Is It Too Late to Plant Zucchini? (Best Time Explained)

Summer squashes like zucchini are simple to grow and yield a lot of fruit. As a result, they are becoming increasingly popular among people to plant in backyard gardens. However, like most other plants, zucchini requires a specific temperature to grow properly. So, you might wonder, “Is it too late to plant zucchini?” You’ll get your answer in the article.

In freezing temperatures, zucchini plants cannot grow correctly. Therefore, it is too late to grow zucchini if the frost date in your area is only four to six weeks away.

Apart from temperature, there are some other factors to keep in mind while growing zucchini. So, in this article, I’ll discuss when to plant the crop, along with some additional information that you might find helpful.

When Is the Best Time to Plant Zucchini?

Zucchini is a hot or warm-season plant that cannot endure freezing or frost conditions. So, it is ideal for growing zucchini during early summer when the temperature is a minimum of 70oF or higher.

A single zucchini plant might provide around ten pounds of zucchini squash and it grows quickly and profusely. It gains about 1-2 inches daily. Well, you can sow and harvest them several times throughout the growing season. And they take around two months to harvest.

However, you must plant zucchini at a specific period to promote good growth, although it requires little maintenance. Thus, it would be best if you stay patient and don’t begin your zucchini planting until the middle of spring. Besides, early summer would also be ideal for the plant to grow.

It is no wonder that gardening varies a little bit depending on the growth zone. Various soil temperatures, frost dates, and atmospheric temperatures apply to each site. So, you must ensure the final spring frost has passed before planting them outdoors. 

Waiting till soil temperatures hit 60oF is a good general guideline to follow. But if you’d rather, you may begin the growing season off early by sowing them indoors.

Remember sunlight, soil type, temperature, and moisture are the main aspects to take into account while planting zucchini. Only at a constant temperature of 70 oF can zucchini seeds begin to grow. Furthermore, the plants will flourish and bear fruit at around 70–77 oF.

Moreover, a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight is necessary for the plant. However, zucchini plants will require at least 12 hours of artificial light per day if you grow them indoors. 

Once the final spring frost has passed and there’s no threat of dangerously low temperatures, the growth season for zucchini officially begins. Although they don’t have many preferences, zucchini does require a few things to survive.

For instance, rich soil should be present wherever you decide to plant your zucchini. Additionally, you have to add organic material, such as compost or manure, to it if it isn’t fertile. To avoid soil-borne infections, avoid planting where other cucurbit crops are already present.

Again, it is best to plant the zucchini in soil that is slightly acidic and has a pH range of 6.0 to 7.6. You may conduct a soil test to determine the pH if you are not sure. Besides, give your squash plants adequate sun exposure and plenty of air movement.

It will help you prevent powdery mildew, future blossom end rot, and other problems with excessive soil moisture.

When Is It Too Late to Plant Zucchini?

Whether it is too late to plant zucchini or not depends on your region’s growth period and the variety you’re growing. Since the plant is not frost-hardy, planting it at least four to six weeks before the initial date of predicted frost in your location is necessary to guarantee a crop.

Based on the type you choose to plant, zucchini seems to have a growth cycle that lasts between 35 and 55 days. So, it would be best if you found out how many days it will take your chosen cultivar to reach maturity and make your plans accordingly. It will help you ensure that you can harvest the crop before the first frost date.

Since zucchinis are warm-weather plants, they cannot endure extremely low temperatures. They also require full sunlight to thrive and yield a decent crop. So, it would be best if you only planted them outside once night temperatures are continuously over 55°F.

Different regions have different climates. So, if it is too late to plant zucchini or not, it largely depends on the region. For instance, all four seasons cycle across temperate regions each year. Since a large portion of the United States has a temperate environment, summer is the perfect time to plant zucchini there.

In temperate regions, summertime offers zucchinis the full sun they need to flourish and produce a large crop. On the other hand, extreme climate circumstances are ordinary in continental regions. 

So, the summer months are ideal for growing zucchini since they have more consistent conditions than the winter months. It would be best if you remembered to begin sowing as soon as the temperature reaches 70oF, as summertime is very short in these regions. 

However, the yearly average temperature in the tropics ranges from 70 to 86 degrees, with the highest limit being highly conducive to the growth of zucchini. I would recommend beginning planting in warmer tropical and subtropical climates whenever the temperature reaches a yearly minimum of 70°.

Some claim that indoor gardening would aid in preserving temperatures between acceptable ranges. But this could restrict the plants’ exposure to sunlight. 

Well, a dry climate is another common one. You will need to periodically water the plant bed to keep the soil moist in dry regions. However, arid environments can either be extremely hot or extremely cold.

In hot, arid areas, zucchini will have a greater chance of growing if there is enough ventilation and some sun shielding.

Nevertheless, growing zucchini indoors is necessary for it to flourish in dry, cold climates. Finally, if you want to produce zucchini in a polar zone, you might need a suitable greenhouse because it prefers warm weather.

3 Tips to Grow Perfect Zucchini Plant

Although it can be straightforward to cultivate zucchini, there may still be some difficulties. Numerous factors, including pests and nutrient shortages, can slow or prevent the growth of the plant. So, let’s go over a few tips to help you grow the perfect zucchini:

1. Avoid Planting Too Soon

As discussed above, frost and shallow temperatures are intolerable to zucchini. So, sowing too soon won’t benefit you.

Fruits will still have scarred skin from cooling injury even though they grow in the cold. Therefore, based on your environment, you must postpone planting till at least mid-spring, whenever the ground warms.

2. Water Properly

All squash veggies, including zucchini, require plenty of water to flourish. Based on the soil’s moisture level, add about an inch of water.

Add one additional inch if it seems too dry. It would be best if you water the zucchini once per week when it’s chilly outside during early spring. As the weather warms up, increase the frequency to twice or perhaps even three times a week.

3. Mulch & Compost the Soil

The living organic and biological components in compost, such as bacteria, minerals, and fungi, aid in the soil’s activation. It lengthens the lifespan of the crops and encourages the high immunity of the plants. 

Furthermore, mulching the upper surface and adding fertilizer to your zucchini plant can also help your plants grow more quickly.

However, excessive fertilizer might lead to diseases like blossom end rot. So, be mindful not to add too much.


Zucchini is one of the most nutritious and easy-to-grow plants. By now, you’ve got your answer to the question, “Is it too late to plant zucchini?” So, remember to plant it at the appropriate time of year and enjoy growing healthy summer squashes. 

Thanks for reading through. Hopefully, you’ve found this article helpful. Good luck!