While the squash and melons are died back, or in the process of doing so, I continue to be amazed by the Tennessee Dancing Gourds.
These were one of our “fun” crops. Yes, I hope to use them for crafting purposes, but really, I just thought they were adorable and hoped that maybe, just maybe, they would grow in our Zone 3. From reviews I read when I bought the seeds, I knew they could be prolific, and the certainly have been, even with poor growing conditions.
While I’ve harvested only four mature dancing gourds, that are now drying out on our kitchen counter (protected from the cats!), there are more on the vines that are just as big, but still firmly attached.
More amazingly, the vines are still growing and blooming, with both male and female flowers. They have been doing amazingly well!
The luffa have decided to surprise me. I thought that, by now, they were basically a lost cause.
The very first luffa gourd that started to form ended up withering away, so when these ones showed up, I tried to hand pollinated them. Which I hope worked, but it’s still too early to tell.
You can just see a minuscule female flower developing, above my finger, too.
There are more male flower buds forming, and even another tiny female flower, with its tiny gourd, developing.
The vine itself is the only one that has grown enough to start making it’s way over the top of the squash tunnel.
I took this picture above my head to show the flowers that are blooming, but I was pretty blinded when I took it. So it was not until I uploaded the photo that I realized, there are gourds forming up there, too! There is no possibility of hand pollinating them, as I can’t reach them, but they might just make it!
None of the gourds we planted are zone 3, so that was a strike against them growing here, right from the start. While they would have loved the heat of our summer, it was difficult to water them adequately during drought conditions, so that was another set back. Though we have not have frost yet, we have had some pretty chilly nights, so I am really amazed they are still green, growing and flowering, while plants more suited to our zone, such as the nearby winter squash, are dying back. Especially the luffa, which didn’t even start blooming until very late, and didn’t start producing female flowers even later. It is unlikely the mild temperatures will continue long enough for the luffa gourds to fully mature, but the Tennessee Dancing gourds are doing just fabulously! I definitely want to try growing both, again. If they did this well in such poor conditions, imagine how well they’d do in better conditions?