How to Grow Summer Squash in Minnesota

Overview

Summer squash--including crookneck, straight neck, zucchini, white scallop, patty pan and cocozelle--is easy to grow in Minnesota gardens. Summer squash is a tender warm-season vegetable that may thrive even with little nurturing. But with just a little care, you can expect a large quantity of summer squash from a rather small number of plants. Sow summer squash seeds directly in the garden since transplanted seedlings tend not do so well.

Step 1

Amend garden soil with compost or well-rotted manure before planting and till it in thoroughly.

Step 2

Plant summer squash in late May in Minnesota, after the last danger of frost has passed and the soil temperature has warmed to 70 degrees F to a depth of at least 2 inches. Sow summer squash seeds half an inch deep and about 2 inches apart. Space the rows 2 to 3 feet apart.

Step 3

Thin seedlings after they emerge so they are 8 to 12 inches apart. Pull weeds competing with the seedlings as needed.

Step 4

In the absence of rain, water the summer squash weekly. Squash thrive with plenty of water. Soak the soil well once a week to provide the equivalent of an inch of rain per week. If your soil is sandy, though, water with smaller amounts more often.

Step 5

Harvest summer squash when they reach the size you prefer. Elongated varieties of summer squash taste best when they are fewer than 2 inches in diameter, while patty pan types may be left to grow to 3 or 4 inches in diameter. Summer squash develop quite quickly after the plants have been pollinated, so check them frequently to avoid overgrown summer squash.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Spade
  • Garden trowel
  • Summer squash seeds
  • Garden hose

References

  • University of Minnesota Extension: Growing Zucchini and Summer Squash
  • University of Illinois Extension: Summer Squash

Who Can Help

  • University of Utah: Preserve the Harvest---Summer Squash
Keywords: grow summer squash, Minnesota summer squash, plant crookneck squash

About this Author

Ann Wolters, who has been a freelance writer, consultant, and writing coach for the past year and a half, has had her writing published in "The Saint Paul Almanac," and in magazines such as "Inventing Tomorrow" and "Frontiers." She earned a master’s degree in English as a second language from the University of Minnesota and taught English as a foreign language for nearly seven years.