Monday, June 27, 2011

First Zucchini Harvest

Here are the first zucchini's of the season -- Zephyr and Cocozelle, picked on June 25, a bit later than previous years, but not by much.

Zephyr is golden, Cocozelle has elegant ridges. On the left are unpollinated first attempts. As I understand it, the plant stops putting energy into fruit that will not form seeds and won't produce future generations of zucchini offspring. That's why the unpollinated ones are stunted and shriveled.

The Cocozelle plant is definitely open for business with numerous flowers and buds, both male and female, along with the first fruits, shown just before picking.

Zephyr doesn't have as much going on yet, but still managed to produce a pickable specimen.

This is a female flower on the Zephyr plant with its distinctive landing pads for bees bearing pollen.

This is a male flower on the Cocozelle plant with its pollen bearing center. Zucchini and other squash will cross-pollinate across varieties so it doesn't pay to save seeds unless you follow special procedures to make sure only Cocozelle pollen lands on Cocozelle blossoms. I think this means that the lone female flower on the Zephyr plant has a good chance of producing a harvestable fruit even if the seeds wouldn't be worth saving.

I don't want seeds; I want green soup. Let the pollen land where it may!

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