Not all vegetables take from spring from fall to mature. If you’re getting a late start on your home garden or live in a region with a short growing season, fear not. There are many healthy, delicious vegetables that are quick to harvest. Here are the 12 fastest growing vegetables to get your garden jumpstarted.
One of the fastest growing vegetables are radishes. Most varieties will be ready for harvest in just 25 to 30 days after planting. Ready to get those radishes started? Check out this set of six packs of radish seeds that includes Purple Plush, French Breakfast, Easter Egg, Watermelon, German Giant, and Black Spanish radish seeds.
While it can take 6 months for onion bulbs to mature, the green onion stalks can be harvested after just 3 or 4 weeks. You can also grow onion microgreens and have baby onion greens in two to three weeks. Check out these organic green onion seeds. They’re non-GMO, non-hybrid heirloom seeds grown in the USA.
Leaf lettuce such as Romaine can begin to be harvested about 30 days after planting. Cut the leaves once they reach at least 3 inches. I love to grow a variety of lettuces so there’s always a colorful mixture ready for the salad bowl. The Lettuce Lovers Assortment is a great way to get started. It features eight lettuce varieties including Red Romaine, Iceberg, Parris Island Co, Black Seeded Simplson, Lollo Rosso, Oakleaf, and Prizehead.
Baby carrots can be harvested after about 30 days. Other carrot varieties may take between 50 and 80 days to mature.
Spinach is ready in as little as 4 to 6 weeks after planting.
Snow peas take only about 10 days to germinate and are ready for harvest in about 60 days.
Most varieties of bush beans are ready to harvest within 40 to 65 days from planting.
KALE & OTHER LEAFY GREENS
Kale, mustard greens and watercress are just a few delicious, super healthy greens that are fast growers. Most take about 50 to 65 days to mature, but baby leaves can be picked as early as 25 days.
Turnip roots are ready for harvest after about 60 days, however the highly edible leaves can be harvested in only 40 days.
Many varieties of squash, including zucchini, are usually ready after about 70 days. For best flavor, harvest squash when they are still small. Once you’ve got lots of zucchini harvested from your garden, turn them into healthy zucchini noodles (also known as zoodles). For recipes and ideas, check out one of our sister sites, Zucchini Noodle Recipes. There are zoodle recipes for almost every dietary plan!
Most varieties of cucumbers can be harvested about 50 to 70 days after planting.
If you would like to print out the entire list for your garden notebook, you can get it here:
- 20 Quick-Growing Veggies
- 17 Fast Growing Vegetables for Impatient Gardeners
- What do ‘Fast Growing’ Vegetables really mean?
- 17 Fast Growing Vegetables for Quick Harvests
- Lightning Fast Leafy Greens
- Rapid Root Crops
- Snappy Pods
- Quick Pick Vegetables
- 5 Tips for Fast Growing Vegetables
- 16 Fast Growing Vegetables:
- 1. Arugula
- 2. Spinach
- 3. Baby Carrots
- 4. Radishes
- 5. Cucumbers
- 6. Beets
- 7. Bush Beans
- 8. Bok Choy
- 9. Lettuce
- 10. Summer Squash
- 11. Okra
- 12. Kale/ Greens
- 13. Snow Peas
- 14. Broccoli
- 15. Green Onions
- 16. Turnips
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- How can we improve it?
- We appreciate your helpul feedback!
- 1. Sunflower Shoots – 12 Days
- 2. Garden Cress – 14 Days
- 3. Radishes – 21 Days
- 4. Green Onions – 21 Days
- 5. Tatsoi – 25 Days
- 6. Lettuce – 30 Days
- 7. Spinach – 30 Days
- 8. Arugula – 30 Days
- 9. Kale – 30 Days
- 10. Bok Choy – 30 to 45 Days
- 11. Turnips – 30 to 55 Days
- 12. Beets – 35 to 60 Days
- 13. Zucchini – 40 to 50 Days
- 14. Bush Beans – 40 to 55 Days
- 15. Broccoli Rabe – 40 to 60 Days
- 16. Swiss Chard – 45 Days
- 17. Baby Carrots – 50 Days
- 18. Cucumber – 50 Days
- If you get little impatient when growing vegetables– Must see this list of Fast Growing Vegetables. Most of these fast growing container vegetables can be harvested in 2 months or even quicker.
