Speckled Swan Gourd is an heirloom, open-pollinated gourd variety that resembles a swan sitting on the water. These gourds have an enlarged bottom which looks like the body of the swan, an elongated neck which can be up to 12″ long, and an enlarged portion at the stem end that looks like the swan head. Plants average 3-5 fruits per plant and should be trellised for consistently-sized gourds. Speckled Swan Gourd is great for painting and making holiday decorations. Harvest when gourds turn a dark green color. These gourds are known for their durability and long lifespan once dried and cured.
Gourds may be direct seeded or transplanted, although we highly recommend direct seeding. To ensure a good stand, we recommend planting seeds every 12″ along the intended row. Once plants emerge, thin plants to one every 2 feet. Gourds can be susceptible to plant diseases like downy mildew and powdery mildew if leaves receive excess moisture. As a result, we recommend using drip irrigation on winter squash to reduce plant moisture and feed plants more effectively. During periods of heavy rainfall, using a fungicide like Liquid Copper can help to alleviate disease pressure as well.
Gourds are a crop that will produce a one-time harvest at the end of the growing season. They should be harvested when plants die back and the fruits obtain their full color. Stem hardness is also an indication of fruit maturity. Once stems harden, fruits are ready for harvest using a set of pruning shears. Once gourds are harvested, remove the plants from the garden to prevent any fungal spores from overwintering and becoming a problem in future years. Proper crop rotation is extremely important with all gourd varieties to reduce disease and pest pressure.
Speckled Swan Gourd Planting Information
Planting Method: direct seed
When to Plant: after last frost
Planting Depth: 1/2″
Seed Spacing: 18-24″
Row Spacing: 5-6′
Days to Maturity: 125
Disease Resistance: None