So I ordered some seeds from Local Harvest. I promptly planted then and the plants came up. But it was hot and towards the end of the gardening season and they got neglected and died.
This year when we planted our garden I planted 6 luffa seeds (on March 26th) they all germinated and then they all died. Then I spotted a "volunteer" squash plant and knew this must be a luffa. After all, it was in the same bed that I planted the summer before. Oh, how I babied that plant. Then it produced a squash that was yellow and nothing like a luffa. I'm still not sure what kind of squash it was, but the chickens loved it.
So, last week we are out in the garden picking okra and playing a game that was a cross between catch and bowling with the watermelons that refuse to get ripe and low and behold I notice a luffa squash on a vine. Wait, there's not one, there's three! I had noticed this crazy looking vine in the okra bed where I had planted spaghetti squash. The vine borers destroyed the spaghetti squash and so I thought that this was probably just a weed. The leaves look more like watermelon leaves and the flowers look more like cucumber flowers except that they are clustered together. I have no idea how that seed survived or where it came from or why it grew when I completely neglected it and the ones that I babied didn't.
Since I clearly know nothing about growing luffas from experience, I'll share with you a couple of things that I have learned from Luffa.info, groovey green, and Down to Earth.
- Luffas like alot of heat, they need between 140 and 200 frost free days
- Luffas need alot of time 4-5 months
- Luffas don't need to be babied
- Luffas can be eaten like summer squash when they are small
- Luffas can be dried out when they are mature to make into sponges.
- Harvest when the skin starts to sag and turns brown
So what about you, have you ever grown luffas? If you have and have some tips, please leave them in the comments.
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You can find information about these fruits and veggies and more by clicking on the In the Garden tab up top.