Zucchini Plant Spacing for Optimal Growth

If you’re looking to plant zucchinis, also known as courgettes, this year, you may be wondering how close together can zucchinis be planted? 

In this article I’ll share my tips for spacing zucchini plants so that you get the maximum yield from your garden space.

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growth stages of zucchinis

Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) plants are large and need plenty of room to spread out, so leave about 20 to 24 inches (50 to 60 cm) between each plant.

If you’re sowing zucchini seeds directly in the garden you can plant them closer together and then thin them out to the desired spacing once they get to one inch (2.5 cm) tall.

Benefits of proper zucchini spacing include

Higher yield

Zucchini plants that are spaced correctly have plenty of room to grow and don’t have to compete for resources with other plants, which leads to a higher yield.

Reduced risk of disease

Overcrowded zucchini plants are more likely to develop fungal diseases like powdery mildew because there isn’t enough air circulation between the plants.

Easier to harvest

When the plants are spaced correctly it’s easier to get in amongst the plants to harvest the zucchinis without damaging other plants.

Zucchinis grow fast and they can get to a massive size before you notice them if they’re hidden underneath the leaves.

Spacing zucchini seeds

When you direct sow zucchini seeds in the garden, it’s a good idea to space the seeds 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) apart. 

That’s because there is a chance that not all of your zucchini seeds will germinate.

zucchini seedlings

Thinning out zucchini seedlings

Once the seedlings get to about an inch (2.5 cm) tall you can start thinning them out.

Leave only the strongest, healthiest looking seedlings and remove the rest.

Use a sharp knife or gardening shears to cut off the seedlings you’re removing. 

If you pull the plants out by the roots, you risk disturbing the root system of the other seedlings.

Planting zucchini seedlings

If you start your zucchini plants indoors, they will be ready to be transplanted out to the garden when they have a few sets of leaves. 

Space the seedlings 20 to 24 inches (50 to 60 cm) apart in a row. 

If you’re planting more than one row of zucchinis, each row should be at least 36 inches (90 cm) away from the next row to give you enough space to walk in between the rows.

zucchini seedlings in pots

Growing zucchinis in raised garden beds

The good thing about growing zucchini plants in a raised garden bed is that you don’t need to leave space for rows, but the plants still need room to spread their leaves as they grow, so you’ll want to give them at least two feet (60 cm) of space in between each plant. 

Growing zucchinis in pots

If you don’t have a lot of room in your garden you can successfully grow zucchini plants in individual pots.

Choose a large container that is at least 18 inches (45 cm) in diameter with drainage holes in the bottom.

Plant a few seeds in each pot and once they reach an inch (2.5 cm) tall, thin them out so you’re left with only the strongest seedling.

Ensure that the container is situated in a spot that receives at least six hours of sunlight each day.

You’ll need to water potted zucchinis more often than plants in the garden because pots tend to dry out much more quickly.

zucchini plant in container

How to grow zucchini plants vertically

If you have a small garden you could try growing zucchinis vertically to save space.

Training the zucchini plants to grow up a trellis or other support structure means that you’ll be able to maximize your yield in a small area because the vines won’t be sprawling all over the garden.

Here’s what you need to know about vertical zucchini plant spacing:

The ideal distance between plants is about 18 inches (45 cm).

Zucchini plants can get heavy, so make sure your support structure is strong enough to hold them up.

You can start training your plants to grow vertically once they reach about 8 inches (20 cm) tall.

Gently guide the main stem of the plant up the support and secure it in place with a piece of old pantyhose, fabric or clips.

As the plant grows, continue to train it upwards. 

Prune off the lower leaves to help the plant conserve energy and to reduce the likelihood of fungal diseases.

harvesting zucchini


Now that you know how to space your zucchini plants, it’s time to get out there and start planting. 

With a little care and attention, you’ll be harvesting delicious zucchinis in no time.

How far apart do you space your zucchini plants? Let me know in the comments below.

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Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener and designer with over 10 years experience. I have a passion for small space gardening and I love designing and creating beautiful outdoor spaces that maximize the potential of small urban gardens. Read more