Ornamental runner plant produces various shapes of graceful fruits with spots, striations and speckles of various colors. Annual. Cover a trellis, arbor or fence this summer with fast-growing vines and pick an amazing variety of colorful gourds this fall. Gourds keep well for months and make wonderful decorations and crafts. Ready to pick 90 days after planting. Days to Sprout 7 – 10. Plant seeds outdoors after the last frost in soil enriched with compost or rotted manure. (Seeds can be started indoors in 3-inch peat pots 4 weeks before transplanting.) Use plastic mulch in cool climates to retain heat in the soil. For nicely shaped gourds, grow vines on a trellis or fence. (Vines will spread 10 to 15 feet.) Fertilize monthly. Water when the top 1-inch layer of soil is dry. HARVESTING Pick gourds when vines are dry. Cut – don’t pull – from the vine, leaving a 1-inch handle attached. Hang in a cool, airy place to dry for 3 to 4 weeks. Dried gourds may be waxed or varnished.