They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but I'd like to think that in the case of this old dog, I actually can learn new stuff.
My sister Anne recently mentioned a type of zucchini she is growing that doesn't require pollination. Huh? I didn't even know that was possible. So after a bit of research, here's what I have learned:
There are certain veggies -- most notably tomatoes and squash -- that are "parthenocarpic," meaning the plants are able to produce mature fruits without pollination. Wow. Wouldn't that be perfect for our growing region, where our chilly springs can prevent our zucchini plants from setting fruit due to pollination issues?
The variety Anne is growing is called 'Cavili,' although I wish seed companies would get it together when it comes to the spelling of the name. I found it listed under 'Cavalli,' 'Caveli' and 'Cavilli.' Sheesh. But what she said was true: they will produce fruit no matter what the pollination conditions are. Anne lives on the West side and is already picking squash. Lucky duck!
I found the following sources for parthenocarpic zucchini:
So if you've been having problems getting fruit off your zucchini plants, you just might want to give these a try. And if you do, let me know how they grow for you!