- 2. Arugula (Rocket)
- 3. Spinach
- 4. Beets
- 5. Radish
- 6. Asian Greens
- 7. Green Onion
- 8. Sprouts
- 9. Fenugreek
- 10. Peas
- 11. Kale
- 12. Okra
- 13. Mustard Green
- 10 Easy Vegetables to Grow From Seed
- 1. Beans
- 2. Beets
- Beet roots will develop quickly and uniformly in loose soil, so before planting, work the soil to remove clumps and stones. If you prefer to harvest small beets, double the number of seeds per row; crowding results in small roots. A mix of seeds from red, yellow, and white beets will yield a variety of flavors and colors. Buy packets of mixed seeds or blend your own. See our Growing Guide for Beets.
- 3. Carrots
- 4. Cucumbers
- 5. Kale
- 6. Lettuce
- 7. Peas
- 8. Pumpkins
- 9. Radishes
- 10. Squash (Zucchini)
- Learn More
- Related posts:
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20 Quick-Growing Veggies
Growth rates vary greatly with each variety so check your seed packet for specific info.
The key is warm soil temperatures for optimum seed germination.
For cool-tolerant crops, in general, the seed sowing soil temperature range is 50 to 68 °F | 10 to 20° C.
Covers including cold frames, cloches, polytunnels, or frost cloths will help prevent damage from cold and frost.
- Arugula | Rocket | 20-40 days
- Beets | 40-70 days | tops and roots
- Broccoli Raab/Rapini/Rabi | 40-60 days| leaves and tops are edible
- Endive | 35-50 days
- Kale | 30-65 days | the baby greens are much more tender than mature kale
- Kohlrabi | 40-50 days
- Leaf lettuce | 40-60 days
- Mache/ Cornsalad | 45-50 days
- Mesclun Greens | 30-45 days – this is my favorite variety pack and often comes with 6-10 different seed types.
- Mibuna | 21-40 days
- Mizuna | 35-45 days
- Mustard | 21-45 days
- Onion greens | 40-50 days | grow micro-onion greens, baby bulbs, or onion stalks
- Pak Choi | 40-55 days
- Peas | 50-60 days | pea shoots are sweet and delicious!
- Radishes | 21-30 days | Radish tops are mild and add nice flavor to salads
- Spinach | 30-55 days
- Swiss Chard | 30-60 days
- Tatsoi | 21-45 days
- Turnips | 35-50 days | Leaves and root are edible
17 Fast Growing Vegetables for Impatient Gardeners
Are you an impatient gardener? Eager to get some fast growing vegetables on your plate? Maybe you have a short growing season? Or want to fill a few spare pots. If you’re keen to find out which vegetables grow quickly, read on!
Thankfully, there are plenty of fast growing vegetables like leafy greens, legumes, brassicas and root crops you can grow. So let’s dig in.
What do ‘Fast Growing’ Vegetables really mean?
Days to Maturity
While the time frame is open to interpretation, let’s assume you’re looking for foods that will be ready to eat in 60 days or less. You can find the average ‘days to maturity’ on seed packets and in catalogues. This is the time from when you sow seeds to first harvest. Often you will see this as a range e.g. 45-60 days. The vegetables in this list are based on the average harvest date from the time you sow seeds. If you start with seedlings, you can pick even earlier!
The vegetable variety you choose will play a part in how quickly they grow. So, for example, a small round baby carrot heirloom variety like ‘Paris Market’ that only grows to 4cm in diameter, will be on your table much quicker than one with a long root, like ‘Nantes’. Similarly, climbers will take longer to grow than bush or dwarf varieties. Makes sense right?
It’s also worth remembering that plants tend to grow faster in warmer seasons and mature more slowly in cooler months. So WHEN you plant will also be a factor.
Other Plant Growth Factors
As there is so much variation in climate conditions, soil types, sunlight, moisture and seasons around the world, these suggestions are a guide only. Here in subtropical Queensland, Australia, I can grow year-round with only a relatively mild winter. Your climate may be different. Make sure you give your plants the sunlight hours they do best in if possible as this will speed up or slow down growth accordingly.
If your soil is poor or very dry, try improving or making your own potting mix or seed raising mix and compost to grow in. Plants will respond best in good quality moist soil.
