How to Grow Zucchini

Zucchini plants are among the easiest, most productive garden crops and can be grown practically anywhere. Not only are these fast-growing plants delicious and versatile, they will also supply you with abundant amounts of zucchini for the entire growing season.

Check out these tips on how to grow zucchini so you can enjoy a fruitful season in your garden.

Zucchini Plants Need Warm Weather and Space to Thrive

Zucchini plants are very tender, so you'll need to wait at least a week after the last frost of the season to plant your seeds. Before you begin planting, make sure your soil is rich with nutrients and amended with plenty of compost, as zucchini plants are heavy feeders.

If you are planting in traditional garden rows, plant three to four seeds every 3-4 feet. Rows should be around 8 feet apart to allow plenty of room for your plants to grow. If zucchini is planted too closely together, zucchini leaves may overlap each other and lead to powdery mildew - a disease common to all plants in the squash family. After zucchini plants starts producing leaves, thin to one seedling per group to prevent crowding of plants.

When Space Is Limited, Try These Options

If you're limited on space, you can plant zucchini in hills that are around 12 inches high and 24 inches in diameter, or even next to a trellis, to maximize the use of garden space. For hills, plant four to six seeds in a circular pattern around the top of the hill, thinning to the best two to three plants once the first set of true leaves has formed. Zucchini can also be grown in a container, but make sure to use one that is at least 2 feet in diameter for each plant.

Water Below the Leaves Frequently and Amend the Soil

Although zucchini plants need continuously moist soil, it is important to keep their leaves as dry as possible to minimize the risk of plant diseases. Using a soaker hose or watering potted plants below their leaves is an effective way to achieve this goal. As a general maintenance task, make sure to add compost tea or another rich source of nutrients once per month to keep your plants productive.