How to Grow Zucchini

Zucchini blossom image by ..matt../Flickr.com

Overview

Zucchini is a very popular summer squash that can be grown in backyard gardens all over the country. It is easy to grow, a very productive plant can supply many delicious fruits. Harvested zucchini can be eaten raw, cooked, or shredded and added to a number of baked goods. The beautiful flower also can be eaten. New gardeners can hardly go wrong with growing zucchini and seasoned gardeners cannot get enough of it.

Step 1

Select a planting area that provides full sun for best results. The soil needs to be rich and well-drained. Plant at least one week after the season's last frost.

Step 2

Provide enough room to place the zucchini plants 2 to 4 feet apart. Leave 8 to 12 feet between rows. The plants spread out over a large area and each will produce many zucchini, so do not overplant.

Step 3

Use a shovel to add peat, organic compost and well-rotted manure to the soil. Utilize either a rototiller or hoe to cultivate this into the soil at a depth of 12 inches.

Step 4

Make a hole in the soil ½-inch deep with your gloved finger. Place a seed in the hole. Cover with dirt.

Step 5

Supply at least 1 inch of water a week during the growing season. If rainfall is less this, a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose works well and helps in the prevention of disease.

Step 6

Watch for the zucchini plants to blossom and then fruit. Pick when the size is adequate, about 3 to 4 inches wide and 4 to 6 inches long, and before they become too large.

Step 7

Use pruning shears to cut zucchini from plants. Be careful not to damage the plant or freshly picked fruit.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Peat, organic compost and well-rotted manure
  • Hoe
  • Rototiller, optional
  • Gloves
  • Soaker hose
  • Pruning shears

References

  • University of Minnesota Extension: Growing Zucchini and Summer Squash
  • University of Illinois Extension: Summer Squash
  • Arid-Southwestern Gardening Information: Growing Summer Squash

Who Can Help

  • Organic Gardening: Zucchini
  • Explore Cornell Home Gardening: Vegetable Guides -- Summer Squash
  • Heirloom Organics: Guide to Growing Zucchini
Keywords: Grow zucchini, Planting zucchini, Plant summer squash, Summer squash

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published online at the Travel Channel and Intel.

Photo by: ..matt../Flickr.com