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Georgia Gardens (Page 35)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Georgia Cooks (Page 36)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Georgia Cooks (Page 37)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Georgia Cooks (Page 38)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Georgia Cooks (Page 39)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Cookbook of the Month (Page 40)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Cookbook of the Month (Page 41)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Snapshot (Page 42)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Snapshot (Page 42a)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Snapshot (Page 42b)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Snapshot (Page 42c)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Snapshot (Page 42d)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Snapshot (Page 42e)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Snapshot (Page 42f)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Snapshot (Page Cover3)
Georgia Magazine - October 2010 - Snapshot (Page Cover4)
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