Summer squash (including zucchini) is a very-tender vegetable that grows best in warm weather. Normally, summer squash grows in 9 squares. If you prune and stake it, you can reduce that to just two squares.
Plant seeds directly in the garden 2-4 weeks after the spring frost date.
To harvest squash sooner, start seeds indoors the week of the spring frost date, or purchase transplants. Transplants are ready when they have 2-3 true leaves. Harden off and transplant into the garden 2-4 weeks after the spring frost date.
Squash requires high temperatures and many hours of sunlight. They cannot be grown in the winter.
Soil and Fertilizer
Squash grow best in a rich soil; amend with lots of compost and fertilizer (chemical or organic) at planting.
Fertilizer: Apply 16-16-8 at planting.
Harvest summer squash 3-5 days after flowering, just after the flower starts to die and fall off. When squash is small, it is more tender and has less seeds.