When to Harvest Zucchini: When Is Zucchini Ready to Pick

Zucchini is easy to grow and harvest. A zucchini plant will give you a lot of fruits. It is important to place a trellis on it so the zucchini can grow properly. With days to maturity about 45-65 days after sowing, counting the days is an option to determine when to harvest zucchini. However, counting the days to maturity is not the best way to know when zucchini is ready to pick. The time to pick zucchinis may vary depending on several factors, such as growing conditions, hours of sun, and even the heat waves that may affect the ripening process. Moreover, zucchinis are summer squashes that do not continue to ripen after being picked from the plant. That’s why gardeners must understand when to harvest zucchini and how to do it. So, how to know when zucchini is ready to pick? This article summarizes all the tips you need to know to answer a widespread question among gardeners, When Is Zucchini Ready To Pick? Let’s see How You Know When Zucchini Is Ready to Pick.

Zucchini fruits will start to be ready for harvesting, depending on the growing conditions: weather, fertility, water availability, etc. Generally, the first zucchini fruits should be harvested about two months after sowing or one month after transplanting. These times can be even shorter if the conditions are perfect for the development of the plant, especially in terms of pleasant temperatures and plenty of light.

In this article, learn how and when to harvest zucchini. As a gardener, you should pay attention to a few signs to understand when zucchini is ready to pick. Let’s see the signs that we should be looking for as gardeners.

When Is Zucchini Ready To Pick

It’s essential gardeners check visually their zucchini plants regularly during the growing season, as they can grow quite quickly. When zucchinis are left on the plant for too long, they become oversized, and you may think this is good but tough and less flavorful. So, how to tell when zucchini is ready to pick? Let’s see how you will realize when zucchini is ready to pick.

Zucchini is typically ready to be picked when it reaches a size of about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) in length and about 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) in diameter. The zucchini will be tender, flavorful, and have a nice texture at this stage. Firstly, you should visually check daily the zucchini plants when reaching the days to maturity (about 45-65 days) and measure the squashes in length and diameter.

Secondly, if you notice that zucchini has grown to the ideal size, touch it. It should feel tender. Both signs indicate the zucchini is ready to pick, and you can start to harvest.

It is best to pick ripe zucchini from the plant to encourage further production during the growing season.

It is not a good sign if you notice that the zucchini has grown larger than the ideal size. You should harvest earlier.

when to harvest zucchini
When to Harvest Zucchini? When the zucchini measures 6” to 8” (15 to 20 cm), it is ready to be picked. Always observe the zucchini flower, it is necessary that it is drying to be picked.

Do Zucchini Ripen After Picking?

Do Zucchini Ripen After Picking? No, zucchini does not continue to ripen after being picked from the plant. That’s why the best practice for gardening is to visually check the zucchini plants periodically, measure the zucchinis until they reach the right size, and verify how tender they are before picking. Zucchini needs to be used soon after picking. Therefore, we recommend picking zucchini instead of waiting until an entire harvest of this crop. Also, this practice will encourage the zucchini plants to continue producing more zucchinis throughout the growing season.

When to Harvest Zucchini

When to Harvest Zucchini? Zucchini fruits should be harvested unripe, i.e. long before they complete their development.

From the moment the zucchini fruits reach a length of about 6” to 8” (15-20 cm), and a diameter of about 2” (5 cm), the zucchini can be harvested. At this size, they will weigh about 0.5 lbs. (250 grams) each.

If you harvest zucchini under these conditions, the zucchini is very tender and sweet, with no bitter taste at all due to the Cucurbitacin.

When the zucchini flower at the end of the fruit finishes wilting and falls off, this usually indicates that the fruit can be cut.

But what happens if the zucchini is already 10” or 12” (25 or 30 cm) long? If it is at the beginning of the crop, nothing happens. They can be harvested anyway. They will still be tender at that size and will not have seeds inside. On the other hand, when zucchini plants are nearing the end of their production, it is more likely that those fruits over 10” (25 cm) in length are of poorer quality.

When Is a Zucchini Ready to Harvest

When Is a Zucchini Ready to Harvest? Zucchini are harvested when they are about halfway through their development and before they harden. They are tastiest when they are between 6” to 8” (15-20 cm) long, 1.6” to 2.4” (4-6 cm) in diameter, and weigh approximately 0.5 lbs. (250 grams). Although the harvesting time differs with the variety of zucchini and the growing cycle, harvesting typically begins 45-65 days after sowing if the temperature has been adequate.

