Summers are hot here, so I’d been looking for some ideas to shade the chicken coop when I came across a great idea from another chicken pet owner. I bought some loofah or luffa seeds from her and could not wait to plant them. I knew that they were slow growing, but could grow up to 30 feet long vines, so I put a trellis over part of the coop area to create some shade.

It’s late August now, and this one seed provides so much shade for the chickens on those long summer days. The Luffa is part of the Gourd family. It produces really long gourds that can be harvested in the fall for a bath sponge but also are good treats for our ever growing chicken flock.

They also have the prettiest bright yellow flower bloom which attracts lots of pollinators (and good thing because my garden is nearby).

The Luffa plant is a slow growing vine normally harvested in fall, as it needs lots of sunshine and water. This has been such a success, I’m already thinking of expanding my trellis to cover more area in the coop for next spring. Just look at all that coverage! This plant has surprised me with all its growth and I can’t wait to harvest the seeds for next year!