Grow Your Own Luffa Sponge
What in the world is a luffa?Grow your own luffa sponge? It’s easier than you think, and I’ll show you how. Read on.
In 2010 I met a lovely lady named Gail. She has all kinds of unique things growing in her city cheap canada goose uk garden. One day Canada Goose online I noticed these big beautiful yellow flowers all over her chain link fence. When she took me over to see her plants she pointed out that they were canada goose outlet luffa sponge plants. From a distance I didn’t notice the luffas, but they were abundant on her vines.
I was so fascinated with the fact that she grew these sponges and wanted to grow my own. Gail was kind enough to share her seeds with me from one pod so I could grow them in 2011. One gourd provided over 200 seeds, enough for me to sow to others. Let me show you how you too can grow your own luffa sponges, and have enough left over to give them as gifts. Once canada goose outlet store you have grown your own luffa sponge, you’ll want to keep growing them.
Image by WikipediaLuffa’s take a long time to grow. a very, long time!From the beginning you need to know this:Wow! Grow your own luffa sponge! That sounds like fun, but here’s the topper. The time it takes for luffa to mature from growing, to fllowering and full maturity can take anywhere form 13 days up to as many as canada goose outlet uk 220 plus days. It all depends of the individual plant.
This isn’t a plant that likes to be rushed. The reward for your patience is a bounty of yellow flowers all summer and early fall. The lush, rich green leaves make a nice hedge type covering, privacy fence that in time bears loads of gourds. So canada goose outlet shop with that in mind, let’s get started.
What can we expect?
The seedlings will grow very slow at first until the roots develop. Once they start to make canada goose coats on sale a vine, they grow rather quickly. After a months of growing, you will see clusters of yellow flowers. More flowers bloom as the vine gets longer. The thick stems are the female flowers and the thin stems are the males. Bumblebees and other bugs love luffa flowers and will seek them out even if they have to go a long ways to find them. I didn’t realize that ants caused little or no harm, but actually assist in the pollination.
All through the season it is normal for official canada goose outlet some flowers to fall off, but the pollinated flowers are the ones that will form the luffas. They grow out of the flower. It is so neat to see this happen. I have a photo of it on this page.
Photo google images by butterfliesandwildlife
Selecting the Right SeedsLuffa seeds look https://www.naslsoccerbowl.com a lot like a watermelon seed. You need to select canada goose outlet new york city mature seeds that are dark and hard. Gray or whitish seeds are immature and too soft and will not grow. This happens when the plant doesn’t have a long enough growing season on the vine.
You canada goose outlet jackets can plant seeds directly into the ground in warmer climates (check the USDA zones schedule for the best planting time for your region). This is what I do, but some like to start canada goose outlet black friday them in pots for better germination. The problem is that if you canada goose clearance sale don’t hit it just right in the canada goose clearance weather, you usually lose your plant because of the frost in the fall. For me it’s better to just plant them in canada goose outlet online the ground.
Photo google images by luffa info
Starting Seeds IndoorsOnce the plant has a few good sized leaves the luffa is big enough to transplant. The roots by this time may be about 6 inches long or longer and that would be about right for them to be put in the ground. Be sure that the danger of frost is over and the soil is warm. The night air that is sometimes cooler won’t hurt them, but an extended cold spell can stop their growth. You may want to set them outside in the daytime and bring them in at night at first.
Remember “transplant shock” sometimes happens to the luffa, so be careful when you do this. Leaving the plants outside a couple days before planting helps them to adapt. Even a little wind will help them to become more sturdy. This plant does fine in many types of soil as long as it drains well. It can take weeks before you see any real growth. They are a hot weather plant and grow slower in cool weather. The flowers appear over the entire canada goose store growing time as the vines get longer.
Once the gourd starts to form it may take a long time to produce the fiberous part of the vegetable, and ever more time to completely dry inside for the harvest. This is where patience comes in. Your plants won’t be ready to havest until the middle of fall (about November depending on your region). The final peeling and cleaning the sponges follow the harvesting of the gourds. Your plant will need canada goose outlet nyc about 140 to 200 or more frost free days, depending on the your geographical location and the type of gourd you grow. They spend a lot of time on the vine.
Be sure to plant your luffa’s in a sunny location and near a strong fence or trellis. They need to have something to climb on so the gourds can hang straight. Your plants will grow in an area on the ground that is weed free, but they won’t look as nice and will turn out curvy or bumpy. That will make them more difficult to cut into nice sections or give them as gifts. So try to get them to grow up a fence of some sort if you can. The time they take to germinat depends on the type of soil you use and the temperature, so goose outlet canada place pots in a sunny place. Keep the soil moist but not too wet. Don’t get discouraged about the germination time because it varies. It could take three weeks or longer in warm soil. Usually it is less than cheap canada goose 10 days they say, but mine Canada Goose Outlet took longer.
As you can see from the photo this plant is rather small even canada goose outlet online uk after 90 days of growing. Some seeds may take much longer than others from the same batch. Thin plants to one per pot or planting location, because they will need all the room they can get. I have a hard time doing this because I want to save them all. But once the roots finally get established they grow quickly, so thin them out early.
If you decide to grow luffas in containers and not transplant them, make sure they are around 5 gallons in size. The containers need good drainage and should be in the location you want them, because they can’t be moved once the vines attach tendrils (long stingy things that wrap themselves around anything) to other objects. Professional growers recomment that the ideal soil ph for the luffa is neutral to slightly uk canada goose alkaline and you might need to add some lime soils that are more acidic. You will need to stake your vines so the tendrils have something to grab on to for stability.
My luffa/loofa plants of 2011. Here they were almost ready to harvest.
My Luffa growing on the fence facing the east and got plenty of morning and afternoon sun. There were only about 4 6 plants that covered the fence.
Luffa plants take off and will overtake anything around them. Sorry about the blurriness.
This luffa was about to be harvested when the frost hit. You can see it was turning brown at the top.