I'm currently researching how to grow gourds. I'm a painter/crafter and would very much like to grow my own gourds successfully, for my own personal use. I bought the seed, had some from before, but found some new ones I want to try. I've read on Purple Martin sites that they are the only birds that will nest in a gourd because the gourds tend to swing in the wind and the other birds don't like that. I'm not sure that is true, but for a busy woman like me, I don't want to be watching when the Martins show up so I can take the stuffing out of my bird house entry holes so that the Starlings don't set up shop. Starlings are a very aggressive bird that will run native birds out of their habitat. They are bullies. Living in a cooler climate with a shorter growing season, I've tried several ways unsuccessfully to grow these gourds. I have managed once, to have three fruit set and have dried the gourds. They were not very big and I had to grow them in a green house, which I did not like. So far, I've learned that even growers from south of me, start the gourd plants indoors...I didn't know that. I've also learned that gourds are heavy feeders and that they prefer to be planted and left alone. On the other hand, I've also learned that they need to be watered...so the previous theory goes out the window. I'm going to use my noggin' and think about where I live and what I think is best to grow these little treasures. First of all, I will start the plant indoors, then, they will be transplanted in well drained soil that is rich in manure and I will protect them with one of my plastic cans until they settle...yeah sounds like a plan. In the fall, I will make sure that I will be able to cover them from frost if I have to....Yup, I'm flying by the seat of my pants! :-) I will update if I change my mind on how I go about this new experiment!