Zucchini rotting


Q: The tops of my zucchini go soft and rot before the fruit matures. Can you tell me what I’m doing wrong and what I should do to prevent it?

The zucchini, I would assume, is rotting from the bottom end furthest away from the stem. This is usually because of poor pollination. I would suggest hand pollinating the female flowers (immature fruit) with a male flower (no immature fruit attached behind the flower) when they freshly appear in the morning. Female flowers are receptive to male pollen for only a few days. Male flowers open a week or more before female flowers, so be patient. Also uneven watering will also cause fruit to rot. Successful pollination is important to allow seed formation to occur which triggers a hormonal response in the fruit to enlarge. Try applying 5 to 7 cm (2 to 3 inches) of organic mulch to the soil.