A couple of courgette questions

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Clueless 1 v2, Jul 15, 2022.

  1. Clueless 1 v2

    Clueless 1 v2 Gardener

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    Hi all.

    I always grow courgettes. But I usually just let the plants do their thing and I get what I'm given.

    If I wanted to increase the yield, would I do well to cut off any male flowers? I've observed that the plants usually produce mostly male flowers early on (at least I presume that's what's going on, flowers but with no hint of a fruit behind them), and then a couple of weeks later you get a mix of both. I'm wondering if I cut off most of the male flowers, maybe the plant will put more energy into producing fruit bearing female flowers.

    Other question, I usually wait til a courgette is about 6 inches long before I harvest it. This can mean I end up with loads of them building up in the fridge. Would I be better off harvesting them small? Do they taste as good or are they somehow unripe? If I did harvest them small would the plant keep producing more, or would I get the same number but of smaller fruits?
     
  2. JWK

    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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    I don't mess with the flowers anymore, I found it made no difference and they eventually start to produce females when they see fit.

    I like them all sizes, mostly small 4 to 6 inches. I eat the small ones raw in salads prior to my cucumbers coming on-stream, they are nice young - try one and see for yourself. The medium sized ones get sliced and fried. The bigger ones can be a bit woody so I don't use many of these and leaving them to get too big will trigger the plant into thinking it has done it's work and will stop fruiting. The more you cut, feed and water the more you'll get, the plants don't have a fixed number of fruit they are programmed to produce.
     
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    • shiney

      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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      I agree totally with @JWK but we do have a use for larger ones (even those that have been hiding and are of marrow size) as we use them as a thickener in cream of veggie soups.

      We have a lot of soups, even in the summer, and at this time of year we add them to almost any veggie soup we are making. The soups only take minutes to make. I made one earlier this morning using a large broccoli and a large courgette, chopped into chunks, barely covered with water and cooked until just soft (don't cook broccoli too long otherwise the green colour goes a khaki colour), added half a tin of 60% coconut milk and brought back to the boil with some veggie stock granules (to taste). Then whisked into a cream type soup with a hand blender. Total time about 20-25 minutes.

      We shall be having it for lunch with guests coming today. It can be served hot (my preference) or chilled. It is good for freezing but may needed whisking again when reheated.

      The method works well with all veggies - even with tomato soup.
       
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      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        If you take off the male flowers the female ones won't get fertilised and they will rot.
        Unless of course you are picking them immediately after flowering.
         
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        • Selleri

          Selleri Koala

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          Absolutely harvest them small, they are at their most delicious then. Size of a body part larger than a finger is best. :redface: There's no need to peel or even chop, they fry nicely on a pan or in oven or on BBQ just as they are. :)

          Italians pick the flowers to deep fry, personally I don't fancy that as I can't help thinking of the small black insects invariably found in the flowers. But perhaps some male flowers could be used for a trial?
           
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          • Clueless 1 v2

            Clueless 1 v2 Gardener

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            A leg?
             
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            • Selleri

              Selleri Koala

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              Somewhere in between [​IMG]
               
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              • Sian in Belgium

                Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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                Another use for courgette bounty - courgette pesto.
                Can’t find a recipe online - will look to see if I can find my written out recipe…
                 
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                • Clueless 1 v2

                  Clueless 1 v2 Gardener

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                  In between a finger and a leg. Hmm. An arm? A torso?
                   
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                  • Clueless 1 v2

                    Clueless 1 v2 Gardener

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                    Another question. Is it inevitable that courgette plants will develop powdery mildew? Mine always do towards the end of their growing season. I look after them, feeding and watering regularly but not over watering. I make sure they get plenty of sunlight, and I never overcrowd them. I always get a decent crop, but always so far, they've eventually gone grey.
                     
                  • JWK

                    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                    Mine are covered in mildew right now, it doesn't seem to harm them.
                     
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                    • Clueless 1 v2

                      Clueless 1 v2 Gardener

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                      Yeah I've noticed they still seem to continue producing perfectly good fruit, right up to the end of summer or early autumn. I just wasn't sure if it was normal or not.
                       
                    • shiney

                      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                      It's usually the male flowers that are used. They are normally larger with more petal that furls around itself and is a longer lasting flower (the female flowers on the fruit tend to go over very quickly). If you pick them whilst they're tightly furled there is less chance of insects being in them. The courgettes can then be stuffed with a mixture that uses courgette, ricotta, herbs etc. and there will be plenty of recipes on the net. They are dipped in a light batter (preferably tempura) and fried.

                      The flowers of the tromboncino courgette are a favourite in some parts of Italy.
                       
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                      • JWK

                        JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                        We have tried courgette flowers in the past, not nice in a salad but battered and fried are ok but so is anything and perhaps not the healthiest for us anyway.
                         
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                        • pete

                          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                          My Bangladeshi neighbour told me about fried marrow flowers some years ago so always thought it was from that part of the world.
                           
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