Gourd - Luffa Sponge

Gourd - Luffa Sponge
Gourd - Luffa Sponge Gourd - Luffa Sponge Gourd - Luffa Sponge
Brand: Renee's Garden Seeds
Product Code: Luffa Sponge
Availability: 1
Price: $3.35
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Luffa (aka Loofah) is a very practical and useful gourd which can be used for bathing, filtering and cleaning. It is shaped like a cucumber but is larger, at 1-2 feet in length and 4-5" in diameter. As it ripens it develops a network of fibers that surround many flat, blackish seeds. Can be grown on a trellis or fence. Luffa  - 120 days - 1 to 2-foot long cylindrical fruit - fast growing. Also know as the vegetable sponge, the dishrag gourd, and Chinese okra. Maturity 110 Days.

BEST TO START INDOORS: Several weeks before last spring frost, sow seeds 1 in. deep in individual pots of seed starting mix. Keep warm and moist and provide a strong light source. When seedlings are well established and nights stay above 55°F (13°C), acclimate to outdoors. Transplant at sunny garden edges to ramble, or 12 inches apart along a sturdy fence or trellis to climb and form a lush canopy.

 START SEEDS OUTDOORS: Start seeds outdoors only after night temps stay above 55°F (13°C). In full sun, sow 2 or 3 seeds 1 inch deep in groups spaced 12 inches apart and 4 inches from vertical supports. Thin to 1 or 2 strongest seedlings per group.

 GROWING NOTES: Loofahs need full sun, very rich, fertile soil and warm temperatures. For earliest and best yields, hand-pollinate gourds: pick a blooming male flower and dust pollen onto fresh female flowers (the ones with small fruits at the base). Repeat as new flowers appear. Pollinated fruits start growing larger within several days.

HARVEST AND USE: Harvest when loofahs are fully matured with brown and dry outer rinds, are very light for their size, and seeds rattle inside. Peel off the dark outer rind, exposing the fibrous honeycomb sponge-like interior. Cut open end to shake out seeds. Finish by soaking loofahs for an hour in a weak bleach solution (10:1) to whiten and brighten color. Rinse thoroughly and air dry. Use in everyday skincare as a natural sponge, skin, buffer and exfoliator.

 

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