I haven't forgotten how to grow gourds

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Chris B
Posts: 378
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:10 pm
Location: AL/Toney

My last crop were all volunteers from the year before, probably from the little runt gourds I leave in there that still make seeds. I didn't fertilize or water, yet I got a bunch more gourds.

I think the 11-13" dia make a good size. The birds will add leaves and mud to suit and the bigger gourds can hold more, and get heavier. That is a concern with my 3" PVC tee racks. I have some bigger and they get early acceptance.

Scouts in 2 months here. I sure hope 5G doesn't affect them.

Edit: I get them bigger than that too, and birds love them big. The problem is they get heavy, and I have doubled up the number of gourds per rack. 6" is way too small for a Martin nest. I toss 6" gourds that aren't made into TS nests.
Last edited by Chris B on Thu May 28, 2020 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2014 8 gourds, 3 pairs nested. Ended w/ 24 total
2015 24 gourds, 22 nests. Lotsa birds!
2016 24 gourds and good activity.
2017 32 SREH gourds. Great activity.
2018 40 SREH gourds. Good finish despite big storm damage. No more dangling gourds.
2019 56+ SREH gourds, all on 3/8 rods. Birds did very well.
2020 56 SREH gourds.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

I REALLY don't want to argue about anything, especially something as trivial as a gourd. I do want to post though, that by allowing the volunteer plants to mature, the ones that come from those thin shell gourds left in the patch, you are whether you realize it or not, selecting for thin shelled gourds. That's why I keep seeds from only the best gourd to replant and destroy and volunteer gourds.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

PMDavid wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:17 am
Hey brad , I tell ya what,if we could figure out how to get some of those fine gourds to me i’d gladly take of shipping and cost of gourds. Wonder what it’d cost to pile about a dozen in a big box and ship em? Why don’t you shoot me an email to ;
davidhsydneyh@icloud.com Let’s see if we can kick it around and see what we can com up with
David, I appreciate the painting advice, but you'll wind up with a ton of money per gourd if I ship them to you. I shipped gourds once and once only. I think I got about 8-10 gourds in a dishwasher box. Cost something like $100 to ship it. It's a lot of hassle. I'll be glad to send you some seed if you'll email me and get my address to send a SASE.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1483
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Brad,
I would appreciate some of your gourd seeds.
I sent you an email.
Mark.
Firm believer in HOSP/EUST Control, Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
Ryan
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Eganville, Ontario
Martin Colony History: Visitors are rare. Three SY males seen in 10 years.

Brad, did you have any luck getting the seeds dried to be sent out?
Home site: 12 cedar chalets - Plus two satellite sites which are also empty.
2010- 1 SY male on and off for a couple weeks
2011- 0 visits
2012- 0 visits
2013- 0 visits
2014- 1 SY male stopped in here and there for two weeks.
2015- 0 visits
2016- 0 visits
2017- 0 visits
2018- 0 visits
2019- Break-through year. Had a SY Male stop in on June 7th and stay all day, every day until end of June and built a nest. Hoping he returns in 2020 because I'm getting tired of updating this list.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Yessir, they went out about a week ago. As long as it took for your envelope to get to me it will be June before you see them. :grin:

I hope I didn't screw up the customs form.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Ryan
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Eganville, Ontario
Martin Colony History: Visitors are rare. Three SY males seen in 10 years.

Brad Biddle wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 6:27 am
Yessir, they went out about a week ago. As long as it took for your envelope to get to me it will be June before you see them. :grin:

I hope I didn't screw up the customs form.
Yeah it's slow across the boarder. I've had Americans send me bubble envelopes for giant pumpkin seeds and some seem to get back quick and others really slow. Hard to say what the covid 19 does to the mail system. It has slowed everything to a crawl up here.

