video If you are tired of annually cutting ornamental shrubs on the arch, but you need to create a life-giving shade, plant a lagenariya. This amazing creeping creeper differs in rather large size and fast growth: in just a few months, the long lashes will completely cover the support, besides, they will also delight in the harvest. The latter, by the way, has a multifaceted application: fruits of the most varied forms can not only be eaten, but also to make original decorative and kitchen utensils from them. Grow lagenariya no more difficult than squash or pumpkin, which are its closest relatives. How to do it, and what types of vines can be planted on your plot, this will be discussed today.
Lagenaria has come to us from far away Africa. It is very thermophilic and is most often grown in the southern regions, although many gardeners successfully cultivate it as a greenhouse culinary culture.
What does a plant look like?
Lagenariya belongs to the pumpkin family and, like all of its representatives, is an annual. The leaves of this creeper are almost the same as in the zucchini: rather large, round, with a velvety surface. The lagenarii have very long, up to 15 m, lashes, but unlike the zucchini and pumpkin, they need vertical support, so the vine is often planted near the arch or arbor. So you can "kill two birds with one stone": decorate the yard with thick foliage and fancy pumpkins, as well as give them the opportunity to ripen. The fact is that if the whips lie on the ground, the fruits will begin to rot and use the results of their labor will not work. True, you can put a litter under them, but, you see, it is difficult to cover such a large area, and not always there is so much free space on the site - it is much easier and more convenient to grow lagenariya on a support.
It should be noted that the support must be stable, reliable and high. Not only that for each week, shoots are stretched to a meter in length, so also the weight of fruits in some varieties can exceed 10 kg, and the length is more than 1 m.
It is interesting that lagenaria blooms at the same time as datur or mattiola:delicate white inflorescences with a heady aroma bloom in the foliage after sunset.
Early in the morning of the next day, fully opened flowers cast a faint pink or cream tone, but then turn pale and close by noon.
As for the shape of the fruit, nature has cleared it all: long “cucumber-mutants”, giant pears, round squash with a flowing head, like chubby overgrown mushrooms, beautiful pumpkins-vases with a long neck or even resembling a snake with their twistingform. ..
In a word, lagenaria can surprise even the most demanding gardeners. Moreover, if desired, the fruits can be given other outlines, which your fantasy only prompts - you just need to tie up a young pumpkin with a rope in the right place and it will gradually shrink.
How to use lagenaria fruits?
Young gourds of lagenaria will be appreciated by gourmets - the sweet taste is very similar to the squash. The main thing is to break them in time, while pumpkin is still soft and juicy flesh, and thin skin. If you miss this moment and let the lagenarii begin to ripen, the flesh becomes hard( some varieties even get a bitter taste), and the shell hardens.
From young fruits you can prepare a lot of delicious dishes:
- caviar like squash;
- vegetable stew stew;
- stuff rice with meat and bake in the oven;
Lagenaria fruits have a unique property: if you cut a piece from them, for example, for a salad, pumpkin continues to grow further, and the cut point is simply jammed and the edges dry out.
When the lagenaria is fully ripe, its skin becomes so strong that it is almost impossible to break a pumpkin. Even after wintering on the street, in most species it does not become soft. Thanks to these properties, the fruits of lagenaria are used to make various small household items, such as dishes, vases, stands, toys, ashtrays, and even musical instruments. Simply make a hole at the top, remove the pulp with wire and dry the pumpkin. Very beautiful colored dishes are obtained if you peel the skin with sandpaper, paint it in gouache and varnish it.
If you store milk in such a “lagenar” jug, it will not turn sour for a long time, and the wine will stay cool for a long time.
The most interesting species of lagenaria
The shape of the creeping vine fruit depends on its variety. Most often, the following types of lagenaria can be found on the plots:
- goose in apples;
- geese swans;
- is club-shaped;
Some varieties of lagenaria are grown for human consumption. Others are so original that, already hanging on the whips, are a work of art. They make beautiful decorative crafts. Let's take a look at these types of vines in more detail.
One of the most decorative varieties, the fruits of which look like giant, up to 50 cm in length, pears, but with an elongated top. Thanks to the narrow neck and the wide lower part, convenient jugs are made of them. With good care, you can grow even a two-meter pear, however, this is not so common. The pumpkin ripens 200 days after sowing seeds. As for the length of the lashes, in a sunny place they can grow up to 15 m.