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Set realistic expectations
If you’re anticipating successful results when you sow seeds or seedlings into ‘dead dirt’, a heavily shaded position, with little watering, fertilising or mulch, you will likely be disappointed! Below you’ll find tips on preparing for planting, so let’s get stuck into the list!
17 Fast Growing Vegetables for Quick Harvests
This list of quick maturing edibles will give you plenty of options for adding tasty leafy greens, root vegetables and tummy fillers by starting with seeds.
Lightning Fast Leafy Greens
All leaf vegetables will appreciate you adding compost to your potting mix or soil before planting. Why? Compost provides nitrogen and other soluble nutrients for quick growth.
Keep leafy greens consistently moist to avoid bitterness and bolting to seed too early. Regular liquid feeds encourage healthy robust growth.
1. Rocket or Arugula
The name ‘Rocket’ should give you a hint that this mildly peppery herb and leafy salad green is a rapid grower (40-60 days)! It’s ideal to pick leaves when young and small as the flavour is not as spicy. Need this herb in a hurry? .
‘Pick and pluck’ loose-leaf lettuce varieties like ‘Oakleaf’, ‘Lollo Rosso’ and ‘Salad Bowl’ Green and Red grow leaves ready to pick in around 30-45 days. You can harvest individual leaves from the outside in, rotating from plant to plant. Try several types so your salads have different nutrients, textures and colours!
Salad Bowl container garden with pick and pluck Oakleaf lettuce varieties, rocket, basil and spring onions
These robust vegetables produce baby leaves in around 30 days and mature ones after about 60 days. Try ‘Dwarf Red Russian’ or ‘Siberian Kale’ for colour, texture and flavour. Try ‘Tuscan Cavalo Nero’ Kale for long slender bumpy leaves. I’ve found these mature faster than curly leaf ‘Dwarf Green’ Kale.
There are so many varieties of baby leaf spinach as well as perennials, you have heaps of choices! A few to try are ‘Bloomsdale Long Standing’ (39-50 days); Silverbeet ‘Bright Lights’ (28 days baby leaves, 55 days mature); ‘Golden Sunrise’ (baby leaves 28-33 days after sowing); ‘Lucullus’ a heavy yielding hardy Silverbeet for warm weather (45-60 days) and Chard (60 days).
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5. Mustard Greens
You can harvest these colourful spicy leaves when young in 30 days or less, and mature in around 40-60 days depending on the variety. I often pick them in just 3 weeks! The seeds germinate quickly and these leafy vegetables are ideal for adding peppery flavour to salads, soups and stir-fries. Try ‘Osaka Purple’ (40 days), ‘Red Splendor’ (45 days) and ‘Garnet Giant’ (21 days for baby leaves, 45 days for full size).
This tasty Asian spinach is ideal for stir-fries plus quick to grow. Tatsoi is one of my favourite fast growing vegetables. It produces an attractive rosette of dark green leaves in just 45-50 days that you can pick from the outside in, rather than harvesting the whole plant at once. Perfect for quick salad greens too. It’s a brilliant baby spinach substitute.
7. Bok Choy
This is a Chinese cabbage that doesn’t form a head and is grown for its tender white stemmed green leaves. Use in stir-fries and soups. Pick individual outer leaves often like silverbeet by slicing the base with a knife. Bok choy is ready in around 60 days.
Bok choy and Tatsoi are fast growing Asian green vegetables
8. Salad Greens
OK, so really this list is a LOT longer than just 17 vegetables but I’ve grouped salad greens together for convenience! There are too many salad greens to mention them all but these are a few popular ones to try. Red-Veined Sorrel (55 days); Corn Salad (45-60 days); Miner’s Lettuce (40 days); Mizuna (40-60 days) and Radicchio (55 days). They all have different colours, textures and flavours to add zing and nutritional value to your meals.
Rapid Root Crops
Firstly, one of the fabulous things about growing root vegetables is you can eat both the root and leaves. They don’t take up much space and grow well even in deep pots. Perfect to fill in spaces in your garden. Avoid overwatering. Read these Tips for Growing Root Crops.
Radishes are sown from seed and harvested in just 3-4 weeks. These delicious crunchy, crisp and colourful vegetables are absolute speed demons from seed to feed! A few compact varieties I like are ‘Champion Cherry Belle’ (30-35 days), Hailstone ‘White Globe’ (23-30 days), ‘French Breakfast’ (28 days) and ‘Plum Purple’ (28-30 days).
