Good Recommendations on Gourd Drying
It can take from three weeks to three months to dry a gourd. There are several steps you should pay attention too:
Selection – when selection your gourd it should be firm, make sure it does not have any soft spots or bug holes. If the handle below the stem is very flexible; it is not ready. Ideally you would like to a stem at least one inch long. Handle carefully to avoid bruising
Wash with soap and water to get most of the dirt off. I would then suggest dipping in a 1% bleach solution; nothing exact about 1 ¼ oz bleach in gal of water. This will kill bacteria or fungus that may be on the gourd.
Use it for decorating – get the full use out of it. The colors of most gourds are great for fall decorating.
Finish drying – after your finished decorating; put them in a closet, attic, barn, so place they will not get wet and would prefer them not to freeze. I would space them so they do not touch. They will get moldy – so don’t panic that is part of the natural process
Rattling – after they are dry you should hear the seeds rattle inside
Now that you have dried your gourd;
What is the best way to clean?
Let the gourd soak in water, two or three minutes will be fine.
While it is still wet take a straight edge and scrap off the outer layer of the gourd. I have found a kitchen butter knife works well. After it has been scraped and rinsed off and allow to dry.
After dry you can take sand paper or scoring pad to rub off any blemishes or rough spots
It is now ready for carving, painting, etc
Speed dry –Clean as mentioned above. You can pierce the neck or stem with a wire and hang in a warm location with little moisture. Do not allow the gourds to touch. Using a fan to help circulation would be nice but not necessary.
Remember, not all gourds will keep, some will just rot. So dry several so you will find your perfect gourd to decorate or carve.