The variety is similar to Kalabas lagenariya, only the upper part of the fruit is wider and the bottom is slightly less voluminous. The bottle lagenariya is one of the most compact: the length of the lashes it does not exceed 3 m, and the pumpkins themselves grow to a maximum of 70 cm in length. Fruits are rarely used in food, because they have a slightly piquant taste, most often pumpkins are grown for decorative purposes, the seedling method is preferential.
In the scientific literature, the variety is known as the Botles.
The variety is closest to the “homemade” zucchini and completely repeats their shape with smooth, smooth edges, but only if you consider that the zucchini will be simply giant. If young pumpkins cannot be distinguished from a relative, over time, their length reaches an average of about 1 m, and there are also instances up to 2 m, while they weigh 10 kg. Impressive zucchini, is not it? The very same bush has a good branching, and its leaves are more like pumpkin - they are large and covered with a light down.
This is a more elegant and artsy version of the polen-shaped pumpkin - the variety is also characterized by an elongated shape, but the diameter of the fruit is noticeably smaller, and they fancifully bend like a snake, for which they received their name. The total length of such a snake does not usually exceed 70 cm, although it can hang on all 7 kg. The leaf plate is of a medium-sized variety, however, the size of the bush is also quite compact: 2 m in height in an adult plant.
Serpentine lagenaria is more commonly grown for culinary interest. In young fruits no longer than 50 cm long, tasty and sweet, squash, flesh and even leaves have nutritional value.
The variety is distinguished by the beautiful fruits of a rich dark green color with blurry green spots and a mysterious shape. The lower part of the pumpkin is even and round, and the upper part is curved to the side and thin, while at the very stem the “neck” has a thickening resembling the head of a snake. Lagenariya Cobra in home cultivation makes high demands on the temperature regime, so most often it is grown in the southern strip and only seedlings, otherwise the fruits do not have time to ripen before the onset of cold weather.
The variety has not only nutritional and decorative value, but also has healing properties - it can help with excess weight, diseases of the heart, blood vessels, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract.
Lagenaria Goose in apples
The variety resembles Cobra outwardly: the wide fruits at the bottom end at the top with a long, curved “neck” like that of a goose, and also have a dark green color with white spots. Most often, the pumpkin has only a neck, but there are also species when it turns into a slight thickening of the stem, and then the lagenaria looks like a goose with its head. If the vine grows on a support, then the neck of the pumpkins hanging down is flat and does not bend.
You can distinguish between a goose and a cobra by looking at the very tip of the pumpkin at the stem: at the goose it is either flat or ends with a “head”, whereas at a cobra after the “head” the fruit becomes thinner again.
The variety belongs to a tall one, its lashes can rise to a height of 15 meters. On average, the weight of one fruit is 1.5 kg with a total length of 0.5 m, but in a particularly productive year and with proper care, you can grow specimens weighing up to 8 kg, with up to 15 pieces from one plant.
Lagenaria Goose in apples is distinguished not only by abundant fruiting, but also by excellent keeping quality of fruits. Pumpkins ripped off in September can linger until spring without losing their taste.
Another "goose" variety with green spotted fruits. They also build up a long neck, but in Lebidushka it is most often twisted to the side, although if you let lagenariya on the arch, the hanging fruits will be with a smooth neck. The variety belongs to the decorative, not eaten because of the bitter taste of pumpkins. Scourge grow long, the leaves are large, smooth.
The shape of the fruit is almost the same as the Goose in apples. You can distinguish these two types of lagenaria by looking at the bush itself. If the Goose is a large-sized liana with long lashes, the Swan Geese belong to compact varieties, because their length does not exceed 1.5 m. In addition, they have smaller leaves.
You can make interesting souvenirs from unusual fruits, and young squashes, until they have grown into a length of more than 30 cm, are used for food.
The variety is characterized by strong growth and shape diversity: pumpkins can be in the form of a bottle, pear or cylinder. The neck is elongated, flat or curved or with a thickening at the top. Color varies from pure green to spotty dark green. Young Hostess has good taste, make various crafts from ripe fruits.
The variety is something between a serpentine and a polenoid lagenaria: fruits are elongated, like the first, but with more even outlines, like the second variety. But the color is often saturated green, although there are also long green light zucchini. Cilindrical lagenaria at a young age is very tasty in pickled or canned form. From the ripe fruit make decorative dishes.
One of the most "ugly" varieties, not all are taken to grow it, but not because of the difficulty of care, but because of the interesting, but repulsive form of the fruit. However, with the shape of a pumpkin, everything is clear - it can be both standard, round and small, and elongated, but rather thick and huge. The color is often lime or cream-orange. But what is most interesting is the large growths in the form of warts, almost completely covering the lagenaria.