10. Baby Beetroot
I think beetroot are best harvested young and slightly smaller than their mature size. They can get woody unless you keep an eye on them. The leaves are absolutely delicious in salads, and you can use all parts of this vegetable. Watch this video to learn how. That way you maximise every part of your beet! A couple of my fast growing favourites are ‘Golden’ and ‘Early Wonder’ (both 55 days).
Alternatively, try growing ‘Bull’s Blood’ beetroot for its dark red-purple leaves to enjoy in salads as microgreens or mature leaves (35 days) or enjoy the baby beet (58 days).
These easy-to-grow vegetables are nutritious and tasty. Try roasting with carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin to bring out the sweetness. One of my favourites is ‘Purple Top White Globe’ which matures in as little as 45 days. ‘Purple Top Milan’ is even faster in around 30-35 days as it has a white flat root shape.
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12. Bush Peas
Sow seeds after pre-soaking to speed up germination in cooler months. Because snow peas don’t need to fill out like podded peas, some of these varieties mature the fastest. Try Bush ‘Oregon’ snow peas (60 days) or Bush ‘Sugarsnap’ (56-58 days). Read these tips for growing perfect peas.
Similarly, these vegetables establish a small compact bush first before flowers and beautiful beans appear. Consequently, bush beans are much faster producers than climbing varieties. These have a longer growing period before you can pick your crop. A few to try are creamy yellow ‘Cherokee Wax’ (55-60 days); purple ‘Royal Burgundy’ (50-60 days); high yielding early green bean ‘Provider’ (52 days) and ‘Gourmet Delight’ (53-60 days). Tips for Growing Beans.
Quick Pick Vegetables
14. Squash/Baby Zucchini
Picked young and tender, these delicious members of the Squash Family are great tummy fillers. I harvest zucchini when just 10-12cm (4 in) long in around 60 days. Give these vegetables a little more space and they’ll produce a fabulous harvest.
15. Spring Onions
These are delicious members of the onion family ready for picking young stems in around 60 days. I harvest from the outside in, to encourage new growth. They are more like big chives and so packed with nutrition and flavour. Learn how to grow spring onions including a short cut!
Healthy fast growing Broccolini harvest packed with flavour and nutrients
16. Broccolini and Broccoli
So, while these brassica crops push the 60-day barrier, I harvest my first shoots in this timeframe and think they’re worth including. I make sure to sow seeds or plant seedlings in the new moon phase for optimum speed of root and shoot development. Why? Because this gives them a massive head start and accelerates growth, so I can harvest earlier than normal seed packets suggest. Snip off the baby shoots and leaves for sulphur-rich, anti-cancer vegetables in your meals. Try ‘Italian Green Sprouting Waltham 20’ (60+ days) or ‘Spring Raab’ (40-60 days) and Broccoli ‘Broccoletti’ (60+ days) for tender side shoots. Much earlier if you start with seedlings rather than seeds!
Dwarf and compact pickling cucumber varieties are ideal for small spaces and impatient gardeners alike! Try ‘Beit Alpha’ (55-57 days), ‘National Pickling Gherkin’ (50-58 days) and ‘Green Gem Pionsett’ (56+ days).
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5 Tips for Fast Growing Vegetables
1. Seedlings vs Seeds
You can save money by sowing seeds. However, starting with seedlings can save you an average of 3-4 weeks and (sometimes much longer) waiting for seeds to germinate. The times above are for sowing seeds, so you can definitely speed up harvest time by planting seedlings!
2. Work with Nature’s Timing
Time your planting in harmony with the moon phases. If you want to get faster growth of leaves, strong root development and harvest quicker, moon planting offers you many advantages. You are just working with the sap flow in plants and using nature’s timing to your advantage, and can often save weeks. I wouldn’t dream of growing my garden any other way. New to this concept? Learn more about moon planting.
How to Make Potting Mix at Home Guide
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Microgreens Growing Guide Chart
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Moon Calendar Gardening Guide
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3. Care for your Plants
Prepare your soil or potting mix well and maintain consistent moisture so your plants have the best chance of success. Heat, nutrient or water-stressed plants will slow down in growth.
