Skip to main content

Squash (Summer)

Quick Garden Tips

  • Summer squash come in a range of shapes and colors: green zucchini, yellow-neck squash and pattypan squash are just a few!
  • This warm-season crop grows best when soil temperatures have warmed to 70 degrees F. Don’t be in a rush to plant in the spring. Transplants (“starts”) take about 40 to 50 days to mature.
  • These plants require regular, deep watering. The soil 4" beneath the surface should be moist, but not soaked. Shallow watering promotes short roots.
  • To avoid powdery mildew, water the base of the plant. Do not water the leaves.
  • To ensure you have enough blossoms open for pollination, you may choose to grow 2 to 3 plants.

Season and Location

  • Summer

Container Gardening

  • Many varieties of summer squash require a lot of space, but some bush varieties can be grown in large containers (see recommended varieties on the other side).
  • Bush varieties need about 12" of space around them.
  • Make sure your container has small holes near the bottom to allow water to drain from the soil. Otherwise, roots may become waterlogged.

Key Pests and Diseases

  • Powdery mildew, cucumber beetles

When to Plant and Harvest Squash in Oregon

  • Coast: Plant seeds in May to harvest in late August through September.
  • Western Valleys: Plant seeds in May through early June to harvest late August through September.
  • Central and Eastern (as transplants): Plant seeds mid-May through early June to harvest mid-July through mid-August.
  • Southern: Plant seeds in May to harvest early mid-September through mid-October.

chart showing when to plant and harvest squash in Oregon for each of 4 regions

Recommended Types to Grow

  • Yellow Squash: Early Prolific, Straightneck, Fancycrook†, Gentry Goldbar†, Multipik, Superset, Sunray, Yellow Crookneck
  • Patty Pan: Sunburst†
  • Green Zucchini: Ambassador, Aristocrat, Cashflow, Elite, Floridor (round), Geode (round), Noche, Raven†, Seneca, Tigress
  • Yellow Zucchini: Butterstick, Gold Rush

† These types can be grown in large containers.

How to Harvest 

  • For best taste, harvest while the skin is still tender (not tough) and smooth (not bumpy).
  • Gently but firmly grab the squash near the end away from the plant. Lift up and twist to remove.
  • Harvest often to encourage the plant to produce more squash.
  • If you missed picking a squash and it grows large, remove it. This helps the plant put its energy into growing new squash.

Storage and Cooking

  • You can remove the seeds of larger squash and add the raw, grated flesh to baked goods or pancakes. Or chop the squash and add it to soups.
  • Try this Food Hero recipe: Lemony Garbanzo Bean Dip


Was this page helpful to you?