Gourds need full sun, very rich fertile soil and warm temperatures. For earliest and best yields, hand-pollinate gourds: break off a blooming male flower and dust pollen onto fresh female flowers (the ones with small fruits at the base). Repeat as new flowers appear. Pollinated fruits start growing larger within several days.
HARVEST AND USE
Gourds are mature when the tendril next to stem has turned brown and rinds are tough. Harvest with several inches of stem. Dry gourds in a well-ventilated place. Once fully cured, (which can take several months) gourds are light for their size and seeds will rattle inside. Molds often develop on the surface, but do no harm. Discard gourds that rot or are soft and wrinkled.