4. Speedy Sprouts and Microgreens
Sow vegetable and herb sprouting seeds and harvest in 7-21 days as microgreens or even faster as sprouts. These digestive enzyme-rich living foods are harvested as baby plants not long after germination. Even though microgreens and sprouts don’t provide bulk food, they are an extremely valuable source of raw energy and nutrients.
5. Pick Early
Finally, harvest vegetables when immature, young and tender rather than waiting until they grow full size. For example, pick young celery when stalks are thin, not stringy and they are delicious. Less water used too! Baby leaf greens, Asian greens and baby carrots are a few other vegetables you can pick early.
Impatient to plant these fast growing vegetables? Follow this tutorial to get started: ‘Fast Food – DIY Instant Veggie Garden Part 1’.
Why not try a few of these fast growing vegetables in your garden? Clearly, there’s no need to wait when you can be enjoying healthy ‘fast food’ on your plate in weeks!
- 3 Steps to Prepare your Garden for Planting
- 40+ Best Shade Tolerant Vegetables
- 12 Valuable Tips to Grow Healthy Microgreens
- Seed Starting Guide: Quick Tips for Starting Seeds Successfully
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Would you like to grow a vegetable garden but feel like it just takes way too long? Well, the amazing thing is, it doesn’t have to.
Instead, you can plant some faster-growing veggies and have some great fresh food options to choose from.
So if this sounds great to you, then you’ll want to stay tuned to this post.
16 Fast Growing Vegetables:
Here are the faster vegetable options that you can grow in your garden:
Arugula is a wonderful little green that has a peppery flavor to it. We grew it previously at our old homestead. It was a delicious addition to our perennial garden.
So if you’d like to have a peppery green to toss in your salad, then you should consider growing it. All you’ll need to do is plant it, give it about 2 months to produce mature leaves, and then cut them when you’re ready to enjoy.
Then they’ll continue to grow back each year for your enjoyment.
via Fresh Square
Spinach was one of the first things I ever tried growing. I did so because of how fast it grew and how simple it was to grow.
Basically, you directly sow the seeds into a good quality dirt. Then you’ll just need to water and wait. Before you know it, in about 4-6 weeks, you’ll have fresh spinach.
Then you will have a nice addition to any salad, or you could prepare the spinach fresh like in this recipe.
3. Baby Carrots
Baby carrots taste delicious, are a great snack, are great to cook with, and don’t take as long as full-sized carrots because they don’t have to grow to be as large.
So if you enjoy carrots and want them quickly, then you’ll definitely want to pick the baby carrot variety. Then you’ll just plant them in the ground, or in a container garden.
Either way, be sure to directly sow the seeds in quality dirt. Then in about 30 days, you’ll have your first harvest.
If you need more direction on growing carrots, here is a resource for you.
Radishes are probably one of the fastest plants you can grow. They are also super simple to grow as well.
So if you’d like to try and grow your own vegetables, then this might be a good place to start. You’ll directly sow these seeds in quality dirt.
Then in about 25-30 days, you should have your first harvest.
Cucumbers are a very versatile plant to grow. You can make lots of delicious recipes with them. You can start with eating them fresh.
Then they could be a great addition to a salad. When you are “cucumbered out”, you can start making pickles with the fresh cucumbers.
But be advised that cucumbers like to run so you’ll need to either place them on a trellis or give them plenty of space to grow.
via Feed the Spirit
Beets are one of those vegetables that either you like or you don’t. But even if you don’t like the actual beet itself, you may enjoy the greens that come from the plant.
So either way, it is a great vegetable to grow if you’d like to have a harvest in a hurry. It is good to grow in the spring or when we are heading into fall because they can withstand a little heat, but don’t like the super hot temperatures we often experience during summer.
But if you plant beets, you can harvest the beets themselves in around 50 days. However, you can harvest the greens from the beets in about 30 days.
7. Bush Beans
via Real Foods
Bush beans are my favorite kind of bean. They grow beautifully in the garden, they are easier to prepare when canning green beans, and they also produce a quicker harvest.
So if you love tender green beans, then consider planting a bush bean variety. All you’ll need to do is directly sow the seeds into quality dirt.
Then over time, with water and sunlight, they will produce a beautiful green bean bush. In around 40-65 days you should have your first harvest of green beans.
Here are more details on how to grow green beans.
8. Bok Choy
Bok Choy is a fun plant. It looks fun, and it is even fun to say its name.
