Zucchini noodles, zucchini fritters or sliced zucchini in a salad—these are all yummy ways to eat the popular vegetable that is in season right now! But wait, IS it a vegetable?

Zucchini is a summer squash, meaning it is harvested in the summer before the outside skin, or rind, hardens. This makes the whole zucchini edible because the skin is still soft and tender! Whether it is on a farm or in your backyard, growing zucchini starts with a seed.

In peak, warm conditions the zucchini plant will start to sprout and grow leaves within 7 to 14 days. Depending on the zucchini variety, the plant sometimes has long vines or looks more like a bush. About six weeks after planting, the zucchini plant will flower! These bright yellow flowers are then pollinated by bees.

After pollination, the flowers produce fruit. So, technically zucchini is a FRUIT! Fruits develop from the flower of plant and contain seeds. For cooking purposes though, most people treat zucchini and other summer squashes like a vegetable.

Considering trying to grow some zucchini in your backyard? Check out some growing tips from True Food TV!

Zucchini and other summer squash can grow quickly, with many varieties producing mature zucchini in about 35-55 days!

In case you missed it our 2022 Book of the Year, How to Grow a Monster, is all about growing zucchini. You can get your copy here! Also, check out this free sample lesson all about pollination from the How to Grow a Monster Educator’s Guide.

Want to take learning further? Here are some more resources: