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I am growing courgettes (defender) in pots, and they are going soft and rotting at the flower end. This has happened in previous years, not just because this summer has been very wet. I remove the flower head, and any yellowing leaves. Any tips please? 


I suspect this is because they've not been fertilised - possibly due to a lack of male flowers or a lack of pollinating insects due to the weather.

However, my courgettes are not rotting off even tho' I suspect they've not been pollinated - see my query re Courgette Parador  

My yellow courgettes (Goldrush) are rotting at the flower end and the rot extends down the centre of the courgette. This happens when the fruit gets to 4 or 5 inches in size.  I've seen what happen when they are not fertilized - this is something different.  Any ideas for the reason, please?  I have been giving them liquid tomato feed.  Maggie

John Harding

This was the subject of one of the Gardeners Question Time topics last Sunday afternoon. Apparently a lot of people are experiencing this this year. Answer given was that it is likely to be a combination of heat and poor ventilation. It was suggested that the pots be raised and positioned where a good circulation of fresh air can be achieved. I've had a few drop and go mouldy though we have picked well over 50 courgettes so far this season so we aren't bothered about the odd one or two. The ones that have been affected are close to other tubs so circulation of fresh air hasn't been all it could have been. 3 plants seem to be unaffected (Black Forest F1) These are climbing up a spiral wire frame and fully exposed to air currents so that does look as though lack of air circulation was the reason for the few failures on the other plants. I am also feeding the plants with some of the Tomato feed which seems to help.

Thanks John.  Mine are outside but rather squashed in beside other plants and don't have very much room. Maybe there is not a lot of circulation.  They were ok last year. Maybe the variety is rather sensitive.   I will have to re-think for where they go next year.  I've got GQT recorded - I'd better listen to it.  Thanks, Maggie


Any of mine that rot are small but if they grow they tend to carry on successfully. I have quite a few from only two plants and obviously have to pick them before they get too big.  Can someone tell me if they can be frozen or how else to store them as we cannot eat them all quickly enough? Thanks.


You can freeze them though they can tend to be mushy when thawed. If you want to freeze them, cut them into pieces about an inch long, blanch for about a minute, plunge into icy water to stop them cooking. Dry them thoroughly, put them into freezer bags, suck out as much air as you can from inside the bags, seal the bags and put into the freezer.

I think they're best frozen by turning them into a soup and freezing the soup


I slice courgettes thinkly and soften them in a little olive oil, along with chopped shallots or sliced onions, herbs (thyme and oregano etc), and sometimes garlic and tomatoes.   Then I cool it and freeze in meal-sized portions.  It will reheat well from frozen in the microwave, or thaw and reheat in the oven or in a sauté pan , or use as a pizza topping. 

muddy mare

i have heard that courgette cake is delicous

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