African Mini Bottle

498 in stock

    • 45 $
Quantity

$5.00

Quick Overview

GOURD, African Mini Bottle – Lagenaria siceraria –
An African American Heirloom

FULL SUN – Native to West Africa where, in Zimbabwe, wild populations can still be found today. Gourds are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables dating back more than 10,000 years. These 2-3 inch long gourds were often used as vessels for carrying prized herbs and spices and medicinal concoctions.

Plant in late spring after danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed to a depth of 6 in. Plant in hills, 4 ft. apart or in rows 3 ft. apart. 

When seedlings are 3 in. high, thin, leaving 4 plants per hill or 12 in. between plants in a row. Well rotted manure or compost dug into the soil where the seeds are to be planted is highly beneficial.

Harvest fruits only after they are fully matured and before the first frost. Remove from vine leaving part of the stem attached to the fruit. Store in a moderately warm, dry area.

Type Spacing Planting Depth Days to Germination Maturity
Gourd 12 in. 1 in. 7-10 100-125

African Mini Bottle

Gourds are believed to be one of the earliest cultivated species. Because the only known populations of wild gourds exist in certain areas of Africa, archaeologists have theorized that prehistoric humans who lived near the rivers on the West Coast of Africa first used the small gourds that grow wild in these environments as early as 10,000 years ago. Somehow gourds made it to South America perhaps as long ago as 9000 BC. By 7000 BC, gourds were being cultivated in Peru and Mexico. Unlike all the other plants in the vegetable family, gourds were never valued for culinary purposes. Instead gourds were valued for their utilitarian purposes as tools, containers, floats, utensils and, in some cases, currency. Gourds belong to the same family as squash and pumpkins. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. One of the many remarkable facts about gourds is that many varieties can float for more than 300 days in sea water without destroying the viability of the seeds inside the gourds.

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