Growing Zucchini Squash

Category Vegetables
Zucchini is a popular summer squash for the garden. This is a page about growing zucchini squash.
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Botanical Name:

Cucurbitaceae family

Description:

Zucchini is a fast growing member of the squash family (cucurbitaceae) with a long, cylindrical shape, smooth, dark green (sometimes yellow) skin and creamy white-green, milky-flavored flesh. Zuccini are also referred to as courgette, especially in Europe

Hardiness:

n/a

Planting Time:

Plant when soil has warmed to at least 60ºF and all danger of frost has passed.

Exposure:

full sun

Soil:

average, well-drained soil

Planting:

Start seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before transplanting. To sow seeds outdoors, plant seeds in a central hill and thin to 3 plants per hill once true leaves have formed. Cut extra seedlings with a scissors to avoid damaging remaining plants. Zucchini also grows well in containers and can be taught to climb a trellis if space is limited.
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Watering:

Keep soil evenly moist (not wet) to prevent fruit from falling off due to inadequate watering. Leaves may wilt during prolonged heat and can be revived with water.

Maintenance:

Zucchini is a voracious feeder and will appreciate nutrient-rich soil and an occasional boost of compost tea or well-rotted manure. Control garden weeds to help minimize the risk of disease and cultivate carefully around shallow roots.

Harvesting & Storage:

Harvest zucchini when they reach the preferred size for use. Fruits usually taste best when they reach 4 to 6 inches in length. Frequent harvesting will encourage more fruit.

Diseases and Pests:

Good cultivation practices will go along way to preventing common problems like powdery mildew and mosaic virus. Control weeds and keep the garden free of dead plant debris. Avoid handling plants when leaves are wet and plant them far enough from other plants so they receive adequate air circulation.
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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 23, 2018

I have grown zucchini for the last couple years, but this time, the fruit doesn't look great. It's not evenly straight, but instead I'm getting a pointy tip at the blossom end and most of fruit when it gets to 2 to 3 inches long, the blossom end gets soft, but not rotten, so I don't what is causing this?

Answers

September 23, 20180 found this helpful

I grow mine on trellises or on Tomato cages. You want to get it off the ground so it doesnt rot.

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September 23, 20180 found this helpful

Hmm. I haven't grown zukes in a while because we had too many issues with rot. When I had something similar it was one of the first years that there were bee issues, that bee collapse of hives. A couple years later I read that when there are bee shortages all friuts and veggies that require multiple pollination suffer and it causes issues like you are describing.

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Contact your local home extension office and see if they agree this is an issue in your zone and they can give you some specific remedies and suggestions for helping this situation.

Let me know what they say about the issue! Curious what is happening else where!

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September 23, 20180 found this helpful

You did not say what state you live in BUT it sounds like it is getting to much water, either by rain or that you are over watering it. And whether you have it touching the ground. I would try putting the fruit up on a tomato cage or a trellis and let it dry out for a bit, especially if the ground is wet.
Good luck and enjoy !!

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July 27, 2015

We have had a very wet growing season and my zucchini plant stem is soft as if it is rotting. What can I do to save my plant?

Answers

October 28, 20170 found this helpful

If the ground is very wet and soggy this will cause the zucchini plants to rot. The only thing you can try to do now to save the plant is to get some good top soil and mulch and pack it around the plant to try and dry it out some.

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Stop watering it right now until the soil is really dry.

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October 28, 20170 found this helpful

You can try growing the zucchini on stakes or on large tomato cages. It lifts up the plant and prevents rot.

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June 7, 2011

Will zucchini stay as a bush or vine out?

By Ellen

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June 7, 20110 found this helpful

It will stay as a bush but a mighty big bush, I allow a 6 ft circle for mine. I have planted them in tubs like trees are planted in that way I can set them where ever I want them. This leaves room for me to till around them.

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June 8, 20110 found this helpful

It may depend on the kind you planted. Mostly they sell "bush variety" zucchini; but they do sometimes sell vining types. If you still have the seed packet, check it.

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If you don't have it, you probably will have a bush variety. But like tatr said, leave lots of room around it! I use raised beds in my garden, and one or two bushes will usually do OK in a four by four foot bed. (I have wide aisles.)

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June 26, 2009

My Zucchini is growing too fast, it is covering my pepper. I wonder if I cut some leaves to uncover the pepper will this affect the Zucchini or not?

By hanan

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June 27, 20090 found this helpful

I have found that trimming a few leaves on a zucchini isn't a bad idea at all. Most of them actually have more leaves than needed for the photosynthesis process and by taking a few off it helps send the extra vital nutrients directly to the fruit instead of the leafy matter.

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I have to trim off some of the leaves anyway, makes it easier to find the fruits~

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August 19, 20090 found this helpful

I am growing the zucchini too make relish out of them and the bigger the better helps so I have let them get very big. I noticed few turning orange what does this mean?

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June 9, 2017

My zucchini plant female flowers are blooming great, but my male flowers haven't bloomed yet. I know the males need to bloom so the females can be pollinated. Any reasons why the males might not be blooming yet?

Answers

June 9, 20170 found this helpful

If you don't have enough bees, you may need to hand pollinate. Take a Q-tip and put it in one flower to get the pollen and then transfer it to another flower

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July 9, 2013

The leaves have a grey straining on them. Same as last year. Why?

By Sue L

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July 15, 20130 found this helpful

The stain your seeing is mold. I have a lot on mine right now due to, to much rain not enough sunshine. I have been breaking off the really bad one and new ones are growing in there place. I'm hoping for sunshine soon here in GA.

