To know when to harvest gourds will help you in bringing in your gourds after they've finally matured, or before bad weather hits, which could damage and destroy your gourds. But it is also important to know when not to harvest your gourds because harvesting too early brings in a gourd that may rot before you could use it because it is malnutritioned. Here are things to note about when to harvest your gourds.
For Smaller Gourds, Harvest Before Winter
Smaller gourds, with their thin and delicate shells, can't handle the cold and snow and will likely die if left out for the winter frost. So, for smaller gourds, harvest them before the winter comes around, even if they haven't fully matured because they might do fine even if they aren't ready to be harvested, but they will very likely die if you don't.
For Larger Gourds, You Can Wait
There is no rush to harvest larger gourds, which have tougher shells and can survive the winters. Of course, if there are incredibly extreme conditions outside, your gourds may not make it, but for most winters, your gourds should be fine. Larger gourds also need more time to grow, so letting them sit out is best because they probably won't be ready until after the winter has passed.
Harvest Well After Maturity
Don't be too eager to harvest your gourds because gourds harvested too early may not make it until they're ready for use. You want to be sure you are harvesting a fully matured gourd to minimize risk of your gourd dying or going bad after you harvested it because it still needed to be fed.
Check Their Stems
Dried stems on gourds mean no more nutrients are entering the gourd, meaning it has matured and doesn't need to be fed anymore. Another way to check if they are matured is if their stems turn brown, which usually happens while the stem is drying showing the gourd is ready to be harvested.