Luffas are easy to grow, once they get going. The seedlings tend to be a bit weedy but if you can coax them through their early fragile stage, they will be off and running. Mine grow up through my olive trees and are also happy along the fence.

They display a large yellow flower before forming luffas which look a bit like big cucumbers.

 Leave them on the plant until they turn yellowy brown and look dry and papery.

At this point, cut them from the vine and bash the bottom of the luffa on the ground.

The dry skin will crack and lots of shiny black seeds will fall out.

Now peel off the dry skin, getting your fingers under the cracks. It should come off quite easily and the drier it is the less gooey stuff there will be on the fibre inside.

When you've got all the skin off, give it a good blast with the hose to rinse off the goo and to rinse out any seeds remaining inside. Leave to dry and then you have a home grown sponge.

Wicked luffas!

I'm inspired! This year we have a bit more space on our plot in Hackney, London - and a few GYOW luffa seeds. There is a fence to grow them up and a relatively sunny/sheltered spot. May be unlikely, but will let you know if we manage to grow any.

Great pix too - really shows how to dry and peel them.

Luffas in Hackney

would love to hear how you get on with your luffas in Hackney!! Glad you enjoyed the pics.