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July 2, 2013

My zucchini got to about 3 to 4 inches, but the flower is still on the zucchini. Does that mean it is rotten? And if not when should flowers fall off fruit.

By carol c.

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December 9, 20170 found this helpful

Leave it alone. It will fall off in due time. You can bread and fry the flowers too

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March 1, 2010

My zucchini plants die just as they start to blossom. Later in the season they are covered with a gray beetle. What can be done without using pesticides?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

By James Baker from Wayland, MI

Answers

March 3, 20100 found this helpful

www.insectimages.org

Destroy crop residues after harvest and reduce overwintering sites by tilling.

Control of Curcurbit Insects
Cucumber beetles or squash beetles can be controlled effectively using carbaryl (Sevin), but wait one day after spraying before harvest. For aphids or spider mites use an insecticidal soap such as Concern Insect Killing Soap or Safer Brand Soap. Control heavy populations of aphids or spider mites with neem oil extract (such as Green Light Neem Concentrate or Bonide Bon-Neem).

For vine borers and pickleworms control after mid-June, apply carbaryl (Sevin) or neem oil extract weekly, and spray or dust in the evening to not kill pollinating insects. Wait one day after spraying carbaryl before harvest. Rotenone (such as Hi-Yield Rotenone Dust) is effective against younger squash bugs, but not against the adults. Esfenvalerate (such as Ortho Bug-B-Gon MAX Garden & Landscape Insect Killer RTU) or permethrin (such as Bonide Eight Insect Control Vegetable, Fruit & Flower Concentrate) or bifenthrin (such as Ortho Bug-B-Gon MAX Lawn & Garden Insect Killer Concentrate) will control cucumber beetles, squash bugs, squash vine borers and pickleworms, call your county agent for more info,good luck.

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September 27, 2006

Question:

My zucchini is being eaten by some kind of worm coming up through the main root, killing the plant and then moves on to the next. What can be done?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

Susan from Leon, Iowa

Answer:

Susan,

It sounds like you're dealing with Squash vine borers. Signs include vines that suddenly wilt and die, and you can usually see signs of girdling and yellowish castings from borer holes at the base of stems. Adult moths have narrow, olive-brown forewings, clear hindwings and a red abdomen with black rings. There are also long, reddish fringes on the hind legs. The larvae (borers) look like white grubs with a brown head and are about 1 inch long. They bore into the vines of squash-family plants and eat the inner tissue, filling up the stems with castings and causing the vines to collapse. The larvae or pupae overwinter in the soil, emerging as adults around the time the vines start to lengthen. The adults then lay eggs on the stems or leaf stalks near the base of the plants, and when the eggs hatch the larvae bore into the vines to feed. There is usually only one generation of borers per year (two in the south), which lasts about 4-6 weeks until the larvae return to the soil for winter.

Here are some suggestions for controlling them organically:

  • Interplant garlic and onion.
  • Destroy crops completely in the fall and plow to destroy pupae.
  • Plant tolerant cultivars. Ask your county extension agency for suggestions.
  • Plant early or late to avoid peak egg-laying times. Use pheromone traps to monitor adult moths.
  • Cover seedlings with floating row covers (make sure to pollinate by hand).
  • Fertilize plants for vigorous growth.
  • Make small slits in the vines and remove borers by hand. Cover the slits with dirt to encourage rooting.
  • Release trichogramma wasps to attack eggs.
  • Use parasitic nematodes around plants as mulch, or inject nematodes into bore-holes with a medicine dropper. Pack dirt around the hole when finished.
  • Spray Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) as soon as runners appear on plants.
  • For severe infestations and as a last resort, spray the base of plants with rotenone or pyrethrins to kill young larvae before they can enter the vines.

Ellen

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By (Guest Post)
July 28, 20060 found this helpful

www.gardenguides.com/.../

check out this link and you may find your answer there!

Good luck!

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August 12, 2014

I have planted long zucchinis in my garden and as soon as they start to grow they die.

By Franca V. from M Q

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July 21, 2013

I have a similar problem to the zucchini flowers post, and you are suggesting that animals or pests could be responsible. I have 1 courgette (think this is the same thing) which is healthy and keeps flowering huge orange blossoms. They open, stay like that for a couple of days, then when I go back to look, they have been snapped off where the flowers joins the stems. It can't be pests or animals, as its growing in a very small greenhouse/lean to and the other stuff in there is fine. I looked for bugs and stuff and there is no sign of anything like that. It's as though someone is coming in at night and snipping the flowers off and all I am left with is a long stalk.There are about 9 more flowers to come, I have lost 4 so far. No-one can access my garden so what am I doing wrong? Please can someone help before I lose the whole lot :)

By Mary N.

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August 24, 2012

Why do my marrow give plenty of male and female flowers, but then the fruits die off? I have tried getting rid of the excess foilage, but then I only get the foliage growing again and nothing seems to happen.

By Jennifer from Stonehouse

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Photos

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Weird zucchini from the great beyond! I have found strange vegetables in my garden before: heart shaped tomatoes and potatoes, tomatoes that look like they have a nose, carrots that look like they have 2 legs and cucumbers that look more like bowling pins. But this is the first time a Zucchini, They never have done this, seeds on the outside, flower never died and its about 18 inches long. WEIRD, WEIRD, WEIRD!

By Babette from Lemon Grove CA

Garden: Weird Zucchini

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

June 26, 2009

I bought some Zucchini plants this year and put them in a sunny place in the garden and they get plenty of water. The problem is, every time they get a yellow flower on them, it lasts a few days and then drops off.

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