Thanks for the seeds. I'll keep you posted. Customs forms are weird but I think if you're honest it's the best way. I would put "dried pumpkin seeds" on the customs form and have no issues.
Home site: 12 cedar chalets - Plus two satellite sites which are also empty.
2010- 1 SY male on and off for a couple weeks
2011- 0 visits
2012- 0 visits
2013- 0 visits
2014- 1 SY male stopped in here and there for two weeks.
2015- 0 visits
2016- 0 visits
2017- 0 visits
2018- 0 visits
2019- Break-through year. Had a SY Male stop in on June 7th and stay all day, every day until end of June and built a nest. Hoping he returns in 2020 because I'm getting tired of updating this list.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

I put kettle gourd seed on the form. I didn’t figure they’d know what a Martin gourd was. :lol:
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Ryan
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Eganville, Ontario
Martin Colony History: Visitors are rare. Three SY males seen in 10 years.

It should be fine. I've seen people write guitar picks on the customs order hoping to avoid any agricultural screening and slide into another country, but I think if they catch the seeds mislabeled at the border, they're probably tossing them.
Home site: 12 cedar chalets - Plus two satellite sites which are also empty.
2010- 1 SY male on and off for a couple weeks
2011- 0 visits
2012- 0 visits
2013- 0 visits
2014- 1 SY male stopped in here and there for two weeks.
2015- 0 visits
2016- 0 visits
2017- 0 visits
2018- 0 visits
2019- Break-through year. Had a SY Male stop in on June 7th and stay all day, every day until end of June and built a nest. Hoping he returns in 2020 because I'm getting tired of updating this list.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

That was my thinking. I was concerned that an agriculture product wouldn't be allowed into the country but I didn't want to risk a visit from the Mounties. LOL
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Ryan
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Eganville, Ontario
Martin Colony History: Visitors are rare. Three SY males seen in 10 years.

I got your envelope today. Thanks. It was quick. Did you pay extra for rush? I see postage was $12. Cant remember how much money I stuffed in the envelope but hope it was enough.

Thanks again, I'll post pics of the growing season.
Home site: 12 cedar chalets - Plus two satellite sites which are also empty.
2010- 1 SY male on and off for a couple weeks
2011- 0 visits
2012- 0 visits
2013- 0 visits
2014- 1 SY male stopped in here and there for two weeks.
2015- 0 visits
2016- 0 visits
2017- 0 visits
2018- 0 visits
2019- Break-through year. Had a SY Male stop in on June 7th and stay all day, every day until end of June and built a nest. Hoping he returns in 2020 because I'm getting tired of updating this list.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Ryan wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:45 pm
I got your envelope today. Thanks. It was quick. Did you pay extra for rush? I see postage was $12. Cant remember how much money I stuffed in the envelope but hope it was enough.

Thanks again, I'll post pics of the growing season.
Wow. It got to you a whole lot quicker than the envelope you sent got to me. You sent $10 so It cost me $2 to send you the free seed. :lol: but I'm not worried about that in any way. There were cheaper options but the lady at the post office advised me to send them the way that I did. Seriously, it's all good.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
PMDavid
Posts: 415
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: Second year trying to attract martins. This year I am getting rid of the wooden house and showing something they are used to seeing.
Offering 2 trio grandpaws w/2natural gourds under each and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And one rehabbed 16 compartment Coates original with two natural gourds.Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.2019 7 pair moving into 2020 almost double pairs from 2019. Still have most of the month of March to go for new arrivals and April.Here late in season seemed to have as many as 18 Pr of nesting birds. Huge upscale in birds from 2019. Will also have a 20 gourd satellite rack prepared for the 2021 season.

