have a problem with our zucchinis. We have two plants one
green and the other yellow fruiting. When the fruit is about say
3 inches long, the flowers are dying and the fruit is rotting. We
planted them on a mound to help with drainage, havn't watered them
that much due to the rain so are mystified as to why our
fruit is just rotting. Can you help?
asked our resident vegetable expert, Ingrid Ennis, what she thought
of your problem. She suggested that the problem could be with inadequate
pollination. Pollination is usually done by bees, but wet weather
and the Varroa bee mite can have a drastic effect on bee numbers
around your plants.
If the fruit is failing
to set, then you might like to try hand-pollinating. Zucchinis have
male and female flowers, so you will need to dust the pollen from
the male flowers into the female flowers when they open. Male flowers
have obvious little pollen sacs, female flowers have single pistils
Another possibility is
that you have a fungus called Botrytis rotting the remains of the
flower and then the fruit. This would be more common during periods
of wet weather. You could make sure that there is plenty of air
flow around your plants, try not to water the leaves and remove
the remains of the petals after fruit set.
Another common fungal
disease, powdery mildew, does not directly attack the fruit, but
debilitates the whole plant, which will reduce overall yield. You
can control this as with Botrytis and with commercially available
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH