Grow your own sponges!
This versatile gourd is indeed the one for producing your own sponges. Young fruits can also be picked and panfried like squash. 110 days to maturity for edible fruits.
In long-season areas, they are not hard to grow, but it helps to soak the seeds in water for several hours and then scarify with sandpaper or nick with a knife before planting. Allow gourds to dry out completely on the plant until the skin turns brown, or, if frost threatens, pull the plant and allow the remaining fruits to dry on the vine in a frost-free place. Once they are extremely dry and brittle, you can easily prepare them for their future life as a sponge. Simply remove the "plug" on the stem end and shake the seeds out. Then you can flake the skin off piece by piece. Some people prefer to get the sponges wet to peel them, but we find it easier to do it dried.
Seeds grown by Earthly Delights Farm in Boise, Idaho, and Green Phoenix Farm in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Directions: Start indoors in biodegradable pots 6-8 weeks before last frost. Harden for a week before transplanting out to full sun after last frost. Provide a large, sturdy trellis. To aid germination: soak seeds in water for 24 hours, scarify with sand paper and provide bottom heat.
Days to Germination
Days to Maturity
150 - 200