Courgette rot

Time to act:

Jun

Poor early-summer weather, with a prolonged cold spell, and few insects results in poor pollination. This means courgettes fail to develop, and they quickly rot on the plant. However, this is only a temporary problem, and once the weather starts to improve, so then will the crop.

Symptoms

Baby courgettes fail to develop. Instead of growing into a long or round shape, they quickly rot on the plant.

Find it on

courgettes, outdoor cucumbers, marrows, pumpkins, squashes

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Organic

Pollinate the early batch of flowers by hand, rather than relying on insects. Pick an open male flower (which doesn't have a swelling at the base) and strip off the petals to expose the stamens and pollen. Then just rub them thoroughly against the stigma of a female flower (which has a swelling or an immature fruit at its base).

Watch Monty Don plant out courgette plants in our video from the Gardeners' World garden at Berryfields.

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