A pumpkin slightly elongated at the bottom smoothly transforms into a long and narrow “neck”, and this resembles a mace - this is what the fruit of the variety looks like. They are light green, with blurred white spots, the leaves of a liana are pale green, of medium size, blooms with large white bells. In a sunny place it grows long rods, and pumpkin sizes can reach up to 2 m in length.
One of the smallest varieties in terms of the size of the fruit, thanks to which this lagenaria cannot be confused with other species. Small pumpkins grow no more than 40 cm in length and consist of two rounded parts in the form of separate courgettes dressed at each other:
- is painted cream-colored lower, has a wavy but steady bottom;
- top looks like an orange-red hat, the edges of which are slightly protruding.
The variety is also called the Red, Oriental or Turkish turban, and the pumpkins themselves can be painted with green stripes, mostly in the lower part. Lagenaria blooms with yellow large inflorescences.
How to grow lagenaria?
Planting and caring for lagenaria will not cause much trouble, given the nuances of its development. First of all, it concerns the method of planting seeds. Like all pumpkin crops, the vine is very demanding on heat, so it can most often be found in southern latitudes, although it is possible to grow outlandish fruits in the middle lane.
Depending on the place of cultivation and climatic conditions, the seeds are planted in one of the following ways:
- Immediately into open ground. This option is acceptable only in the south, since germination requires at least 25 degrees of heat deep in the soil, and the fruits must have time to ripen before the onset of cold weather. Seeds can be sown no earlier than May in shallow grooves, after shedding them with hot water with a small amount of potassium permanganate. For the first time, it is better to cover the landing site with a film so that shoots appear faster.
- On the seedlings. The method is suitable for the middle band. Seeds should be sown in April, and in June transplanted seedlings in the garden. By this time the bushes should be at least 10 cm in height. In each hole you can put a little humus and wood ash.
Growing lagenaria in a greenhouse will allow you to get closer to the time of harvest and to insure the crop against early autumn frosts.
When planting in rows between bushes, it is necessary to leave 25 to 70 cm, and be sure to provide a support so that the vine can curl and the fruits do not lie on the ground.
Features of sowing seeds
Lagenaria seeds, although it is a relative of a pumpkin, are distinguished by their shape and structure. They are elongated, square below and have a sloping top. Two light stripes are drawn along the seed. But the skin is very dense, even stronger than that of certain types of pumpkin, so without special preparation lagenaria grows for quite a long time.
There are two ways to speed up the sprouting of sprouts:
- Carefully cut the tip.
- Soak the seeds in a growth stimulator for a day and place for a week in wet sawdust for germination at a temperature of 23 degrees or higher.
Where to plant and how to care for Lagenaria?
The liana of the zucchini family is the largest and bountiful crop in a sunny place, protected from drafts. In such conditions, the bush itself will grow large and powerful, in the penumbra the leaves and fruits will be small. Decorative pumpkin prefers fertile light soil with a neutral or low acidity.
Lagenaria care is simple and consists of simple and familiar to the gardener procedures, namely:
- If there is no rain, water twice a week( 2-3 buckets under the shrub).With the beginning of autumn, when the fruits ripen, watering can be stopped.
- During the season, feed with mullein and mineral complexes, alternating them.
- If the support is not high, to limit vertical growth and stimulate branching, pinch the sticks after they have reached about 3 m in length. Such a procedure will not only keep growth, but also contribute to the tying of female inflorescences, giving the crop.
Each lagenaria bush should have a support in the form of an arch, tree, fence, or special ladder. As the bush grows, the lash should be tied up every meter and guided so that the antennae can catch on.
To get your own seed variant for breeding lagenaria, you need to leave the first ovary. To increase the number of seeds in a pumpkin, it is recommended to artificially pollinate the female inflorescence with several male flowers. If the fetus does not have time to ripen to the cold, it does not matter - it can be cut with a part of the whip and allowed to ripen at room temperature. Good ripened seeds will be brownish in color, and they can be stored for up to 10 years with little or no loss of germination percentage.
In conclusion, I would like to say that lagenaria is simply an extremely useful vegetable for giving. It will create a pleasant shadow in the courtyard, allow you to admire the delicate flowers and breathe in their pleasant aroma, decorate the area with fancy garlands of original fruits that can be used for creativity or for culinary purposes. Grow this unique plant and let all the neighbors be jealous!