I planted gourds this season (June 18, 2010). Luffas are my gourd of choice. I didn’t want gourds for decoration or an crafting projects. These will be used for scrubbing. (Farmer MacGregor is known for getting paint on himself as well as the house and fence.) The seeds were ordered from Park Seed Co. in South Carolina. My research led me to believe that it takes the seeds 2-3 weeks to germinate. Not in Bakersfield, California, partner. The sprouts were up in one week (June 23, 2010).
Now that the heat is on, they are growing like a weed does where you don’t want it to grow. I’m using a big terra cotta pot that once held a Satsuma Mandarin tree.The mandarin didn’t make it as predicted and now rests at the green waste dump on the south side of town.
Seeds were planted at all points of the compass (North, South, East, West). There is no fancy trellis for the 4 seedlings. I’ve turned a tomato cage upside down for the vines to use on their climb skyward. The fruit will be left to dry on the vine. The skin will be peeled off to expose the luffa material. The seeds should shake free to be used another time.
I’m surprised that so many people do not know what a luffa is. My Granny would send them to us in packages that would also contain undervests, Roundtree jellies, Edinburgh Rock, and Smarties. Now, loads of people probably don’t know what the other items in the package are; but I thought everyone knew what a luffa was. A luffa is something I remember always having in the bathroom for scrubbing when I was growing up.
My father had requested that I clean my dirty elbows. I went in the bathroom and did what I thought was a passable job. No way, Jose. He took me in the bathroom, applied Lava soap to the luffa, then scrubbed my elbows a most rosy hue of pink. My tender elbows remember that lesson on cleaning from so many years ago.