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Why did I not get the gourd variety from gourd Seeds I harvested?

Did you have a gourd with a shape that you just loved?  You saved gourd seeds and tried to grow that gourd again? It grew to be a different shape?  Have you purchased seeds for egg gourds and ended up Tennessee Spinners?  Now it can be fun to get different shapes or odd gourds, but if you really want egg gourds, you want egg gourds.  How the seed is pollinated, the year prior determine the gourd shape you are trying to grow.

Pollination Methods Mother Nature

Bees and insects go flower to flower, yard to yard, and pollinate gourds (and more), which often will cross varieties. Ornamental gourds are the ones with yellow flowers that open during the day.  Bees usually do a good job pollinating them. Hard shell gourds have white flowers which open during the evening, but the yield is less because there are not as many night pollinators.

Hand Pollination

This method is better if you are looking to get a larger crop of gourds.  It increases production of gourds.  Especially the hard shell varieties, when compared with Mother Nature. However, insects still have access to the flower before or after you.  Which can still cause cross-pollination of gourd varieties. You will not know this until you grow the seed in next year.

Isolation and Hand Pollination

This method is the most reliable to get genetically pure seeds.  The female and male flowers are isolated with a bag.  Then when they are both open the male flower is picked and is used to pollinate the female.  The female flower is then re-isolated until the flower falls off.  Pollinators do not have access to the flowers at any point during the pollination time.

Now even with this being said, there is still a chance that the gourd may not be the variety you want.  If the original seed was crossed before this planting then it may revert to one of the other varieties it was crossed with.  This method lessen the chance with each generation.  Therefore, the odds are much better with this method and you are much more likely to get the gourd variety you want to grow.

Watch our video on what it takes to do the Isolation and Hand pollination method.

Our gourd seeds are all grown in this method unless otherwise noted,  We do not purchase any seeds from 3rd party growers. 

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