Last spring I decided I was going to give Luffa farming a try. Typically, when I decide to try something new, I just jump in with both feet, go way overboard and worry about the consequences later. It’s just the way I am when it comes to my creative endeavors. But this time, thank goodness, I tried to be more conservative and started out small. I started with only 12 plants and after making several mistakes and having a terrible summer in Missouri for Luffa farming, I ended the year with 2 luffas. Yes, that is it! There is no one else in the world that was as proud of my 2 luffas as I was, but let’s face it, it was not a great first year.
But as the winter went on (and on and on and on, it seemed), I began to get excited about Luffa Farming – Year 2. I learned a lot last year and if Mother Nature cooperates a little bit, I’m hoping to have a much better season.
One of the first decisions I made was to purchase a different seed. I don’t know that a different seed would have made much of a difference last year with the short summer that we had, but I am excited to try something new. At the Mother Earth News Fair last October I met the folks at Botanical Interests and was able to talk to them about the luffa gourd seeds that they have. I purchased my seeds this year from them and am excited to see how they work for me.
Luffas need a very long growing season, 110 days at least. This year I planted my seeds indoors earlier than I did last year so that I had a more mature plant to start with. I also used a plant light to give my seeds the warmest and lightest start possible. I really think it made a difference.
I started around 60 plants indoors. To prepare a good place for my luffas this year, I purchased 2 cattle panels just for my luffa farming project. We attached the panels to posts which gave us about 32 feet of space for the luffas to grow and vine to their hearts content.
I got the 60 plants in the ground today. We are off to a much warmer start this season and if we don’t have an early freeze in the fall, my luffas will have plenty of time to mature.
We have placed temporary fencing around the luffa garden just until the plants mature some. I don’t want my chickens to uproot the plants while they are still so young and tender.
Watch for more posts to see how Luffa Farming – Year 2 is coming along.