Zucchinis are well known for being a summer squash that becomes soft and edible after maturing. Many people tend to believe that Zucchinis are the same thing as squash, however, it is not as simple as that.
All zucchini are squash, but not all squashes are zucchini, in fact, squashes are all plant species that are within the gourd family which comes with many plants that are divided into winter or summer plants.
In the case of zucchinis, you will find that they are considered summer squashes, meaning that all frost times should be avoided.
The problem with this is that if you live in a state like Washington where weather and temperatures are unbalanced on many dates of the year, gardening a summer squash (like the case of zucchini) becomes a troublesome task.
That is why the next article will discuss when to plant zucchini in Washington State while explaining everything about Washington’s climate zone and the last frost time.
When to Plant Zucchini in Washington State:
1.- Washington’s Climate Zone:
It proves to be wise to understand everything about Washington’s climate zone to know the reason behind the existence of many things such as the last frost time in this state. In the case of Washington state, it has a USDA scale that goes from 6a (in eastern regions) to 9a (western regions), this only shows how different and always changing the temperatures are in the cities of this state. Zucchini requires soils that are at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit, knowing this will be vital to avoid unwanted collisions with frost dates.
Also, Washington features a temperate Mediterranean climate that only helps in the development of dry/hotter summers and wetter winters, making gardening a complete challenge in many situations.
All of these conditions combined make Washington a state where temperatures can go as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit (in coastal regions) during frost times. But wait, it gets worse. In the central and western regions, frost dates can come with temperatures that go as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit. As explained before, none of these temperatures work for planting Zucchinis.
1.5.- Last Frost Time in Washington Cities:
Keeping track of your frost dates is vital for gardeners in Washington, as this will be the start of many gardening projects without suffering from interferences of cold temperatures. However, due to this state’s unique climate zone and weather, its main cities have different last frost times, and sometimes nature does its thing by finishing frost times earlier or later than expected.
It is impossible to determine the exact last frost time, but what is possible is creating approximations or predictions. In the case of Washington, here are the main last frost times:
Seattle: April 6th.
Vancouver: April 3rd.
Spokane: May 10th.
Bellevue: March 20th.
Tacoma: March 28th.
Remember that these work as a prediction, they might be never exact. So avoid overstressing yourself for not being able to plant your seeds at the same moment when frost times are over, depending on the weather and temperatures, you might have to wait some weeks to make sure that everything is good to go.
2.- When is the Best Time to Plant Zucchinis in Washington State:
The best time to plant zucchinis is when all the dangers from frost times are gone for the time being. In the case of direct-sow seeds, it would be better to plant them when the soil is at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, for those who desire an indoor approach, then it would be better to start seeds in peat pots at least 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost time. Just keep in mind that transplanting zucchinis is not recommended for beginner gardeners as zucchini do not always transplant well thanks to their gentle roots.
Do not overstress yourself with planting zucchinis as they should not be rushed by any means. Thanks to squash vine borers and pests or diseases that attack squashes, it would be better to act carefully and prepare everything beforehand to be prepared.
3.- Recommendations to Follow After Discovering the Best Time to Plant Zucchinis:
Once you have found the best time to plant zucchinis in Washington, understanding other things about this unique squash will prove to be worth your time.
It would be wise to pick a location that has access to full sun and shelter from strong winds. Also, thanks to zucchinis nature, it proves to be good to let pollinators get access to the plant.
Moist and well-drained soil is what is recommended for summer squashes and never forget that they produce well if they are well-fed, so do not be scared o use compost in the soil before planting.
When to Plant Zucchini in Washington State: Conclusion
Finally, sow the seeds in the ground 1 inch deep and 2 to 3 inches apart from each other to avoid collisions in the future. Consider growing zucchini companion plants in your garden.
Thoroughly water after planting and if necessary use row covers in cold climates for the first weeks of spring.
Keep an eye on pests and diseases and everything should be good to go.
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