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  • Luffa

    I had it in my mind to grow some of these this year, I've got some plants ready to plant, but now thinking if perhaps the premium space might be better filled with something else?
    Has anyone grown these, indoors/outdoors, did they do any good, any tips? I'm just dithering over what to plant out and how many, grateful for any info.

  • #2
    I’m afraid I can’t help with any experiences of growing luffa, but use of space for cucurbits is on my mind too. I have a new squash bed, about 40’ by 4’6”. I’ve planted 14 maxima squashes in it. I think this is rather too many. I suppose they can spread onto the grass at the side so perhaps no harm done. We’ll see.

    Comment


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Exactly my thought. But there is a small risk of this fungal black rot Didymella bryoniae. Which was most likely caused by my Sweet Meat being grown on grass. However, in the end the loss was not great and this year I have planted onto proper beds, but with scramble room onto the grass. Sibley, Todo el A~no and Buttercup for maxima. Also Thelma Sanders a pepo that also likes to roam.

    • Jang
      Jang commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the reassurance. Mine mostly have a bit more than 3’.
      And I suppose I can aim to poke a piece of cardboard or landscape fabric under any particularly prized fruit as it develops.

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Do you think grass clippings/mulch would cause the same problem with fungal black rot Didymella bryoniae as growing on grass?

  • #3
    Well, I'm so glad I only planted a few of these in the end, cos they are having a major sulk and I'm thinking there's a good reason they are not grown more often in the UK!

    Comment


    • Jang
      Jang commented
      Editing a comment
      At least they’re not taking up too much room that way. And there are only so many luffas a household can accommodate!

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Lol, just trying to do my little bit reduce air miles, plastic and what not. But as I'm just about to cover some ground with black plastic it makes it all a bit of a joke!

  • #4
    Hmm, progress -
    This is the 'best one'

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    And the 'saddest'

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    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Oooh, nice selection.
      I'm growing Alvaro F1 and Anasta F1, not very exciting! Some in the poly-tunnel and a few Alvaro out on the plot as the packet says suitable for growing outdoors- hmm unlikely but I thought I'd give it a whirl!

    • Jang
      Jang commented
      Editing a comment
      Interesting to see whether there’s any chance of Alvaro ripening put of doors. That ought to suggest it might at least ripen easily under cover!

      In the past I’ve found it relatively easy to get juicy melons but not so easy to get fully sweet ones. This is the second year I’ve tried them in the ground, without huge success last time. Slower to warm up I suppose. Perhaps this current hot spell will encourage them. Good luck.

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm afraid I've been neglecting mine and just left them to their own devices now they are a right jumble. I've finally, a mix of male/female flowers and I did try a bit of hand pollinating yesterday so thank you for your post. That was my hope that a poly-tunnel would provide enough comfort for them.

      You too

  • #5
    Oh my, the 'biggest' plant is still under 2' high but giving hope for a homegrown bath scrub.

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    • Jang
      Jang commented
      Editing a comment
      Certainly there’s promise there! Fingers crossed. 🤞

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Yet to spot anything male-looking on the plants, but yes a little promise.

  • #6
    What a difference, a week -ish of sunshine and the little Luffies are starting to look happy, they are finally noticeably growing (all except the smallest who is still a sulky luf).

    Comment


    • triffid
      triffid commented
      Editing a comment
      Amazing what a week of decent weather can accomplish. Looking at the beans and squash today and thought 'Who are you? And what have you done with the sad little vines that live here?'

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      I know it's almost like that first look around the garden after getting back from holiday, not that I've done that for a few years. My squash patch has really gone a bit bonkers.

    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      My sweetcorn has doubled in size over the last 3 days after a thorough sulk after planting out. Despite being started properly, each in a deep toilet roll inner, which was properly torn away at the top to allow for good contact with the soil. But now it has just galloped. Wonderful. Two squashes too. I already have 5 set buttercup squashes and several custard marrows. But Sibley and Todo el Ano (should have a tilde on the n or it means something rude) are still not producing any female flowers at all. Need to give them a good talking to also

  • #7
    Well, we have female flowers just no males yet. I'm wondering if luffa need a good long season as well as a nice bit of warmth to succeed?

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    Male buds
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    • #8
      I was giving up hope but finally a fruit set

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      and hopefully these two will carry on growing.

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      • Jang
        Jang commented
        Editing a comment
        Looking promising. You’ll be scrubbing that back yet.

      • jayb
        jayb commented
        Editing a comment
        I hope so.

    • #9
      A few more loofa or luffa (never quite sure which it is) are in the making. Overall, in all honesty, it's not much of a return. But I'm sure I can grow them better and I think for next time an earlier sowing and more sunshine as the plants were swamped and shaded between climbing beans and the tall sweetcorn growing in the poly. Hopefully, there will be some ripe seeds to save for next year, the bees adore the flowers. Plus I've bought a pack of Luffa seeds from Real Seeds to see if they are a bit more adapted than the ones I grew this year.
      In the background is my one and only Johnson County Greasy bean plant, I think it has designs on poly-tunnel domination.

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      • #10
        Give them time, growing nicely.

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        • jayb
          jayb commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm not sure time is on their side, but you are right I shouldn't be impatient. It's still warm enough at the moment and I think having cleared out the sweetcorn will give them a boost of light.

        • Galina
          Galina commented
          Editing a comment
          Seen somebody else's on the allotment group on fb and they looked just like yours in development This seems to be normal for lufah. to add another spelling.

        • jayb
          jayb commented
          Editing a comment
          Cheers, that gives me hope. I noticed a couple more little female flowers coming along, I'll go have a chat
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