Hey brad ,since y’all are on the envelope thing I thought I’d see if you got mine. I added a lil fuzz of extra postage. If for some reason it falls short you have my mail address ,just let me know and it’ll be right on the way immediately.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

PMDavid wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:15 pm
Hey brad ,since y’all are on the envelope thing I thought I’d see if you got mine. I added a lil fuzz of extra postage. If for some reason it falls short you have my mail address ,just let me know and it’ll be right on the way immediately.
Unless my wife has rat holed it somewhere, it hasn't made it here. I'll check with her and let you know for sure.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Chris B
Posts: 378
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:10 pm
Location: AL/Toney

Brad, were you one of the people I have sent gourd seeds to a few years ago? I remember someone complaining about the shape of the gourds they made, and the ones in the pic( a 2 axle trailer full) that they put up looked fine to me, mostly. As for argueing, I really could care less. I have a great colony, and a lot of gourds and seeds. The garden this year will be all gourds, even though I don't need them.

As for the gourds that came from that volunteer patch two years ago, they are a little over 1/4" thick. I had a load of chicken poop in the patch that year, and it was a pretty good crop. Put another load in this year. Edit, I was just hole sawing 3 of the gourds I had left over from that volunteer run, and broke a 1/4" drill bit when the hole saw chattered. They are thick AND hard. You see, the small thin shell babies are just the runts at the end of the vine, late to pollinate. They have the same genetics, and as a result the gourds were just fine.

I only save seeds that come from well shaped (IMO) gourds. My late friend Darryl did the same for over 25 years, and I started with his seeds when I started my colony. I had birds the first year.

Those are the genetics I send out, and I will match my gourds against yours anytime.

An envelope came in today from La for some seeds. I'll bust open a nice shape gourd for those seeds so they are fresh, and also add some to my patch. I have not had any come up yet, and the seeds I used may have been too old. And it has been really wet so far, which may have affected them.
Last edited by Chris B on Thu May 28, 2020 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2014 8 gourds, 3 pairs nested. Ended w/ 24 total
2015 24 gourds, 22 nests. Lotsa birds!
2016 24 gourds and good activity.
2017 32 SREH gourds. Great activity.
2018 40 SREH gourds. Good finish despite big storm damage. No more dangling gourds.
2019 56+ SREH gourds, all on 3/8 rods. Birds did very well.
2020 56 SREH gourds.
Kegger
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

Nice crop of gourds Brad, at some point I am going to have to try hanging some naturals! 8)
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

No Chris, you never sent me any seed.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Ryan
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Eganville, Ontario
Martin Colony History: Visitors are rare. Three SY males seen in 10 years.

Brad, two questions.

Is there too big of a martin gourd or do they like them the bigger the better? I have a couple around 14" in diameter. Must be 30" around.

And how many gourds per plant did you get? I seemed to have a lower pollination rate. Lots of small ones but not many took. I gave some plants that I started from seed to two other people and they both have lots of plant and not a lot of fruit.

I've grown long gourds before if you google them. They must be a close cousin to this kettle gourds. Identical vine, fuzzy leaf, flower and smell. Identical. They, like these seem to flower in the afternoon/evening more so than the traditional cucumbers and pumpkins which have a pollination window until about noon or so. I wonder if that's why I don't have high pollination rates. Most of the pollinators here are more active in morning.

There was talk among long gourd growers that the plants originated from brazil/south America and they had more evening moths that would do pollinating rather than the morning mid day bees that we have in North America. Who knows, but these kettle gourds were probably from the same area originally.

Anyway, I planted three plants and have a jungle of vines. I should get at least 6-8 good sized gourds on the three plants. Will plant more next year. I grew them up a trellis to have the hourds hang down for perfect shape, but these plants are way too aggressive. I have about 4 hanging but the rest are on the dirt and still look perfect.

Thanks for the seeds.

Image
Home site: 12 cedar chalets - Plus two satellite sites which are also empty.
2010- 1 SY male on and off for a couple weeks
2011- 0 visits
2012- 0 visits
2013- 0 visits
2014- 1 SY male stopped in here and there for two weeks.
2015- 0 visits
2016- 0 visits
2017- 0 visits
2018- 0 visits
2019- Break-through year. Had a SY Male stop in on June 7th and stay all day, every day until end of June and built a nest. Hoping he returns in 2020 because I'm getting tired of updating this list.
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