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Growing Zucchini Outside in Pots

Updated on June 13, 2020
sangre profile image

Loves gardening and growing her own vegetables. Has seen some successes but some failures too.

Growing zucchini at home is really easy.
Growing zucchini at home is really easy. | Source

Growing your own zucchini or courgettes as they are referred to in Europe is not as challenging as you might expect. It can be very rewarding to harvest your own crop of squash.

A few things that you can easily grow in pots are tomatoes, zucchinis, peas and even potatoes.

You can purchase seeds from your local supermarket or your garden centre. Some plants come in seedlings form which means you don't have to plant the seeds yourself in early February/March. You just plant these seedling straight into the pots or the ground if your prefer.

Planting the seeds early when the weather is good will ensure they have a good start and they will start to develop quickly.

Growing Zucchini in a Pot

Zucchini plants starting to grow in patio pot.
Zucchini plants starting to grow in patio pot. | Source

Zucchini are high in anti-oxidants, low in calories, great for salads and provide one of your five a day.

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Stage 1: Growing Zucchinis in Pots

Items Required

  1. Three 12 pack seedling pots
  2. 1 pack of seeds
  3. a good quality compost
  4. fertilizer from your own compost bin or an organic fertilizer
  5. Seaweed plant and vegetable feed
  6. watering can


  • In a pot mix the compost and fertilizer together and then pour some of this mixture into each of the seedling pots.
  • Fill each pot about halfway with this mixture and then with a pen or your finger make a hole in the centre of each of the pots and place two seeds in the hole.
  • Continue doing this for each pot until you are finished and then cover the seeds with the remaining compost and fertilizer mix.
  • Water each of the post and place them in a warm area in your house or if you have a green house, place them in here.
  • Leave them in your greenhouse till they start sprouting.

You need to ensure that you water the seedlings each week. Do not let the soil become dry or the seedlings will die.

If the weather is extremely hot, the seedling should start spouting within 1-2 weeks after they have been planted.

Stage 2: Transplanting Seedlings

Once the seedlings have sprouted and are about 2 inches high, you need to transplant them outside. This usually happens in April or May if the weather is good in your area.

If the weather is bad and it is still making frost around late spring, then wait a little while more till the weather has improved before transferring the seedling outside.

If you are planting your zucchini in pots, buy large patio pots or grow bags. These are handy for anyone who does not have a large garden or for those who only have a small patio outside.

To ensure that your feeds gets straight to the seedlings roots, use a funnel to pour feed into the pot.

Tips for Transplanting Seedlings

  • Don’t overfill the patio pots or grow bags with a lot of the seedlings.
  • Put about 3 seedlings in each pot.
  • Leave a few inches of space between each seedling placed in the patio pots or grow bags.
  • Use a mixture of compost and fertilizer in the patio pots or grow bags when transplanting the seedlings.
  • Always water the seedlings after you have transplanted them into the grow bags or patio pots.
  • Once the seedlings start growing ( this could take about 4 weeks ), you can feed them some seaweed fertilizer.
  • There are a lot of different types of fertilizer for squashes and vegetables on the market, but many people prefer using an organic one or one they make themselves.
  • Make sure you water down towards the roots of the zucchini plants and not the leaves. The nutrients need to go straight into the soil.

Stage 3: Zucchini Sprouting Buds

Once the stalks emerge, little buds will grow from the plant.
Once the stalks emerge, little buds will grow from the plant. | Source

Stage 3: Buds Growing on Zucchini plant

About 10 weeks after you have transplanted your seedling, you will see that the size of the stalks will increase.

Also you will start noticing small buds emerging down towards where the stalks are joined. The time length for these changes will change depending on how hot your climate is. The warmer it is the faster the process will happen.

Once the buds start emerging, you will see over the next 2 to 3 weeks that they will get bigger and bigger and eventually you will start seeing a yellow flower emerging from the bud.

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Once the buds begin to appear within a few weeks a flower will emerge from the bud. This is where the zucchini will grow out from.
Once the buds begin to appear within a few weeks a flower will emerge from the bud. This is where the zucchini will grow out from. | Source

When any squash or vegetables starts producing,it is very important that you give them plenty of water especially if it is very warm where you live.

