Is there any advantage to hand-pollinate zucchini? We're just starting to get flowers and notice that the zucchini plants in one of our gardens has all female flowers, the male ones are not fully formed yet. Should we get the paintbrush out and transfer pollen from the male flowers of the other plants?

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Hullo. Anyone there know about courgettes?
I see no one has volunteered any advice on this question - my suggestion is to let nature take its course and see what happens. However try pollinating with a brush - you cant lose anything. Maybe sprinkle some sugar dissolved in water on plant to attract bees. Also maybe plant another courgette to ensure continuity of supply. I plant one every 4-6 weeks which means if a plant succumbs to mildew I have another one coming on. This, however, results in a huge supply of courgettes - plenty of courgette relish and the neighbours get a few as well!!
Zucchini plants often start with male flowers. The female ones should follow on and develop normally if watered and fed. We had to pollinate squash and melons one year with a brush.There were very few bees that season due to varroa. It did make a difference to the fruit set.
Thanks for the replies. I was beginning to wonder where everyone was!!

Meanwhile my wife has been pollinating our zucchini with a paintbrush with great success, as long as there are male and female plants open at the same time on our three plants. One plant started out with females, another with all males.
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You should be making tons of courgette relish by now ! ! !

On the subject of courgettes, can anyone tell me if there's something fatal about this discolouration on my courgette leaves? (see image attached) What can I do to help them continue to live a happy and fruitful life? Thank you!
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It looks like a deficincy of nutrients in soil - unless they are being burnt by sun but doesn't really look like burn.  I would suggest you make up some liquid fertiliser and apply. If you have comfrey you can make liquid fert with this but this usually takes at least three weeks. You could buy a liquid fert and follow instructions.  If you have a compost apply some of this around plant after soaking the ground - add a very small amount of general garden fertiliser to the compost  [if it is homemade] before you put it around the plant.  Repeat this about a fortnight later without the general garden fert.  Then you should be making lots of courgette relish!!
if you have a worm farm or bokashi bin, the diluted worm wee and/or bokashi liquid are both excellent fertilisers.

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