The materials necessary to complete this project are as follows: leafing material, Palette heat activated glue, Gel Glaze, Memories Ink blue and brown, heat tool, paint brush, stiff brush, Generation Green indoor varnish, make-up sponge, Micron 005, #1 black marker and the gourd of your choice.
Leafing is available on the Northern Dipper website in three beautiful variegated colours: Blue, Green and Black.
Gold leafing adds a luster and shine to gourds and can turn a
project from humdrum into spectacular!
To learn more about Memories Ink, Generation Green Gel Glaze and Generation Green indoor varnish click here:
To learn more about gold leaf click here:
For info on dried gourds click here:
Notes From The Gourd Patch
July is the busiest month in the gourd garden. There will be flowers to pollinate on a nightly basis, the pruning of the main vines and a constant eye looking for cucumber beetles, stink bugs and powdery mildew. First a little review on pollinating...
Hard-shell gourd flowers bloom only at night, each for only one night. Using a small paint brush go out and find the female. They will be found hiding under the leaves, unlike the male flowers pictured above, who have long stems and like to announce their arrival. Dab the male and then the female. One particle of pollen per female will result in a gourd.
(Keep in mind that in the northern climates the gourds are going to need time to mature. This is why it is important that lots of pollination take place in July.)
Pruning Your vines by this time will appear like a mumble-jumble of greenery. Pull the vines out and find the main one. You will want to prune or cut approx. 3" off the top of the main vine when it is about 6 feet long. This small act will allow the energy to go into the side vines, which is what you want, because the side vines is where the female flowers appear and where the gourds grow.
The start of powdery mildew
This mildew is a fungus which is caused by spores. It appears as whitish - grey dusty looking spots on the leaves. It sends out little roots into the cells of the plant and if not kept in check will eventually kill it.
Powdery mildew thrives in humid weather. To help combat this problem make sure that your vines have plenty of ventilation (weed around them if need be) and when watering use a trickle or soaker hose. The key is to avoid humid conditions around the plant if possible.
1.) Milk - Skim milk works best as there are no fats which may give off odours. Mix 1 part milk to 9 parts water and spray weekly. This also works well with roses and other plants.
2.) Liquid Sea Weed - Is said to boost the plants cell structure. Spray it on the leaves and the strength of the plant will help repel mildew.
3.) Baking Soda - Many gardeners rave about baking soda in the garden. Mix 2 - 10 G of soda per litre of water. Add a drop or two of dish soap which will act as a wetting agent and spray on the leaves.
4.) Sulphur Sprays - This is effective but will kill good fungi as well. When spraying soak the plants but do not soak them to the point where you get runoff. Sulphur sprays can be found at your local gardening centers or hardware stores.
Stink Bug Photo by Marlin E. Rice
These insects are quite fascinating when you think about it. They have glands located in their thorax which produces a foul smelling liquid. This liquid is their way of protecting themselves against predators.
From where we stand however we do not want them in our gourd gardens. The nymphs and adults will suck the sap from your plants and ultimately do damage. The females lay their eggs on the leaves.
The best remedy is to look for them in the morning when they are moving slowly. Get them on a piece of paper and dump them into a jar full of water and dish soap. Dawn detergent apparently works well.
To view male and female gourd flowers click here. Once in click on Issue 53:
DEAR CAROLYN Hello
My tulip red Gilders paste is dry and crumbly. Is there anything I can mix with it to make it soft and easy to work with? I always look forward to each newsletter. Wish I could come for a workshop, but northwest Iowa is just too far from your farm. Sincerely,
Thank you for your email. This is the beauty of Gilders paste...when it dries out, it doesn't mean the end of it as with a lot of other products. Just simply add a small amount of paint thinner. There are now many available with no odour.
You can also break off a small chunk of Gilders paste, mash it down adding paint thinner to a paint consistency and use a small paint brush to work small areas.
Hope this helps and let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
This photo was taken by DH Hall for the University of Florida
The other night I was out at dusk with my paint brush and it turned out it will be a night I will never forget. Before my eyes was a luna moth, just hovering above my gourd vines.
I have read about these gorgeous green moths but I must say there is nothing like seeing one two feet away. Their wing span is about three inches; they are fine speciments indeed.
So not only are my gourd flowers being pollinated, I am also learning more about my immediate environment by being out there.
Thanks for the newsletters. They are educational, fun and both my wife and I love all the artists you feature. Keep up the good work!
Glen Curry - Port Dover, Ontario
What a thrill to see a luna moth in your own back yard. I have only seen a luna once as well and it was a memorable experience.
Good luck with your gourd crop...let us know how everything goes.
All the best Carolyn and Linda
To learn more about the life cycle of the luna month click here:
NEXT ISSUE: One of the highlights of the gourd business is the number of people we get to meet any given day. We were thrilled, when late last year, a woman named Dorcas Schauberger pulled up to our farm. Dorcas was 50 years of age when she did her first carving on a piece of wood she found on a hiking trail. She used a peeling knife and once done, took it to the local carving club to show off. After they had a bit of a laugh they told her it was good and advised her on the proper tools to be used.
Dorcus is now 74 and her carving has much improved. She carves anything that is carvable including gourds. Dorcus is a ball of energy, still working a couple of days a week, actively hiking with in-between visits to the gym, and of course she is a regular at the local carving clubs. We are delighted to welcome Dorcus as our featured artist in the upcoming month of August.
We have had a few emails regarding our gourd luster pigments and in our mind knowledge is power. Coming up in the next issue of Gourd Fever will be a tutorial on the gourd luster pigments and how to use them with a variety of other products. We will also be introducing some new books which we have picked up...there are so many great books out there now compared to a few short years ago!
Don't forget to take advantage of the mini workshops. And remember even though we are on vacation you can still sign up through our email at email@example.com . (Just leave your name, address, phone number, the workshop(s) you want to take and how many people.) We will be back at our desks July 27th and will be looking forward to seeing you August 1 or 2.
So now it is officially summer! Kids are out of school, the sun is shining and everyone is smiling. Have a great month everyone and we will do the same. See you in August!
Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond
PS If you have any stories, comments or ideas that you would like to contribute to this newsletter please send to firstname.lastname@example.org