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| Harvesting Luffa Pods and Seeds |
Question from: Frankie Ouimette
Posted on: September 28, 2005
Last fall I purchased luffa seeds and now I have a plant producing pods. My problem is that I do not know how to pick, clean and dry luffas and seeds for next year. I understood that I was able to clean out the pods and dry the seeds and replant next year. I do not know how to do any of this and am getting anxious to get it all done before frost comes to my plants.
Do you just peel the pods then dry the luffas and once dried, scoop the seeds out?
The only pods that will produce usable scrub pads and mature seeds are the ones that become lighter in weight due to drying on maturing. They usually turn yellow and better yet, brown or even black. You can harvest the ones that have become lighter and if frost hits the plant, havest all reasonably ripe pods and hang them in the house to let them ripen there. The skin comes off easier if the pods are a bit drier. When they are reasonably dry, you can cut a hole in the bottom to speed drying. The drier the pods are the easier it is to get the seeds out.
If the fiber is not white enough for you, you can bleach it for an hour in a weak Javex solution -it will weaken the fiber though- or put it into the sun to bleach.