Growing Zucchini for Summer
Vegetable Sautes

After growing herbs, growing zucchini and other summer squash is about the easiest garden task.

Growing Zucchini—‘Raven’
Growing Zucchini—‘Raven’
© Steve Masley…Click IMAGE to Enlarge

Zucchini are a specific type of summer squash, and share the same soil, water, and cultural requirements as other squash. For information on how to grow zucchini, click Here. For information on varieties of zucchini, see below.

The two most common mistakes zucchini growers make are:

  1. Planting too many
  2. Waiting too long to harvest

When planting zucchini, 2 plants will produce plenty of zucchini for a family of 4. It’s probably better to plant a mixture of zucchini and other summer squash, like patty pan or crookneck, so you have a mixture of colors, textures, and flavors.

See Harvesting Zucchini for tips on harvesting.

How to Grow Zucchini  |   Growing Zucchini in Containers
Harvesting Zucchini  |   Summer Squash Varieties

Types of Zucchini, Zucchini Varieties

Like other summer squash, most zucchini available today are bred for an open, bushy habit that makes it easy to find and harvest squash.

Green Zucchini

‘Raven’ (F1 Hybrid, 48 days)  produces deep green zucchini that are loaded with leutein, an antioxidant that helps protect the eyes from UV damage that contributes to macular degeneration. Compact bush plants kick out 2-3 zucchini per week at peak, so you’re not inundated with squash. Skins stay tender up to 9-10” (22-25cm), but harvest at 6-8” (15-20cm) for best flavor and texture.

‘Plato’ (F1 Hybrid, 48 days, resistant to Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus, Watermelon Mosaic Virus, and Cucumber Mosaic Virus)  is similar to ‘Raven’ in appearance, but with superior disease resistance.

‘Bush Baby’ (F1 Hybrid, 49 days)  produces mature-looking zucchini at 4-6” (10-15cm)–they are proportioned more like full-sized zucchini even when small. Medium green skin with light green stripes. Good selection for growing zucchini in containers.

Yellow Zucchini

‘Soliel’ (F1 Hybrid, 48 days, resistant to Powdery Mildew)  produces beautiful, sunny-yellow zucchini that produces high yields for an extended harvest. Large plants need a little more space than more compact varieties.

Italian Ribbed Zucchini

These are the flavorful Italian “ribbed” zucchini that produce star-shaped slices.

‘Costata Romanesco’ (Heirloom, Open Pollinated, 52 days)  produce light green, flecked zucchini with prominent ribs. They have great texture and a delicious, nutty taste, but produce fewer zucchini than hybrid varieties.

Cousa (Middle Eastern) Zucchini

‘Magda’ (F1 hybrid, 48 days)  produces pale green, squat zucchini with a nutty flavor that are usually harvested at 3-4” (7-10cm).

See How to Grow Squash for soil, water, fertilizer and cultural requirements.

Top of Page  |   Top of Zucchini Varieties Section

Growing Zucchini in Containers

Growing Squash in Containers—Zucchini ‘Raven’
‘Raven’ Zucchini in a 10-gallon Pot
© Steve Masley…Click IMAGE to Enlarge

If you’re interested in growing zucchini in containers, you’ll need a big container, a rich potting soil, and the right varieties.

Container-grown zucchini need a deep root zone, so plant them in deep planter boxes, half-barrels, or 10-15-gallon pots filled with a rich organic potting mix. For a basic potting mix, click Here.

Zucchini, like all squash, are heavy feeders. If you’re growing zucchini organically, it’s usually best to mix good compost and organic soil amendments into the potting soil before planting. That way, they break down slowly, releasing nutrients throughout the growing season.

Dr. Earth Organic Tomato, Vegetable, and Herb Fertilizer style= is a balanced (5-7-3) blend of fish meal and alfalfa meal for early-season growth, feather meal for mid- to- late-season growth, soft rock phosphate and fish bone meal for phosphorous, and kelp meal for potassium and boosting plant immunity. It also contains 7 strains of probiotic soil microbes, along with ecto- and endo-myccorhizae.

Mycorrhizae are beneficial soil fungi that all fruiting plants evolved with. Mycorrhizae help fruiting plants assimilate nutrients from the soil in much the same way human gut bacteria help people assimilate nutrients from our food.

For growing zucchini in containers, choose compact bush zucchini like ‘Bush Baby’ or ‘Raven’.

See Growing Vegetables in Containers for more information on potted vegetable gardens.

Harvesting Zucchini

Harvest zucchini small, and frequently. 4-7” (10-18cm) is usually the best size for most kitchen uses. At this point, the skins haven’t toughened up and the seed cavities aren’t pithy.

Zucchini grow amazingly quickly on a mature plant at the height of summer. A zucchini that’s 6” (15cm) long today could be 9” (23cm) long tomorrow, so when in doubt, cut it out.

Top of Page  |   Zucchini Varieties  |   Growing Zucchini
Summer Squash Varieties  |   Winter Squash Varieties

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