Zucchini is a great plant for your vegetable garden. Zucchini grow quickly, do not require a lot of care, and are rather resistant to most pests, so many beginner gardeners choose them as one of their first crops.
But how do you know when they’re ready to eat? In this blog from The Soil King, we’ll discuss the basics of when you should harvest zucchini from your vegetable garden. Let’s get started.
Zucchini Usually Start To Bloom Within 55-60 Days After Planting
Once your zucchini start to bloom and flower, you’ll be eating delicious, home-grown zucchini within a week or two at most. Zucchini, like all summer squash, grow very rapidly after they flower.
We recommend keeping a close eye on your zucchini after they flower, and checking them every day until they’re ripe and ready to eat. You should start picking zucchini that are:
Around 6-8 inches in length
Dark green in color (or whatever color the specific type of zucchini is supposed to be, based on the type you planted. Some may be yellow or white in color)
- Firm to the touch
Harvest zucchini when they meet all of these criteria. Don’t leave your zucchini unpicked for too long. Once they get very large (12+ inches), the rind and seeds harden, making them unpalatable, though they’re still edible.
However, if you have an overabundance of zucchini (which is very common!) you can consider leaving some fruits unpicked. Leaving a few fruits on the plant will help slow down production so that you don’t have to harvest and eat quite so much zucchini.
How To Harvest & Store Your Zucchini
Do not just pull the fruit off of the plant, as this can damage the plant. Instead, cut the fruit away at the stem. You can store the whole zucchini in an open (or perforated) plastic bag in the fridge. Do not wash or peel it. If you keep it dry, it will last longer.
For long-term storage and use in things like zucchini bread or other recipes, you can shred the zucchini or cut it into small cubes, place them in freezer bags, and freeze for 3+ months.
Know When To Harvest The Fruits Of Your Labors!
Zucchini is delicious and nutritious – and easy to grow! So know when it’s time to start picking your fruit and enjoying your harvest. And remember, if you need gardening supplies or advice, The Soil King can help! Shop online, find a store near you, or contact us if you have other questions.