It's nearing that time to begin planting gourds, and my new podcast is all about the gourd patch. I'm including several pictures here to add to the information I'll be sharing. Those of you who have grown gourds before, especially in the South, will be familiar with at least one of these creatures. Top left is the southern spotted cucumber beetle. Top right is the striped cucumber beetle found in other parts of the country. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucumber_beetle)Left is the squash vine borer moth. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squash_vine_borer) Center are squash vine borer larvae and frass. Right are squash bug eggs and below their nymphs. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squash_bug) Most important to keep in mind when growing gourds or any other crop is garden hygiene: keep your garden free of spent vines, limbs or other debris. Good drainage will prevent your crops from being too damp which can lead to fungal infections. Pictured here on the left is bacterial wilt. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacterial_wilt) On the right is powdery mildew. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powdery_mildew) These are not only unsightly, but are also very detrimental to your gourds' health and development. Thanks to Wikipedia for the photos of these bugs and plant maladies. As always, I welcome comments.