This zucchini is a “bush” (non-vining) type of squash needing 3 foot spacing between plants. Direct sow seeds outdoors (1/2-1” deep) around June 1st. Days to germination: 4-10. As with all cucurbits, squash plants do not like their roots disturbed during transplanting so if starting seeds indoors, use biodegradable pots. Start seeds indoors May 1st – ideal temperature for germination is 85°- 95° (use heating mat). Squash seedlings are sensitive to damping off fungus so keep seeds on the drier side and use a fan (set to low) to provide air circulation. Once 2 leaves appear, grow plants at 72°. Do not let plants become potbound. Transplant (biodegradable pot and all) outdoors around May 21st, spaced 3’ apart. For zucchini harvest all summer long, start a 2nd succession of seeds 3 weeks after the first. Squash like soil with a lot of organic matter so add compost and/or decomposed manure to soil prior to planting. It is always a good idea to protect seedlings from cucumber beetles and squash bugs by covering them with row cover fabric at planting and leaving it on until plants are flowering. Protect squash plants from deer and groundhogs.
Pick zucchini when small and tender. Zucchini will grow too large very fast. Once large squash develop on the plant, plants may stop making more zucchini. So, be sure to harvest frequently in order to keep the squash coming! Use a knife or pruners to cut squash off of plant.
Zucchini squash belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo and will cross (by insect) with all other Cucurbita pepo squashes & pumpkins (including zucchini, acorn, Thelma Sanders, and Delicata). Isolation distance is ½ mile (or you can save seed and see what you get!). Minimum population size: 6-25 plants (but you can save seed from fewer plants if the seeds are for your own use). Always select seeds from the best plants. Let squash mature on the plant (like a winter squash) until plants are dead or frost threatens. Scoop out seeds and rinse and dry them.