Loofah (Sponge guard)
Learn How to grow Loofah in containers, Growing condition Sponge guard, Harvesting Luffa gourd (Loofah), How to make the sponge in this article. Loofah, Sponge gourd (Lufaaegyptiaca), Luffa gourd, also called Egyptian cucumber, Vietnamese luffa or dishcloth gourds, it is mainly grown for their useful fibrous tissue skeleton.
Its young fruits can be eaten as a vegetable, loofah is an annual tropical or sub-tropical climbing vine. Many people use this sponge for organic baths too. The method of growing it is just like the ridge guards. This grows well in USDA hardiness zone 6 and above, if you live in cooler areas, then you can start it indoors because they have a long growing season.
Scientific name Luffaaegyptiaca
Common name Loofah, Luffa gourd, Sponge gourd
Plant type Vegetable
Sun required Full Sun
Flower color Yellow
Soil Well-drained, organic-rich soil
Soil PH 6.0- 6.8
Zone 6- and above
Growing condition Sponge guard
It is pleasant to plant the Loofah (Sponge guard) in your garden but you have to be patient. Luffa is sensitive to cold, its fruit gets mature first, and then turns into a dry sponge, you have to wait a lot.
Planting sponge gourds
Sponge gourd can be planted very easily by seeds when the danger of hard frost passes, then in the spring, you plant the seed in the same way as if you sow any squash, pumpkin or melon. Around the fencing of your house or any other climbing surface, plant it by making hills. If its fruit gets a place to hang, then the fruit avoid getting worse.
Soil and Location
Sponge guard needs a well-drained and organic soil, these plants complete the sun and good air circulation, so plant it in the open area where there are 6-8 hours of sunshine. Test the soil before planting, pH level of 6.0 to 6.8. To maintain moisture in the soil and to protect the plant, the mulch should be used.
After all the hazards of frost have passed, sow your seeds in the 8 to 12 inches apart with fencing. Scrap the seed coat with a file for good germination or soak the seeds at least 20 hours in water. Its seeds take much time in germination, so gardeners should not lose their faith.
Begin planting the seeds several weeks before the last frost. Separate one to three plants from 6 feet apart to one hill.
How to grow Loofah in containers
- For those areas where the time of growing season is short, you can start seeds in the containers before the date of the previous frost, highly recommended for the growers living in zone 6.
- Loofah grows large roots so they should be planted in large containers.
- Seeds are often different in size and make a bigger depth than the size of the seed, and place 2 to 3 seeds in 1/2 to 3/4 inches depth in each pot in the potting soil. Read more.
When your sponge gourd flowers begin to appear, then some small green gourd appear behind them and others do not appear, because the gourd has both male and female flowers. This female flower is grown which grow small guards and men are present only to pollen them.
If you see that after the flower closure, gourds seem shrinking, more pollinators may be needed at this time. Throw one of the recently opened male flowers, and then rub the pollen center against the sticky seduction, which is inside the female flowers.
Harvesting Luffa gourd (Loofah)
When fruits of Luffa gourd is green and soft then it is brought in the use of the vegetable, and when it starts turning yellow or brown, it is ready to harvest for the sponge. If Frost is the chance, then you choose your green Gourd, although they are difficult to peel but still good, and if they get freeze then the fruit will be damaged.
Luffa gourd care
- The care of Loofah is similar to caring for cucumbers or melons.
- Sponge gourd performs best with slightly acidic soil, pH level of 6.0 to 6.8.
- Improvement of soil drainage if necessary, and if there is poor soil then add essential nutrients to it.
- Always keep moisture in the soil, make strong support for good production.
- Once the plants start growing, remove all the first flowers, and separate any male flowers and first four lateral branches. You will receive strengthen fruit by doing this.
- Before the first frost remove luffa fruit from the vine. Follow the instructions below for cleaning and preparation of fruits. Read more.
How to make the sponge
- Separate the mature guards with the vine with a knife or turn.
- Keep it in warm water until the skin above the Loofah separates from the internal fiber; It may take several days.
- Remove the skin from the fiber, separate all the seeds inside the gourds, rinse the fiber well and wash the pulp. Remove any dark spots from the whole sponge.
- If there is any kind of dark spots in the sponge, soak the entire sponge for about 30 minutes in bleach and 10 percent solution of water to remove it. Read more.