Watering Zucchini (How Often & Tips)

It is important to maintain adequate soil moisture in the garden to keep plants growing and producing like they should

Zucchini plants need less water while the plants are smaller and more as they get bigger. Their demand for water is the highest at the flowering and fruit production stages.

Zucchinis should be watered with 1-2″ of water a week once they begin flowering and fruit production, more with warm temperatures and if the soil around them is not covered with mulch.

A zucchini watering schedule should look something like this. Know that once flowering starts zucchinis will begin to appear shortly after, and that the plants should be given more attention during this time.

The figures above include rainfall. We use wunderground.com for a guide on expected rainfalls and a wide mouthed rain gauge to get an accurate reading on how much rain actually fell.

How Often To Water Zucchini

Water zucchini less often and with deeper waterings. This is in line with good gardening practices and is what Utah State University Extension explicitly says for zucchini.

Two things happen by watering less often but with deeper waterings.

  1. Roots in the shallow topsoil have a chance to dry out and are not constantly sitting in moisture which can lead to root rot.
  2. Roots are forced to dig deeper to reach water which makes a stronger and healthier root system and plant.

Growing Region – The amount you will water your zucchini depends on how hot your region gets, as well as how much sun exposure the plant receives. 

Weather of the Season – In cooler conditions with less direct sunlight and more cloud coverage, you will find yourself watering less frequently. The opposite goes for hot, dry conditions where the plant will need deep, frequent waterings. 

Time of Season – In addition, the frequency of watering will depend on the time of the year you are growing zucchini.  During the cooler months, you will need to water your zucchini less frequently than during the warmer summer months.

Type of Soil – Sandy soil needs to be watered more than soil with lots of clay in it.

Can You Water Zucchini Too Much?

Zucchini plants can be watered too much, both by over-frequency and not allowing the crop to dry out between waterings. Finding the perfect watering balance is essential to a maximizing zucchini production. 

Soil with a lot of clay holds moisture very well and sometimes can have compacted areas that don’t drain well at all.

If you live in a region where it rains frequently or if you have a lot of clay in your soil it’s important to monitor the amount of rainfall your plants are receiving and check for areas of pooling water.

If you ever see a plant that is standing in sitting water 24 hours after the last watering or rainfall then you should move the plant or dig around the plant if you can to help the area drain.

If you suspect that your zucchini is being overwatered, you can check for symptoms such as yellowing leaves, which is known as chlorosis. 

This occurs because of too much water; however, it can be corrected by removing the yellow leaves and allowing the soil to dry out before the next watering. 

If the soil is too moist, this will inhibit your zucchini plants from growing and thriving.

Does Zucchini Need Lots of Water?

Zucchini does require lots of water, 1-2″ of water a week during fruit production. University of Minnesota Extension calls squash plants “heavy water feeders”. This makes sense given the size of zucchini plants.

They like for their soil to be moist; however, they also like to soak up all the water in the soil before being watered again. They do need for their soil to be monitored and watered depending on how dry the soil is. 

By feeling down into the soil 3-4″ you should be able to tell if you need to water or not. If it’s mostly dry to dry you probably want to water.

How Much To Water Zucchini in Pots

Watering zucchini in pots differs from watering them in the ground because the pot is going to retain moisture differently. You will want to water your zucchini a similar amount to that in the ground, however slightly more frequently depending on the size of the pot.

The most important thing to remember when watering zucchini in pots is that you want to ensure that that plant isn’t sitting in water. 

“Don’t ever let them (produce in pots) sit in water—if you have dishes under the containers, empty them after watering.”

-University of Florida Gardening Solutions

When watering, allow the excess water to drain through the bottom of the planting container. This will give the plant sufficient watering as well as avoid growing issues for the zucchini. 

In pots, the moisture is going to leave the soil faster than in the ground, which makes it important to keep a closer eye on these plants. 

It’s also important to take into account that larger pots are going to retain moisture for longer and smaller pots lose moisture faster. 

In pots, the best way to know if your soil needs more water or not is by simply testing it with your finger to feel how much moisture is in the soil. If it is dry, your zucchini needs more water. 

Zucchini Watering Tips

  • Water in the Early Morning – The best time to water zucchini is in the early morning hours. Between 6-8 in the morning is ideal during the summer months as this will allow the zucchini to retain the most moisture out of the topsoil before it evaporates as well as allow the foliage to dry before night time. The second best time to water is early evening.
  • Drip Irrigation Is Nice – This system once set up will give water directly to the base of the plant at a steady rate which is best for both the plant and water use. 
  • Mulch on Top of Soil – Using mulch around the plants will help the plants conserve soil moisture and prevent weeds from growing near the plant.
  • Pay Special Attention During Flowering & Fruit Production – The most critical time when it comes to watering your zucchini is when the plants are developing buds and flowering. During this time, monitor your soil closely to ensure it has all the water it needs.
  • Regular Watering Is Best – Irregular watering will cause stressed plants and drought-stressed plants can be more susceptible to attacks from garden pests.
  • Know Your Soil – Depending on the soil type, you might need to water your zucchini more frequently. Sandy well draining soil needs to be watered more than clay soil that holds moisture well. Get a good idea for the consistency of your soil when it is wet and somewhat wet by running it through your fingers.
  • Feel the Soil – Feel the soil 3-4″ down to know if it is still moist or dry enough that you should water again.

Please comment below with your own thoughts on watering zucchini.

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