How to Plant Zucchini

Overview

Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) is a summer squash that belongs to the same family of plants as cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and gourds. Zucchini plants generally produce elongated, dark green fruits, sometimes with stripes or speckles. Newer varieties also come in colors that range from light yellow to almost black. Although other types of squash can be grown in cool weather, zucchini is a warm-season variety that must be grown in the spring after the danger of frost has passed.

Step 1

Prepare the planting area. As soon as the ground can be worked in early spring, remove rocks, debris and unwanted vegetation from the planting area with a rake or shovel.

Step 2

To start plants from seed, sow seed directly into the ground once the soil temperature has warmed to 60 degrees F. Seeds planted in cool soil, indoors or outdoors, will not germinate properly. Plant seeds 1 inch deep and cover them with topsoil. Space your plantings at least 1 1/2 feet apart.

Step 3

To start zucchini from transplants, dig a hole twice as large as the root ball, then cover it with topsoil to the original planting depth. Young zucchini transplants can be purchased at local nurseries or home improvement centers.

Step 4

Mulch the zucchini beds. Applying organic mulch will help retain moisture and protect young seedlings or transplants from the cold nights of early spring.

Step 5

Water the seeds or transplants liberally, soaking the area. Newly planted zucchini requires regular watering, at least 1 inch of rain or irrigation water per week, to grow well.

Tips and Warnings

  • Check the top and underside of zucchini leaves frequently for signs of pests or disease. Many pests, such as aphids and spider mites, reside under the leaves and can kill plants quickly if allowed to multiply. Large zucchini, if left on the vine, will cause fruit production to decline. Pick zucchini frequently during the growing season.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Zucchini seed or transplants
  • Topsoil
  • Garden hose or sprinkler

References

  • Zucchini: A Treat in the Heat
  • Growing Zucchini and Summer Squash in Minnesota Home Gardens

Who Can Help

  • Summer Squash
  • Zucchini: Summer's Abundant Treasure
Keywords: zucchini, plant zucchini, summer squash

About this Author

Barbara Biehler is a freelance writer who has written articles for various websites, as well as online specialty courses for MyComputerBuddies.com. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Central Florida and over 15 years experience in business development, sales and marketing. An avid gardener, cook and voracious reader, Biehler resides with her family near Nashville, Tennessee.