Much like other crops, there is no definitive time frame for growing zucchini, but a good estimate for the average time to harvest for Zucchini is between 45-60 days. Zucchini will produce for about a 3 week period and grow up to 10 lbs. of fruit per plant.
Zucchini is a summer crop that thrives in a warm climate and the optimal time for planting Zucchini is at least two weeks after the final frost. Zucchini seedlings are quick to sprout, around 5-10 days, and after they sprout they will flower about a month later.
Zucchini is a reliable fast growing crop that produces a great yield and has the potential for successive planting and two harvests during one season.
How Long Does It Take for Zucchini Seeds to Sprout?
It is important to note that zucchini is a warm-season crop and thrives in a properly heated climate. On average, it takes Zucchini seeds anywhere from 5-10 days to sprout once planted.
According to the University of Minnesota Extension soil temperatures should be 70 degrees or above before planting zucchini seeds. You can use a soil thermometer to measure your soil temperature. That combined with knowing the last expected frost date is a great way of knowing when to plant what outside.
The rather quick maturity time of Zucchini can allow for two harvests in one season, under the proper conditions. If air temperatures stay between 65 degrees or higher than 100 degrees for long enough two harvests can be grown in a single growing season.
How Long Does It Take for Zucchinis To Grow After Flowers Appear?
The first flower blooms to appear on a plant are male flowers, and the female flowers won’t appear for another 7 days or so. After female flowers appear it takes approximately four to eight days until until a zucchini is ready to be picked.
The flower on the bottom is a female flower with a thicker stem and bulge behind the flower that is the immature zucchini or ovary of the flower.
Zucchini plants grow both male and female flowers, with the typical ratio being three male flowers to one female flower. Female flowers tend to be smaller than their male counterparts with thicker stems.
Only the female flowers produce fruit but still require male flowers for pollination. Failure of zucchini plants to grow fruit from flowers is likely an indication of poor pollination. Female flowers can be hand-pollinated to ensure successful growth.
Click here to learn more about zucchini flowers and pollination.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Zucchini From Seed?
Zucchini takes about 50-60 days to reach maturity and start producing zucchinis. The average zucchini seeds will sprout in about 7 days. So add the 7 days to the amount of time it says from the seed distributor for the plant to reach maturity to get how long it takes for zucchini to grow from seed.
Is Zucchini Hard To Grow?
Compared to other crops, zucchini is relatively easy to grow and all you need is 1 or 2 plants to get 10-20 lbs. of zucchini.
Given the fact Zucchini is both a warm-season and a short-season crop, it produces a reliable harvest with the potential for another in the later season.
As to be expected, however, there are a few distinguishing factors that could deter the potential of Zucchini to produce a fruitful yield. Things to be mindful of when planting zucchini are pollination, pests, and over-mature crops.
Pollination and fruit setting is an especially critical time in the plants life cycle. Temperatures and moisture levels should be monitored and adjusted as needed. Read about the specifics of that in the pollination article linked above.
Another risk factor is pests. Pests are natural and prominent threats to all plants, but a zucchini plant will not thrive if attacked by pests.
The most common pests are squash bugs, which feed on the plant and ultimately kill the crop entirely. These bugs can be treated with neem oil.
Additionally, it is important to maintain the crop and eliminate any overgrowth or dead vines, which are primal spots for squash bugs to lay their eggs.
Another important factor to consider when harvesting zucchini is over mature crops. Once the plant flowers, the fruit develops fairly quickly. It is important to harvest early, rather than later, to ensure the fruit isn’t overly matured.
Leaving over-ripened fruit on the vines will prohibit the plant from growing more zucchini and result in too large of produce with hardened skin and seeds.
The optimal harvest time for zucchini is when they are four to six inches long.
In general, Zucchini is not difficult to grow. However, it is important to be mindful of risk factors which may threaten the plant and prevent it from reaching its fullest potential. When done successfully, the crop offers an abundant harvest in a short time window.