The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Gardens => Topic started by: Ghdp on July 11, 2019, 09:05:56 pm

Title: courgettes forming fruit- then starting to yellow at flower end and drop off
Post by: Ghdp on July 11, 2019, 09:05:56 pm
All in the title really. Plants all look healthy and green (but still small). They are in raised beds and competing for water due to thirsty poplars nearby so I have tried to accommodate that. Too much water? Too little? Something else. All suggestions gratefully received.
Title: Re: courgettes forming fruit- then starting to yellow at flower end and drop off
Post by: Fleecewife on July 11, 2019, 10:37:25 pm
This often happens early in the season.  The flowers are not being pollinated, either because there are not enough pollinators, or because there are no male flowers with viable pollen yet.
Title: Re: courgettes forming fruit- then starting to yellow at flower end and drop off
Post by: macgro7 on July 12, 2019, 12:33:51 am
Yes basically they're not pollinated.
Title: Re: courgettes forming fruit- then starting to yellow at flower end and drop off
Post by: chrismahon on July 12, 2019, 06:53:19 am
You can avoid this problem by cutting off a male flower complete with stem, peeling off the petals and dipping the remainder into the female flowers. This is something I always do and get fruit from the second flower onwards- the first one is always tiny.


Not sure you can over-water courgettes. Our plants get 5 litres a day and are grown in the compost heap to save space in the beds. Best watering using upturned bottles, which puts the water straight in at root level.


To give you an insight into how different our season is down here, the courgette plants are just about finished. Went to the tip yesterday and someone had already dug theirs out and put them in the green waste skip.
Title: Re: courgettes forming fruit- then starting to yellow at flower end and drop off
Post by: Ghdp on July 12, 2019, 01:30:22 pm
Thanks all. I shall not panic yet then. In my head i am planning how i am going to eat them ( i understand that  soon I will be wondering what on earth I can possibly do with another one!)
Title: Re: courgettes forming fruit- then starting to yellow at flower end and drop off
Post by: oor wullie on July 13, 2019, 08:41:25 am
The weather has been so rubbish the last month that there aren't that many pollinators about - I have been having to hand pollinate my courgettes or the rot at the end as you describe.

Title: Re: courgettes forming fruit- then starting to yellow at flower end and drop off
Post by: Terry T on July 14, 2019, 09:27:55 am
When do yours start fruiting Chrismahon? Can you put a second late sowing in or is the climate no good by end of July?
Title: Re: courgettes forming fruit- then starting to yellow at flower end and drop off
Post by: chrismahon on July 14, 2019, 11:43:08 am
They were bought and planted out 29th March Terry. We had to fleece them for 3 days because of frosts later, which slowed them down a bit, but despite that the first decent fruits were picked 20th May. They will all be finished this week.


We have two problems in July which are lack of rain and intense sun. If they survived the sun (insufficient root development) then we wouldn't have enough water for them. Anyway we have loads sliced and stored in the freezer, so don't need any more.


We'll start planting again in September. Over-wintering crops, so in theory we can double crop all the veg beds. The main crop potatoes came out a few days ago and leeks are ready to go in the beds. Parsnip seeds are going in as well. Early days yet- we keep a eye on what the locals are growing although we are well ahead of them with tomatoes (fleeced ours and have a debris netting frame for hail) and are picking the first now. They will finish as the second sowing starts, which should finish before the frosts in November.


We attract our pollinators with Lavender plants.
Title: Re: courgettes forming fruit- then starting to yellow at flower end and drop off
Post by: Fleecewife on July 14, 2019, 12:36:51 pm
It's really interesting to hear your different growing regime chrismahon  :garden:   Can you grow things such as runner beans or do you have to stick to french beans because of the heat?  I have to grow my runners in the polytunnel, but their season is much shorter than if I could grow them outside (but it's too cold and windy).
Title: Re: courgettes forming fruit- then starting to yellow at flower end and drop off
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on July 14, 2019, 11:51:43 pm
Thanks all. I shall not panic yet then. In my head i am planning how i am going to eat them ( i understand that  soon I will be wondering what on earth I can possibly do with another one!)



A few years ago I bought a wonderful cookbook called 'What shall I do with all those courgettes.' I don't know if it's still in print but it's worth looking out for.
Title: Re: courgettes forming fruit- then starting to yellow at flower end and drop off
Post by: chrismahon on July 15, 2019, 06:33:50 am
Not keen on runner beans Fleecewife, but we have French beans in. They are not doing well in a new bed we created for two reasons, firstly the ground is badly depleted and we didn't have enough compost, secondly 5 of 10 plants died showing signs of  residual weedkiller damage. The previous owner used it everywhere, particularly on the driveway where rainwater runoff put it into the fruit trees. This year we have had  a bumper crop off everything as we don't use weedkiller, just a blowtorch or pull them out by hand.


Heat is a big issue and to protect the plants we apply a leaf mulch over the soil- that works really well and ultimately will improve the soil as it is dug into the beds over winter when the soil is soft enough.
Title: Re: courgettes forming fruit- then starting to yellow at flower end and drop off
Post by: Ghdp on July 17, 2019, 10:40:59 pm
A few years ago I bought a wonderful cookbook called 'What shall I do with all those courgettes.' I don't know if it's still in print but it's worth looking out for.

Thanks MGW. My son found me a copy