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PraticalGardener
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How many gourd plants when saving seeds?

How many gourd plants are recommended when a gardener wants to save their seeds? Otherwise, how many gourd plants have you grown in practice to save seeds from? I'm curious about maintaining genetic diversity in seeds and to see what has worked for other gardeners. :)

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applestar
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Re: How many gourd plants when saving seeds?

How much space do you have? I don’t think in terms of genetic diversity in my saved seeds of a single variety mostly because I only have a small space which I pack to grow limited number of everything, so I don’t see how I could grow in meaningful number to make a difference.

What I DO is grow 2-3 plants of a single variety —but whether those three have different genetic make-up isalready a question mark. When I’m trying to save seeds, I will try to save seeds from at least one fruit from each plant.

BUT, when you are talking cucurbits like gourds, unless you are hand pollinating, there is just as much chance that they were pollinated with pollen from male blossom of the same plant... in fact that is quite likely if you are only growing limited number of plants and they are blooming at different timing. ...on the other hand... IF you are you are growing more than one variety of same species and NOT hand pollinating and guarding against cross-contamination, you could end up with _unwanted_ genetic diversity as well.
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PraticalGardener
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Location: Potomac Highlands region, West Virginia, USA (Zone 6a?)

Re: How many gourd plants when saving seeds?

Thank-you applestar, you have several good points. :) I have a 39ft long row to start from, but the row can become a 9foot wide plot if need be.

My current trellis system are 2 very sturdy 'cattle panels' that are 3ft 3inches tall by 16ft long, tied to metal t-posts. I have plenty of space, but I prefer to avoid excessively crowded vines; in order to make it relatively easy to weed, watch, and harvest.

I will plan to hand-pollinate the gourds.

imafan26
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Re: How many gourd plants when saving seeds?

if the gourds are open pollinated and you only plant one variety, then save seeds from the biggest one. If the gourd is a hybrid, it may not breed true no matter what you do.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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jal_ut
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Re: How many gourd plants when saving seeds?

If there are any bees around they will pollinate your gourds. Be advised they will cross with any other cucurbits that may be in the area and the bees visit all the flowers. So it is likely you may get some hybrids if you save seeds. Squash, pumpkin, zucchini and gourds will all cross.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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