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Durgan
October 16th, 2008, 08:58 PM
http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?ADKCR 16 October 2008 Luffa cylindrica (Sponge Luffa)
Frost has arrived, but there is no ripening of the fruit yet.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?KYAWO Summary: Luffa Growing Experience

julianna
October 17th, 2008, 02:26 AM
Do you think your luffa will ripen? I am unsure about mine.. I started them way too late and they are thai luffas... I discovered I don't particularly like the taste of them. So, I let them make giant luffas everywhere. Unfortunately, I have no idea how long this is going to take and whether or not they will beat the frost. I am definately growing them again next year-- for the luffa part-- and this time starting them before June! :)

Durgan
October 17th, 2008, 05:39 AM
Do you think your luffa will ripen? :)

The fruit may not ripen, but they can be left on the vine and will ripen (dry) over the Winter, and will still be fine for making sponges. I had my plants in early enough, but due to a cold summer they simply didn't grow a fast as normal. Growing the plant in Zone 5 is iffy. I never eat the fruit, only make sponges.

julianna
October 17th, 2008, 06:19 AM
Thanks for that information, Durgan! I was wondering if they would still be useable if they don't dry on the vine... good to know. Now I am really excited about mine :)

RozieDozie
October 17th, 2008, 07:39 AM
My lufa are huge and ripe and many new ones have set, but we have a long, long growing season. I like to eat them when they are very young; they have sort of a squash taste to me. I stirfry them with ginger and garlic, so that's what they taste like. :)

flaquita
October 17th, 2008, 12:47 PM
Mine, have tiny little babies on them, I can't wait to eat them. I love their taste. I cook them with lentils in a sort of Indian squash stew, mmm yummy. Hopefully they will still ripen, we have a while to the first frost yet.
andrea

ovenbird
October 17th, 2008, 01:03 PM
I got a dozen good size gourds on my vines this year. Last year I only got 2 and they were not very big. They were growing all over the neighbors' arborvitae hedge. The vines died so I pulled them down with the gourds on them. I laid them out on the lawn to dry and I turn them over every day or two. Hope to harvest a lot of sponges. I have also called them called "dish rag gourds". Hoe do you make them into dish rags?

journey149
October 17th, 2008, 03:25 PM
does anyone have any gourds to spare, such as birdhouse,apples, luffa

Durgan
October 17th, 2008, 06:47 PM
Thanks for that information, Durgan! I was wondering if they would still be useable if they don't dry on the vine... good to know. Now I am really excited about mine :)

Here is my effort utilizing some that over-winter on the vine in 2007. I found that placing them on the ground caused some damage, but the vine ones were acceptable.

Making Luffah Sponges
Some luffah fruit that was dry was stored in the shed over winter. Others not ripe in the Fall were left on the luffah vine. Today sponges were made. The shed ones had fewer stains, but all were good quality. Usually I make them in the Fall, but neglected to do so in 2007. The seeds cause the stain if the fruit is wet for long periods, since the seeds bleed black dye.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?ZKUBJ 6 April 2008 Making Luffah Sponges. Pictures annotated.

(aka. Luffa, Luffah, Loofa, Loofah, Sze Qwa, Cee Gwa, Sponge Gourd, Dishcloth Gourd

Method to manufacture is simple, and takes little time.
Remove the shell, which is hard and comes off cleanly.
Cut the ends off and shake out the seeds. There are about 30 seeds in each fruit.
Wash in the washing machine with soap, a normal cycle works fine.
Bleach in a pan for a few minutes.
Wash again in the washing machine to remove all bleach with plain water.
Hang up to dry in the sun.

I have one from last year used to clean out the bathtub, and it is still in fine shape.

julianna
October 18th, 2008, 05:01 AM
Do they feel any differently when they are fiberous enough to become dried luffas when they dry? I mean.. right now, my small luffas feel kind of solid, like a summer squash. The larger luffas have a spring to them when you touch them.. is this an indication of their fiberous insides?

Durgan, I was looking for that post where you processed the luffas-- thanks for reposting it!

Durgan
October 18th, 2008, 05:09 AM
Do they feel any differently when they are fiberous enough to become dried luffas when they dry? I mean.. right now, my small luffas feel kind of solid, like a summer squash. The larger luffas have a spring to them when you touch them.. is this an indication of their fiberous insides?

Durgan, I was looking for that post where you processed the luffas-- thanks for reposting it!

I have only been making the sponges three years, and I discovered that the luffa has to be absolutely bone dry or don't even think of making the sponge. I mean absolutely bone dry.

It is a **** of a job to get the seeds out if even slightly damp, and if one seed is left in, the luffa will eventually discolor when in use, due to the color (black) coming out of the seed shell.

julianna
October 18th, 2008, 05:17 AM
Oh no.. I meant if frost kills the vines and you have to dry them inside.. is there a way to tell which ones are amture enough to turn into luffas when dry and which ones you should just toss and let compost?

I didn't know that about the seeds! That's interesting. I was thinking to use mine for various cleaning activities-- if they are able to be dried that is.

Durgan
October 18th, 2008, 06:20 AM
Oh no.. I meant if frost kills the vines and you have to dry them inside.. is there a way to tell which ones are amture enough to turn into luffas when dry and which ones you should just toss and let compost?

I didn't know that about the seeds! That's interesting. I was thinking to use mine for various cleaning activities-- if they are able to be dried that is.

My feeling is leave the fruit on the vines even all winter as opposed to removing and drying inside. To get good sponges the fruit has to be dry. It is not hard to ascertain; the seeds must rattle when the fruit is shaken. The seeds have no value as far I am am concerned, except for growing.

bluelacedredhead
October 18th, 2008, 10:44 PM
Yes, thanks from me too. I think I'll just pick a variety out of a hat when the time comes. I can't decide from the descriptions.

blueslady
October 19th, 2008, 07:52 AM
I grew luffas 2 years ago and couldn't get a few way up high. Last year a couple of volunteer seeds sprouted so I just let them go. Had a few luffa gourds and just left them on the vine. this year had one start and it is in with the silver lace vine and not quite sure if there is a gourd up in there or not. I am just North of Springfield, MO. They are planted near a trellis on the south side of the house.