Thursday, 4 August 2011

Green Fingers? I think not

You may remember how excited I was back at the beginning of July when my first courgette flower opened. I’ve never grown them before and was hoping for great things. Unfortunately, although I’ve had 11 flowers most have been male with no chance of developing into courgettes. The 4 female flowers that did grow started swelling into nice baby courgettes but within a couple of days 3 of  these withered away and fell off.

withering courgette

So far only one has managed to grow into anything edible.

I had no idea what was going wrong but a quick Google (on one of the rare occasions when the internet actually worked here) told me the problem was that the flowers weren’t getting pollinated. Now that’s really not too surprising as there aren’t many insects around because there are just SO many spiders. Every morning it's a battle to get out of the boat as there are webs all over the pontoons. Chico has to go out first to break through and often gets covered with web fibre all over his face. The spiders are the biggest I've ever seen too,  most are an inch across, YUK!

I’ve now learnt that I need to do a bit of pollination myself so when the next lot of flowers open, hopefully tomorrow, I need to strip the petals off a male flower to expose the stamens and pollen and then tickle them inside the female flower. Powerful stuff eh?

male flower on left, female on right

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