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What is wrong with our courgette plants?

(8 Posts)
CoffeeCrazedMama Fri 26-Sep-08 16:21:38

Months ago we planted courgette seedlings and they have thrived with lots of big healthy flowers. The only thing is, courgettes have not been forthcoming.

The flowers' stalks get longer and longer, rather than thickening into courgettes. Eventually the flower falls off.

Is there some special procedure we are supposed to have carried out, like when you pinch out tomato plants?

This is our first attempt - we had expected to be over-run with courgettes, but nothing sad.

WigWamBam Fri 26-Sep-08 16:32:33

You've only got male flowers - it's only the female ones which have fruit.

Sometimes this happens when the weather hasn't been warm or sunny enough, sometimes it's just bad luck.

CoffeeCrazedMama Fri 26-Sep-08 16:37:50

Thanks WigWam - I'd started wondering if it was something like that. So should you get both male and female on one plant then - or were we diddled by the garden centre? If bees should be involved, we've had plenty around - blush at my ignorance. Weather through summer was putrid though (south east England).

ingles2 Fri 26-Sep-08 16:41:01

Wigwam is totally right, if the flowers are on long thin stems they are males. We've had mainly males this year, so only a few courgettes. We're in Kent. If you can see any female flowers it's worth trying to pollinate them yourself. pick off a male flowers, shove into female and wiggle around or get a paintbrush and do the same thing. It's just bad luck as far as I know.

WigWamBam Fri 26-Sep-08 18:13:51

You should get male and female flowers on one plant, but if the weather isn't right then the plant may not make female flowers. Often you only get male flowers if the weather hasn't been warm enough in the early Summer - not sure you can blame the garden centre for that wink

Bees will help, or as ingles says you can hand-pollinate with a paintbrush, or even just by giving the plants a bit of a gentle shake.

If you have some warmer weather now, you may (if you're lucky) get a few female flowers - but it may be too little, too late for this year.

Don't be put off; have another go next year because they are usually ridiculously easy to grow and you may well have that bumper crop you were hoping for this time!

Catz Fri 26-Sep-08 18:30:04

Even if you don't have courgettes, the flowers are the perfect ingredient for very easy yet flashy looking dish. We mix ricotta with mint and lemon balm, stuff this in the courgette flower, dip it in white wine batter and fry them in olive oil. You have a lovely light, crisp outside and a melting centre. Takes hardly any time but v. nice. Similar recipe here

Also I tend to grow plants of different varieties. I have had success from some and none from others this year. Usually there are way too many.

CoffeeCrazedMama Fri 26-Sep-08 23:03:17

Catz that sounds delicious - I've been tempted to turn the flowers into fritto but have resisted picking them in the vain hope they would spawn me some courgettes. Now I know this is not the case as they are mere males I'm going to try your fab sounding recipe! smile

snorkle Sat 27-Sep-08 00:46:39

The plant usually produces male flowers first and then a mix of male and female. Apparently, lack of female flowers is caused by the plant being under stress - maybe roots too confined; not enough nutrients in soil (they like a lot of compost); poor weather or a combination. I moaned to suttons about lack of squashes (similar type of plant) this year and they said it had been a bad year.

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