Usually at this point of the summer I am begging friends to accept a gift of zucchinis.
Not this year. After I pulled out a rotting zucchini plant last week, I vowed to find out
what was up. This might be part one of a zucchini analysis, but here goes.
(Information courtesy thevegetablepatch.com)
Problem: The flower turns into a micro-zucchini and then rots.
This is because the female flowers are not being pollinated by male pollen. This is pretty common place, particularly if there isn’t many bees around. You can help prevent this by hand pollinating. Rub a cotton wool bug against the male pollen (on the flower with the long stem) and then rub against the golden crown in the female flower (which also has a mini zucchini swelling behind the petals). This doesn’t always work, but it does improve your chances.
(Note: this makes sense to me. There were many more male flowers and also during
the start of the zucchini season, very few bees were around.)
Problem: the zucchini itself starts to rot.
The second problem is where fruit almost ready to harvest starts rotting from the top of the fruit. Ideally this is prevented much earlier in the season by adding lime to the soil. Otherwise it can be caused by irregular watering. Mulch around your zucchinis and water regularly. If your plants have many days of no water and then a glut of it, blossom end rot can develop, ruining the fruit.