Monday, 19 July 2010

Discover Loofah Gourd

  • Grow your own loofah sponge, decorative and useful! 
  • The Loofah or Luffa Squash can easily be grown to eat when very young or to make many useful and ecological items such as sponges, dish scrubbers and mats from the mature gourds! 
  • Also known as Chinese okra, silk squash, vegetable sponge, sponge gourd, and dishrag gourd. 
  • Sow the seeds under cover to give them a head start and transplant them after all danger of frost. 
  • The vines do spread and become large so it is often advised to use a trellis. 
  • In the Autumn, the fruit will start to lose weight - harvest when the skin hardens and turns yellow or brown. 
  • Leave the squash fruit on the vine as long as possible, but they must be harvested before the cold weather and frost to prevent rotting. 
  • Preferably, if dried on the vine, the stems will be dry and the fruit will feel hollow. 
  • Some people like to soak them overnight before drying them indoors. 
  • Break off the end and shake out the seeds. - then peel or scrape out the sponges. 
  • The sponges can be bleached in a dilute solution or died different colours or left with the natural look. 
  • Ideal for Christmas presents!
  • Sow March to June for harvest October to February.

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