How to Grow a Zucchini Plant

Overview

Zucchini, a type of squash, is used in many ways in the kitchen and whether cooked alone or added to a recipe such as pasta or breads, it always turns out just right. It's easy to grow a zucchini plant and because they are so prolific, most gardens only need one or two plants per household member to keep a gardener in steady supply. Because they don't thrive in colder temperatures, wait until after the last spring frost before planting in your garden or a large container.

Step 1

Dig the soil where you'll be planting the zucchini in an area of full sun where direct sunlight shines for at least six to eight hours per day. Break up clumps of dirt as best you can to make the soil as loose as possible.

Step 2

Use the hoe to draw the loosened soil up into hills approximately a foot deep. If you plan to grow more than one zucchini plant, or have other squash in the garden, be sure each hill is 6 feet away from one another to give ample room for air circulation and growing plants. Form a small trench or basin around each hill about 2 inches deep.

Step 3

Place four or five seeds, 2 to 3 inches deep, about 3 inches apart close to the center of each hill and cover them over without pressing the soil down over top of them. After the seeds have sprouted, leave only the two strongest ones to grow.

Step 4

Water the soil around the seeds to moisten it and make sure the hill stays moist for the first month as the seeds germinate and grow, watering as often as necessary to keep it consistently damp.

Step 5

Fertilize the hills with a low-nitrogen, 5-10-10 fertilizer each month using a liquid fertilizer or by working a granule fertilizer into the soil without disturbing the zucchini plants' roots.

Step 6

Water the zucchini plants weekly after the first month by filling the basin and allowing the water to soak in. Repeat this process several times at each watering until it starts to take longer for the basin to drain.

Step 7

Collect your ripe zucchini by putting on gloves to protect your hands from the prickly stalks. Cut each ready zucchini clear from the vine with a single slice on the stem an inch above the top of the zucchini.

Tips and Warnings

  • Zucchini and other squashes are susceptible to powdery mildew which can kill plants when left untreated. To help avoid powdery mildew, be sure to space your plants far enough apart and keep watering at the soil level without wetting the leaves.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Zucchini seeds
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Gloves
  • Clean, sharp knife

References

  • "Vegetable Gardening: Your ultimate guide"; Robert J. Dolezal; 2000

Who Can Help

  • Cooking Light: Six zucchini recipes
Keywords: how to plant zucchini, how to grow a zucchini plant, growing zucchini

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for WidescreenWarrior.com as a contributor and podcast co-host.