Zuchini and Summer Squash are fabulous plants to have indeed -
Last year I had my "SQUASH TRIALS" and pretty much worked out my method and arrangement for this year, I also got quite a few seeds from the last few months of them and carefully dried them (YES! They are a "Renewable Resource"
The trouble with starting seeds indoors - I find - is that you have to get them used to being OUTDOORS later on, and that can be frustrating.
What I have done this year is a little different. I have much better luck starting seeds directly in the soil, also this year I intend to use plastic sheeting extensively to prevent weeds from overwhelming everything..
My method then is based on inserting either sprouts containers or seed containers through black or clear plastic film.
I start seeds in clear plastic cups, about ten or twelve ounce. I cut the bottom completely OUT of one cup - forming a sleeve. This goes inside of another cup with a small drain hole in the bottom. Each "inner and outer" then is filled one third to halfway with soil and a seed (or group of seeds) set in them. The REASON for using clear plastic cups, is so that I can tell if a seedling is about to become root-bound.
Summer Squash (Early Summer Crooked Neck Squash) is normally grown in groups of three to four.
For starting directly outdoors, a slit is cut in the plastic sheet, and the double cup inserted through it so the soil inside is level with the ground.
The outer cup helps prevent weed intrusion. Once the sprout is coming up, the outer cup is removed so the roots can get down and establish themselves. The inner cup serves as a guide to direct the roots down, a wind break for the young seedling, a guide for the green part of the seedling to come up through the tarp, and finally: As protection from the tarp itself, so that the seedling can become strong enough in the stem to not be disturbed by the edges of the plastic.
Once the young plants are established, the inner cup is also removed.
All of these plastic cups are saved for more plants, or to be used again next season! I do not wish to litter the earth with waste plastic, nor do I like to pay for things TWICE!
I have learned to give Zuchini a space about nine feet across - this is the diameter my zuchini's reached last year at full growth.
My summer squash I plan a circle of about five or six feet in diameter.
For practical purposes, a ten foot wide stretch of garden I plant either with two rows of summer squash five feet apart, or with a row of zuchini right down the middle and nine feet apart.
Zuchini is also planted in groups of three or four seeds together.