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Joined: Apr 2005
Fernie Offline OP
Snow Bunny
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Snow Bunny
Joined: Apr 2005
I was given 2 birdhouse gourds. They are not dried. They are just a lovely green color (which I suppose it will lose as it dries?) and I don't know a thing about them....

Do I carve the hole and place for a perch before it dries or do I wait until it is completly dry? How long does it take to dry? Are there any special things I have to do while it is drying? I really want to use them as actual birdhouses if possible.

Thanks,

Joined: May 2005
The Bird Man
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The Bird Man
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Wait UNTIL it dries. Then carve your hole and hollow it out. You will know it is dry when it turns a light beige in color. Those are best used for Purple Martin nests, but I'm not sure if you have Purple Martins in Idaho. If you do have those birds, hang the gourds about 1-2 feet apart on a pole about 12-20 feet high, preferably near a pond in an open grassy area.

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Fernie Offline OP
Snow Bunny
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Snow Bunny
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Thanks!!! NO purple martins here....I was thinking wrens????

Joined: May 2005
The Bird Man
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The Bird Man
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Wrens would probably like it as well. Try hanging it under the eaves of your house or your porch roof if you have one.

Joined: Mar 2006
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Make a mild solution of water with liquid bleach and wash the gourd with it. That is supposed to help it dry a more even tan color without the blotching.

Joined: Apr 2006
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I've never had luck drying gourds. Maybe the bleach wsh would help me. I always got those splotches, then they'd rot. frown

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Fernie Offline OP
Snow Bunny
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Snow Bunny
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Yep getting them to dry correctly is the actual first step huh? Looking forward to seeing how it goes. I just wish I could keep the lovely green color....it really is pretty.

Oh well......

Thanks Thorny and gailo for your help!!

Joined: Apr 2006
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They can be painted once they're dry. On the outside only.

Joined: Mar 2006
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I dried some by just leaving them by my fireplace, on the hearth for months. I was afraid to touch them, so I didn't. They dried and didn't make any mess or anything. They didn't smell. We are rather informal. Our house has a great room so the room is pretty big. Winter is dry inside. Those are the conditions I dried mine under. It was hard to cut the hole though. They are fragile.

Joined: Sep 2006
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Joined: Sep 2006
Fernie,

I just picked up a birdhouse gourd yesterday and the lady told me to leave it somewhere it wouldn't be disturbed all winter to let it dry out. She said you might get flaky, moldy looking stuff on the outside. Come spring, wash that off with a mild bleach solution and use a drill to make the hole. She said all of the inside stuff will dry into a little ball you can shake it right out. We'll have to compare notes and pics come spring!

Amy

Joined: Apr 2005
Fernie Offline OP
Snow Bunny
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Snow Bunny
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Ok.....sounds like a plan Amy!!


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