Is it too early to plant zucchini? Can you grow zucchini in winter? How long does zucchini take to grow?
We answer all these questions and more so you can set your zucchini crop up for success.
When to plant zucchini in Australia
The best time of year to grow zucchinis in Australia is during spring and summer, which runs from September to March.
However, depending on the climate where you live, there may be a couple of exceptions to this rule.
In temperate climates (most Australian cities), it’s best if you can plant your zucchinis between September and October for harvest in November/December.
This allows the plants to establish themselves before the hot weather arrives and ensures you can get a second crop from the plants.
In colder areas, like Tasmania, you’ll want to wait until later in Spring e.g. October before sowing zucchini.
However, if you live in tropical or subtropical areas like northern Queensland where soil temperatures remain above 15°C, then it’s possible to plant in late Autumn to early Spring.
Can you grow zucchini in Australian winter?
Zucchini plants do not tolerate frost or cold temperatures.
However, depending on the climate in your area, zucchini can still be grown during winter.
Because zucchini is a warm-weather plant, it can only be grown successfully in Australia during the winter if you live in a hot area of Australia, such as Queensland.
In most other places, however, spring and summer will produce better results.
When planting your seeds, it’s important to ensure that the soil has been adequately warmed.
A good way to check this is with a soil thermometer. Remember, zucchini requires a minimum soil temperature of 15 degrees Celsius for optimal growth.
How long does zucchini take to grow?
Zucchini plants typically take from 50 to 60 days to produce fruit.
The best time to harvest zucchini is when they are young and small—around 15cm in length.
This is because they’re often tastier before they’ve grown too large and developed tough skin and seeds.
The best soil for growing zucchini
For the best success, plant your zucchini in rich and well-drained soil with a pH level of 6.0 to 7.5.
If you’re using containers, make sure they have a deep planting pocket and use quality potting mix.
If you can, dig in some aged manure or compost about a week before planting. This will help give your zucchinis the nutrients they need to grow into big plants.
Zucchinis are thirsty plants. You’ll want to keep them moist as they grow as dry roots can cause bitter fruit or stunted growth.
Regular mulching with straw, pea-straw or sugarcane mulch will help retain moisture and suppress weeds.
Does zucchini need full sun?
Zucchini needs full sun for best results. This means at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
Zucchini plants grown in shade become leggy and will fruit poorly, if at all, so be sure to plant them in an open spot with plenty of light.
If you’re unsure how much sun your garden receives, take note of the sunny patches throughout the day over the course of several days before planting zucchini or any other crop that requires full sunlight.