GOURD – LUFFA
A vigorous annual vine. Young fruits are used as a squash substitute, mature fruits are dried and used as a bathroom sponge. Sow in spring. Sap in the Luffa vines and leaves contains a bitter compound with a musky smell that seems to repel insects and animals. When fully matured, you peel off the dried & crisp outer shell to expose the fibrous sponge. To clean your Luffa, you wash it in clean water & then soak it in a solution of bleach & water & allow to dry in the sun.
Soak seed in warm water for 2 hours before sowing. Germinate singly in pots, at 20-30°C (68-86F) on the surface of a good free draining, damp seed compost. Apply a sprinkling of compost or vermiculite, 6mm (¼in) thick. Seal container inside a polythene bag until after germination. Do not exclude light at any stage as this is beneficial to germination.
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