Why buy loofah from you local supermarket when you can harvest it at home? Growing and harvesting loofah at home is also a chance for you to make a business out of selling loofah. Loofah is basically the fibrous part of the cucumber-like fruit called sponge gourd. Growing them in your garden is very similar to growing any other vegetable in your garden. They thrive well in hot conditions, but they can grow in almost all climatic conditions. But growing sponge gourd can require quite an amount of patience, because they take longer time than other plants to produce fruits and then you have to wait for them mature and dry out before you can extract them for loofah.
The most important point to be kept in mind to make loofah at home is, knowing when to harvest and peel the sponge gourd. Loofah fruits hang on to their vines until they become dry and fall off. But once it is dry, the skin breaks rather than peeling off smoothly. So the best time to harvest is when it almost dry but still has a bit of moisture in it. It enables smooth peeling of the outer skin. The best indicator to know when to harvest is the color of the loofah fruit. If it turns brown or dark yellow then, it is ok (they are green when they are unripe.
Select the loofah that you are going to harvest. As explained earlier, you can choose the loofah that has turned brown or dark yellow. Sometimes even if they turn a shade of light green then it is ok to pick if the skin feels loose, thin and easy to peel.
You can harvest the sponge gourd fruit by gently twisting the fruit along the stem or you can cut it using garden scissors or shears.
Bang the loofah against a hard surface. This will loosen the skin and dislodge the seeds inside. Take care not to break the structure of the fruit.
Make a small cut at either the top or bottom and tilts the sponge gourd to remove all the seeds from the inside. Then gently peel off the skin to expose the fibrous loofah.
Clean the loofah with hose to remove the sap dirt. Once you have hosed it down you have clean ready to use a loofah.
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