Summer Squash

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.

Spring Planting

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.

Fall Planting

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.

Similar to: winter squashmelonscucumbers

More Resources

Happy Gardening!

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3 Responses

  1. Emily says:

    Kathryn–that’s awesome, I like to have varieties to recommend!

  2. Kathryn says:

    I found a variety of summer squash- Tatuma- that grows as a vine and can be trellised. I found it initially because I was searching for a summer squash that was resistant to squash vine borer- the little, um, monsters (I’ll be charitable here!) got my entire zucchini & summer squash crop last year! Anyhow, Tatuma is similar to Butternut squash in having a solid stem, instead of hollow, so they’re not very susceptible to SVB.

  3. Lissa says:

    We love the summer squash, and can’t get enough! I will be checking out the post on staking the plants, as I would like to grow both yellow and zucchini this year and need the room. Thanks for posting!