Zucchini, or summer squash as it is also known, is an easy-to-grow, soft skin vegetable. Because zucchini matures quickly, at around 55 days, you can stagger planting times to have an endless supply of zucchini throughout summer. The zucchini plant resembles a bush and produces large orange-yellow blooms. The blooms are edible, even raw. You can start zucchini indoors in early spring from seed to plant outdoors in late spring when the soil temperature is above 60 degrees F.
Choose a sunny, well-drained location for your vegetable garden. Use a shovel or rototiller to till the soil down to a depth of at least 10 inches in spring after danger of frost, usually in mid- to late May. Work leaf mold or compost into the soil with a rake.
Push three seeds into the ground at one location down to about 1 inch below ground level. Plant multiple seeds in one location in the event one or more seeds do not grow. Move about 30 inches away in a straight line and push three more seeds into the garden to a depth of 1 inch. Continue to plant the seeds in a row every 30 inches. Homeowner or nursery-grown starter plants can be used instead of planting seeds. Plant so the top of the dirt in the container is at soil level. Allow 3 to 4 feet between rows.
Water lightly each day until the seeds sprout to about 2 inches tall. If more than one seed sprouted in a single location, pull out the weaker plants, being careful to not disturb the remaining plant. Continue to water regularly through the growing season but more deeply now that the sprouts are rooting. Frequency of watering is dependent on temperature and rainfall. At a minimum, expect to water at least weekly if there is no saturating rainfall.
Harvest the zucchini when it is about 2 inches in diameter by cutting the stem with a knife or garden clippers. Zucchini left longer on the plant will continue to grow, but lose some quality in taste and texture. Overmature zucchini can still be eaten and may be best used in recipes calling for grated zucchini.