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.
Similar to: winter squash, melons, cucumbers
- Squash Reference Sheet (Utah Extension Service)
- Pruning and Staking Zucchini
- Recipe: Zucchini Noodles
- Recipe: Ratatouille
- Recipe: Zucchini and Cornbread
- Recipes: See comments section of this article
- Recipe: Moroccan Zucchini Boats
Kathryn–that’s awesome, I like to have varieties to recommend!
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.
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!