Zucchini, also known as summer squash, comes in many varieties, including the standard long green types and yellow crooknecks. For something different, plant round varieties like Eight Ball or scallopini types for added interest and flavor.

by Dani Yokhna
PHOTO: lsantilli/iStock/Thinkstock

Size: Up to 18 inches tall and 36 inches across

Sunlight requirements: Full sun (A minimum of four to six hours of direct sunlight is ideal.)

Water requirements: About 1 inch per week (Mulching well cuts down on watering.)

Soil requirements: Average, well-drained garden soil rich in organic matter. Optimum pH is 6.5.

When to plant: Direct-seed after the danger of frost has passed, or start seeds indoors in peat pots under lights three to four weeks before planting outside.

Where to plant: Garden (This is best because plants grow large.); containers (5 gallons or larger)

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When to harvest: 50 to 60 days after seeding. Harvest when fruits are young (6 to 8 inches in length), as they are the most tender.

Produce storage: Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Wash, slice or shred, and freeze for year-round use.

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