Giant African Gourd Harvest

We've now had enough of a frost to kill our Giant African Gourd vine, so a few days ago we spent some time cutting the gourds from the vines and gathering them together in rows to dry over the winter. The final tally is in!

How many gourds should you expect from a single plant?

It's funny how my expectations for this gourd plant slowly grew throughout the spring and summer and into the fall. Having never grown gourds before, I could only base my expectations on what I read from others ... and from everything I read, a really good harvest from a single gourd plant is about 30 gourds. Most people said to expect about 10-15 gourds from each plant, but how many you get is usually determined by different factors including the type of gourd, your climate (temperatures, length of growing season, etc.), how much sun they get, how much water they get, how fertile the soil is ... you know, the standard things that can affect pretty much all plants.

So, I started out the season thinking I'd be really happy if I got 30 gourds from this single plant. After the vine started setting fruit, I would try to count the gourds I could see growing ... 5 gourds, then a bit later there were 10 gourds, then 15 gourds, then 20, and so on and so on.

As the gourd plant grew though, it became more and more difficult to try to keep count. The leaves were everywhere and so large that they easily hid the gourds growing below them. It also got to be almost impossible to try to count the gourds without losing track of where you started or where you'd already been.

Changing Expectations

By August, I upped my expectation to about 50 gourds.

By September, I was thinking more along the lines of 80 gourds.

By October, the leaves were starting to die back and I could see more of the gourds. However, there were just too many gourds spread out over too much space for me to count without going nuts ... but I was pretty sure it would be more than 80.

By November 15, the vines had completely died back. We cut the gourds and placed them into rows. We brought about 12 large gourds inside to use to harvest seeds for next year and there are still about 10 growing in weird places in the garden (like in the compost piles) that we haven't gotten to yet. There are also quite a few smaller gourds that we left in the field just to see what happens to them (more than likely, these smaller gourds haven't had the time to mature enough to dry/cure and they will probably rot, but we'll see). Below is a photo of the majority of our harvested Giant African gourds!

So, the final count of large, mature gourds is in ... what do you think the final number was from my single gourd plant?

Giant African Gourd Harvest


Yep, I grew 158 (very) large, mature gourds from a single Giant African Bottle Gourd plant this year. Wow, I can't wait for next year!

Nov 18 2014
Posted in: Vegetables

Join the Conversation!

Post a Comment

Your Name
Website (optional)
Check here to receive an email notification when someone replies directly to your comment
Help me fight spammers! Please enter the answer to 1 + 1 below