(Lagenaria siceraria); Minimum 20 seeds
Pronounced "Boo-lay", this French heirloom gourd is grown for its thick, notably strong, and distinctively warty shell. Volleyball-sized fruits when cured make unique containers, though a strong saw is needed to cut through the shell. Yes, perhaps more ornamental than staple crop, like most Lagenaria, Bule's fragrant white blossoms open at dusk, attracting the night pollinating moths which in turn helps feed our bat population, beneficial in our opinion!
Vines are very vigorous climbers and do well trained horizontally on a cattle panel. Fruits mature in ~110 days though I leave them until the vines die, covering the plants if a September light frost comes, harvesting mid-October. An interesting production note - when you remove the growing tip of a main vine it forces the plant to send out more secondary vines which seems to improve the concurrent set of male and female blossoms resulting in more fruit production. I aim to pinch the tips after main vines reach at least 15 feet.
To save fruits for container use, lightly wash them after harvest. Store in a well-ventilated warm location but not out-of-sight-out-of-mind as you want to monitor their dry-down progress, removing any that develop soft spots - fuzzy mold is okay! Depending on the gourd and the storage conditions, it can take up to 60 days for the shell to dry.
Read more at Gardening Know How: Information On Bule Gourd Plants https://blog.gardeningknowhow.com/tbt/information-bule-gourd-plan