Growing Food

How to Grow Your Own Luffa (Loofah)!

Luffa blog post
This unusual squash vine is so much fun to grow in the garden! What’s great is that you can eat these just like any squash or you can let them dry and turn them into sponges to use in your kitchen or bathroom! It’s so much fun to grow and it makes really great, unique gifts!

How to Grow:

You can get a head start on planting your seeds indoors if you would like 6 weeks before your last spring frost. You can plant them outdoors 2 weeks after your last spring frost. They can be continually planted throughout the summer as long as you give them enough time to mature before your first fall frost! You can see specific dates for your location using our FREE iOS, Android, and Universal Web App.

Plant your luffa seeds 1 inch deep by a trellis. Plant 1 every 1-2 square foot in the full sun.  Take care to notice what plants are around the area as well, see the companion plant section below. Your luffa seeds will sprout in approximately 7-14 days. Water weekly.

Companion Plants:

Companion planting is a vital part of organic gardening. Companion plants assist in the growth of others by attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, or providing nutrients, shade, or support. There are also plants that do not like being next to each other. Some plants get too tall and can provide too much shade for your plant. Sometimes certain plants attract the same pests, so it is important to try and separate these. Herbs are especially great companion plants because they help to repel pests from your other plants!

         Good Bad
Beans (Pole) Onions Banana Peppers
Catnip Oregano Bell Peppers
Corn Peas Hot Peppers
Marigolds Radish Potatoes
Marjoram Sunflowers Tomatoes (Bush)
Nasturtiums Tarragon Tomatoes (Vine)
Okra    

See companion plants for 70+ foods in our FREE iOS, Android, and Universal Web app!

Pests:

Pests can be one of the most difficult challenges you face in the garden. We strive to grow food without the use of pesticide and luckily there are natural solutions for most of these nasty pests! The pests listed below are common pests for <plant name>:

Learn more about how to manage pests and attract beneficial insects in our FREE iOS, Android, and Universal Web App!

Harvesting:

Luffa will be ready to harvest within 150-200 days. If you are growing to eat luffa then harvest when they are smaller, around 4-6 inches long. Simply twist and it will break away from the vine easily when ready to harvest. If you are wanting sponges, let luffas dry on the vine if there is no danger of frost or pick to dry inside if risk of frost. You will know that your luffa is ready to harvest for a sponge when the skin is loose and dry. Hit the luffa against a hard surface to help break away skin and seeds.

Cooking & Eating!

Luffas are cooked similar to other types of squash. It tastes sweet when pulled at their small size. Luffas are great to add into a stirfry or simply sauteed!

 

Learn more about growing over 70 different foods, including how to manage various pests in our FREE iOS, Android, or new Universal Web App!

luffa

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