Stage 4: Buds Starts Opening Up

The bud will start growing and then become about 1 inch long.
The bud will start growing and then become about 1 inch long. | Source

Zucchini Flower starts to Emerge

After a number of weeks the bud will begin to open up and a large yellow flower will emerge from the bud.
After a number of weeks the bud will begin to open up and a large yellow flower will emerge from the bud. | Source
Once the flower has opened up, it is only a matter of time till you start seeing a small green zucchini grow from under it.
Once the flower has opened up, it is only a matter of time till you start seeing a small green zucchini grow from under it. | Source

Stage 4: Zucchini Emerging

Once the yellow flower has opened up it will only be a matter of time till you start to see a very tiny green zucchini growing from underneath the flower.

Over a number of weeks, the zucchinis will continue to grow till they reach maturity.

That is why it is important that you continue to give it plant food and water to ensure it continues to grow.

Stage 4: Baby Zucchini about 1 inch long

Tiny zucchini emerging from the flower.
Tiny zucchini emerging from the flower. | Source

It takes about 2 weeks before mini zucchinis start growing underneath the zucchini flower.

Stage 5: Harvesting your Zucchini

  • Once your zucchini has reached maturity you can start to harvest your crop.
  • As you harvest your zucchini your will still see more flower growing and more zucchinis emerging.
  • Only harvest zucchini that is fully grown when they reach about 4 or 5 inches in length.
  • Continue to water the plants to ensure that your crop continues to grow more zucchini.
  • Water your plant every week and give it plant food every 2 weeks.
  • You will need to use a sharp knife to cut off the zucchini from the stalk.

Growth time for Zucchinis

  • The whole process from once the seeds where planted to when they started sprouting takes about 3- 4 months.
  • Once the zucchini flower starts budding, it can take another 4 weeks before fully formed zucchinis are ready for eating.
  • The weather always plays a big part in a successful harvest. The cooler it is, the longer it will take for the plant to produce zucchinis.
  • If you have a few weeks of particularly hot weather at any stage during the harvest, then the whole process will occur at a faster pace.

Planting Zucchini Seeds Outside

  1. Only plant the seedlings into the ground once the chance of frost has passed.

  2. Plant two seedlings together spacing them 1 inch apart.

  3. Once the seedlings begin to sprout, any damaged or weak ones can be pulled out to give space to strong ones.

Seedlings Enemies

Slugs are an enemy of every plant. You will need to protect seedlings if you want your harvest to be successful.

  • Try raising your plants a few inches above the ground to keep them from climbing up the outside of the pot. If you have a raised shelf outside, you could place them on this.
  • If the seeds are planted straight into the ground, try putting down some broken egg shells around the area to help deter the slugs from crawling across the ground to get to the seedlings.

© 2013 Sp Greaney


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    • sangre profile imageAUTHOR

      Sp Greaney 

      15 months ago from Ireland

      @Angel Guzman. Bunnies will eat everything, they love their food. :) Congrats on new home, that is fantastic news. There's nothing as tasty as your own home grown veg and fruit.

    • Angel Guzman profile image

      Angel Guzman 

      15 months ago from Joliet, Illinois

      Very well in depth article. I bought my home August of last year and this year have my first garden. I have zucchini, eggplant, strawberry, asparagus, and 4 tomato plants. I think the bunnies keep eating the strawberries though :/ my zucchini plant is huge!

    • sangre profile imageAUTHOR

      Sp Greaney 

      22 months ago from Ireland

      @Lisa Auger, yes, you are correct, they do. A few seedlings will spread a lot and give you a good crop. You'll have enough then for a few weeks.

    • Lisabean2202 profile image

      Lisa Bean 

      22 months ago from Nevada

      This is surprising since any time I've grown zucchini, they always seem to need so much room. I may try this during the summer since we no longer have a large garden.

    • sangre profile imageAUTHOR

      Sp Greaney 

      7 years ago from Ireland

      @ thumbi7, thank you, I appreciate your comment. :)

      @ Jackie Lynnley, I'm totally in agreement with you, they're a fantastic vegetable and so versatile too.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      7 years ago from the beautiful south

      Great info and I grow my own. They really are easy as long as you keep an eye on them and watered well. So good too. I can eat zucchini raw now in salads which I had no idea to do a couple years ago.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 

      7 years ago from India

      The images are beautiful

      Enjoyed reading the hub


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