Those of us who are crafters may already know that gourds are fun to have around for all kinds of projects. They can be painted, carved, dyed, etched with woodburning and turned into all kinds of fanciful objects and useful objects. But did you also know that gourds are relatively easy to grow in a back yard garden? This picture is a gourd that I grew in my backyard, but I didn't plant it just for crafts.
Texas summers get terribly hot. At the time, I had a 10 foot by 30 foot kennel in my backyard for my four dachshunds. Doxies are notorious diggers, so I had built the kennel and put a wire bottom in it, a left over piece of 2" x 4" field fence, and covered it with mulch to have a safe place for them to stay while I was at work. However, I needed shade, and lots of it.
I stretched chicken wire as tightly as I could over one end, covering about one third. I planted gourds around the outside of the kennel where they could grow up and over the chicken wire. Depending on your space, you might want to make raised beds or set big pots up around the kennel, but I just planted mine straight into the ground and kept them watered.
The gourds quickly grew up and over the kennel, covering it with big leaves and lots of shade. I pulled the little gourds through where they could hang down as they grew...but you have to have dogs that will leave them alone. I did get a wilt in one vine and lost it, but still had lots of shade for the kennel all summer. You could also plant vining flowers if you did not want to dispose of all the gourds. As the vines grew, they got heavy enough that I had to prop the chicken wire up by adding a post on the unsecured edge inside the kennel, but otherwise it worked great. Little lizards and bugs took up residence in the vines and kept the dogs entertained for hours...another benefit that I had not considered, but appreciated. In winter the vines died and let the sun through. All in all, I think it was much better than shade cloth.
Hi there! I am Jeannine.
I believe that a holistic and balanced approach to life is a must when living with an autoimmune disease. I share gluten and dairy free recipes and all the other things I do here. I just like doing stuff and making stuff.
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