Next, hose down the potting soil with water. You want to get it nice and moist but not to soupy. Soak your gourds foe 1-2 days. You want enough time for the skin to break down, but not to much which can cause the gourd to stink, get water logged and even darken the gourd surface. Be sure the soil stays moist. A lid really helps.
Place your gourds in a tub of water. You can soak more than one gourd at a time. You want to get all the skin soaked. Place a wet towel over the top of your gourds or put something heavy on top of them to hold them down into the water. You can add dish soap if you would like, but it's not necessary.
*You can also use a black heavy duty trash bag. Put the gourds and a small amount of water in the trash bag. Tie it up and place it in the sun. The humidity will build up and soak the gourds. Be carefull with this method. If the gourds get to hot they can crack.
Once the gourd is clean keep it in the shade to dry. It will only take a few minutes. After it is dry it is ready to be transformed into your beautiful work of art!
Next, you will use a stainless steel or copper dish scrubber to scrub all the skin off. This is where your elbow grease will come in to place! Be sure to clean the stem too. If the skin is too tough and isn't coming off you can scrub harder or soak the gourd longer.
Ta-da! Your gourd is clean! Be sure to clean the stem. These gourds, since they have been soaking for a while, are going to take a little longer to dry. Be sure to dry them in the shade to avoid having them crack. It is also helpful to drill a tiny hole either on the top or bottom of the gourd to allow any air and moisture to come out. It also prevents cracking.
Now that the microbial action in the potting soil has had a chance to break down the skin on the gourd it is time to wipe it clean. You can your your hands or some of the rough shower gloves that you can in the body section of the store works good. If there are some tough spots you can use your stainless steel or copper scrubber.
Start by burying your gourds in the potting soil. The cheapest potting soil you can find works the best. Be sure to not use any with pig manure as it will stink! You can bury more than one gourd at a time. Just be sure that the potting soil is touching the entire surface area of each gourd.
2487 E. Highway 287 ~ Casa Grande, AZ 85194
Wuertz Gourd Farm