Zucchini fruits should be harvested when the flowers attached to the end of the fruit begin to dry. Fruits that are too large contain numerous seeds and are not as tasty. The ripe zucchini fruit can be appreciated by its dark green color and hard skin; when cut, it is hollow and with seeds. These seeds begin to form when the fruit begins to thicken.

When to Harvest Black Beauty Zucchini

When to Harvest Black Beauty Zucchini? Black Beauty zucchini can be harvested after 55 to 65 days of cultivation. Black Beauty zucchini can also be harvested between 6″ and 8″ (15 and 20 cm) long.

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How to Tell When Zucchini Is Ready to Harvest

How to Tell When Zucchini Is Ready to Harvest? Zucchini is ready to harvest at 6” to 8” (15 and 20 cm). You will also notice that the zucchini flower will be drying. It would be best to harvest it on time to get the best flavor.

Each zucchini plant produces between 20 and 40 fruits. As the zucchini is harvested, the production of the plant is stimulated.

Problems with zucchini plants? Learn more about Zucchini Leaves Turning Yellow.

when is zucchini ready to pick
We are picking zucchini in the vegetable garden. Remember the best gardening practices mentioned in this article, as zucchini will not ripen after being picked from the plant. Moreover, overgrown zucchinis can negatively impact the plant’s productivity.

How to Harvest Zucchini

Now you know when to harvest zucchini and how to know when it is ready to pick. Let’s see some tips regarding how to harvest zucchini.

How to Harvest Zucchini? Zucchini is harvested by hand, using a sharp, clean knife or razor. A pair of pruning shears should also be used to harvest zucchini. To pick zucchini off the vine, always use a sharp knife or garden shears to harvest them without damaging their delicate skin.

The cut is made along the stalk that holds the fruit to the plant, about 0.8” or 1” (2 or 3 cm) above the fruit. For better preservation, the fruit should keep that piece of the peduncle.

It is preferable to harvest the zucchini in the morning before the sun warms up or in the afternoon once the temperatures have dropped. If zucchini is harvested at midday on a very hot day, the fruits will be very hot, affecting their conservation if they cannot be taken quickly to the refrigerator.

In the lower part of the refrigerator, zucchini will keep well for 9 to 10 days, provided they have been in good and healthy condition.

Zucchini should be handled with great care. Their delicate skin can be injured at the slightest touch or blow. If this happens, their conservation will also be compromised.

how and when to pick zucchini
How to Pick Zucchini? Zucchini is picked by hand using a sharp knife or scissors. To pick zucchini off the vine, always use a sharp knife or garden shears to harvest them without damaging their delicate skin. As the zucchini are picked, the plant’s production will be stimulated.

Final Thoughts Regarding Zucchini Ready To Pick

Let’s see a couple of final thoughts regarding zucchini ready to harvest.

Zucchinis grow very quickly, and zucchini flowers turn to fruit in a nutshell. Therefore, to be successful gardeners and have a great harvest, I advise checking the zucchini plants periodically during the growing season, as zucchinis can grow quite quickly. When reaching the days to maturity of zucchini, which are about 45 and 65 days, measure them in length and diameter. Then, touch them. They should feel tender. A zucchini is typically ready to be picked when it reaches a size of about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) in length and about 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) in diameter. The size may vary depending on the zucchini variety. Keep in mind this is the best practice, as zucchini will not ripen after being picked from the plant. Moreover, overgrown zucchinis can negatively impact the plant’s productivity.

To pick zucchini off the vine, it’s a good idea to use a sharp knife or garden shears to harvest zucchini. This helps prevent damaging or tearing the plant while cleanly cutting the stem. Then, look for the stem where the zucchini attaches to the plant. The stem is usually slightly above the zucchini, closer to the plant. Gently stabilize the zucchini with one hand, and use the knife or shears in your other hand to make a clean cut through the stem. Finally, cut about an inch (2.5 centimeters) above the zucchini. Remember to handle the harvested zucchinis carefully to avoid damaging their delicate skin.

I am confident you will have an excellent zucchini harvest after following our gardening tips.

One more thing, Did you have the chance to try the flowers? Zucchini flowers are edible and very tasty. If you still have some of them on your zucchini plants, here is a recommended post about harvesting zucchini flowers. Otherwise, plan for next year to Planting Zucchini on a Trellis to save some space in your garden, and you can harvest both edible zucchini flowers and zucchini squashes.

About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgans, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for TheGardenStyle.com as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.