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Author Topic: Courgette problems  (Read 450 times)

Babstom

  • Joined Dec 2016
Courgette problems
« on: July 17, 2017, 09:48:32 am »
Can anyone help? Courgettes are behaving oddly and hoping someone could give some pointers. I've 3 courgette plants in 4 foot square 2ft high bed, a mix of compost and cow manure. Plants grew well, but 2 in particular have gone a bits nuts producing lots and I mean lots of tiny courgettes. The only thing I can describe it as is a head of broccoli (if that makes sense). None of the fruits are maturing fully but we're managing to cut finger sized fruits from the 3rd plant. Has anyone else experienced and rectified this or am I better giving the bed over to something else? Could it be the cow manure being too rich? It's first time I've used it.Thanks to anyone who can offer some advice. I've tried to attach a pic but file is too large (any pointers on reducing size of file would also be appreciated  :-\)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Courgette problems
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 11:25:11 am »
It could well be that the cow manure is too strong or fresh.  We had that once with tomatoes where the top growth was haywire.  They grew out of it.  How about removing most of the tiny flowers as soon as you see they are female, as you would with overcrowded apples?  Are there plenty of male flowers and bees for pollination?  That is a frequent cause of courgettes not growing properly past the initial stage.
I would persevere and see if the plants get through this setback.  On the other hand, depending on where you are, there might be time to sow a few more plants to see if they turn out better.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

Terry T

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Norfolk
Re: Courgette problems
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 01:46:10 pm »
Hi there,
  I've not had this problem but it could be a number of things. 
-I'd have thought the most likely is some kind of chemical poisoning, perhaps from the cow dung if the cows have grazed on land treated with broadleaf herbicide.
-Could also be a natural mutation - perhaps a dodgy seed batch?

I'd be surprised if it was too strong a nutrient level - courgettes like a lot of muck and if it was too raw, the leaves would have been scorched and the growth stunted.

Tomatoes are a little different in that they often lose their apical dominance - their drive to grow from the top of the plant-and can easily revert from normal vegetative growth to flowering growth and back again. 

Not sure any of this is really any help though and for most places it will be rather late for sowing now, baby courgette it is...

Babstom

  • Joined Dec 2016
Re: Courgette problems
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2017, 01:12:25 am »
Hi and thanks for responding. There's plenty male flower and bees so thinking the pollination isn't the problem. I did pinch out a couple clumps of fruit earlier to see if it gives room for others to develop and might hang fire to see if it makes a difference. I only used the cow manure for the courgette bed so might do some experimenting,  plant some beets or lettuce in both manures and see if there's a difference. Hoping chemical poisoning isn't the cause, we've already eaten some of the little blighters! ????

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Courgette problems
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2017, 11:03:03 am »
If it is aminopyralid toxicity from the cow manure, you will need to get rid of it, but of course you would want to be sure.  Do a search for details.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

Babstom

  • Joined Dec 2016
Re: Courgette problems
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2017, 11:52:32 am »
Thanks again for advice . Think I'll be doing  some research.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Courgette problems
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2017, 08:45:57 pm »
I think it is much more likely to be related to or associated with the fact that the sex of the flowers produced by the plant is not going very well .

 Nature times the female flower to start to open  when the make flower starts to produce pollen ( or the other way round .)

 Look up pollinating of curbits & IIRC you'll see what I'm on about

BER ...Blossom End Rot .
The flower end of the courgettes & curbits   hold a lot of bacteria ,  cool  damp conditions this leads to the ends of  one of the sexes going rotten.

 Once you have set flowers ,,, those flowers starting to turn to courgettes you can feed the plants with a pint of correctly dilute tomato feet  once a week .....watered in & around the main root stem .

 We have been laying the low lying  courgettes on  pieces of clean white plastic to see if we can get over the problem , for we too have  only be able to get pencil thick 3 inch long courgettes so far this year .

 
Come to think of it I'll have a read up of old Percy  Throwers gardening encyclopedia book from the early 1960's to see what he recommended .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Courgette problems
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2017, 08:58:30 pm »
In Percy's book  & D G Hessayan's the vegetable & herb expert  it says a common cause of small or few  fruits is poor pollination .... too wet too cold ..

 So give nature a hand
Fertilize two or three female flowers in one go  (  there is a very tiny marrow looking growth behind the flower )
A male flower has the thin stalk without any swelling behind the flower base , It also has some long thin straggly leaves directly at the base of the flower

    Simply cut off a male flower on the thin stem &  put the head of the male flower that has pollen on it in to the mouths of two or three female flowers giving it a gentle wriggle each time .

 It''s best done in mornings that are dry days so turn of the automatic sprinklers if you have them  ........ for a few days .

 Don't let the ground dry out either .
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 02:23:53 pm by cloddopper »
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

 

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