But it is also a great plant to grow because it can produce a mature harvest in around 30 days. If that isn’t a super fast plant, I’m not sure what is.
So if you are looking for something different to grow that will produce a fast harvest, then you should definitely consider Bok Choy.
Lettuce is such a versatile plant. There are so many different varieties to choose from that you can have a different flavor and crunch with each one.
But the great thing about lettuce is that it is hearty so it can grow in colder temperatures, and it also doesn’t take very long to produce a mature harvest.
In fact, most lettuce can produce a harvest in about 30 days.
So if you want something healthy, green, and fast, then you should definitely consider lettuce.
10. Summer Squash
Summer squash is probably one of my favorite vegetables to enjoy during the warmer months. It tastes delicious, is easy to grow, and produces quickly too.
So if you need to learn how to grow your own squash, here is a great resource to help you along the way.
But a quick overview is basically, you directly sow the seeds in quality soil, water them, and wait for them to grow and produce.
However, you’ll want to be sure to harvest your squash or zucchini when they are young for better flavor.
Okra is another favorite vegetable of mine. It only takes about 50 days to produce a mature harvest.
Then you are clear to pick it and fry it up into a delicious side dish that most enjoy.
But you can also prepare okra in other ways as well. Go ahead and enjoy this fast growing vegetable. You’ll be glad you tried it!
12. Kale/ Greens
I am a huge fan of greens and kale, but it has not always been that way. In fact, growing up, I wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole.
But I’ve learned it is all in the preparation. I think I also love them even more now because I try to grow most of my family’s food.
And who doesn’t love a vegetable that is fast to produce? You can pick baby greens from kale or mustard greens in only 25 days.
Then you can have your mature leaves in about 50-65 days.
13. Snow Peas
via Pop Sugar
Peas have always been interesting to grow to me. In my experience, you have to plant a lot of them to get a decent harvest.
Now, for me when I say decent, I mean enough to eat and preserve.
But if you just like to plant something to eat on it, then this could still be a good option for you. Snow peas take around 10 days to complete the germination process.
Then you can harvest them at around 60 days. 2 months isn’t that long to have a vegetable ready to harvest.
I love broccoli. As a kid, it fascinated me because it looked like tiny trees. As an adult, I love it because I can put cheese on it, butter on it, or seasonings and enjoy it again and again.
But as someone that tries to produce most of their own food, I love broccoli because it likes colder weather. It is refreshing to be able to grow something green when the temperatures are still nippy outside.
So if you love broccoli too, then know that you can grow it and have it ready for harvest in around 60 days. That is how long it takes for it to make mature heads.
However, you could enjoy smaller heads of broccoli even sooner than that. It is all about your preference.
15. Green Onions
Green onions are another really versatile plant. You plant onions as bulbs. The bulbs take around 6 months to produce full-size onions.
But you can get green onion stalks at around 3-4 weeks. They taste delicious as a garnish for soups or to be added to stir-fry as well.
So if you want something green, fresh, and packed with onion flavor, then know that you can have all of that in less than a month.
Turnips are another vegetable that is amazing because you get two products in one plant. Turnips produce a bulb that has a very unique flavor.
In my experience, you either love them or you don’t. My mother-in-law absolutely loved them. She’d eat them every meal if she could.
Whereas my husband and children won’t go anywhere near them.
So you’ll need to try them for yourself to see which category you’ll fall into.
But whether you like the actual turnips or not, they produce some amazing greens. I love turnip greens. You can boil them, pour off the first boil, then boil them again. This takes away some of their bitterness.
Then you cook them with some bacon, onions, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper. You’ll have one amazing side dish.
So if this sounds good, then know that you can have turnip greens in 40 days and turnip roots in around 60 days.
Now you have 16 different fast growing vegetables to start your garden with. They can be grown at different times of the year which means you can have a fast harvest almost year round.
So hopefully, this will encourage you to produce some of your own food now that you know it doesn’t have to take an eternity to be able to harvest your vegetables.
But I’d like to know what vegetables you grow to get a quick harvest? What is your method for growing it?
We love hearing from you so leave us your comments in the section provided below.
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Just because vegetable gardening is usually an exercise in patience doesn’t mean you can’t grow fast food. For all the keen and restless gardeners out there who can’t stand the long wait for fresh produce, we’ve gathered up some of the fastest growing foods for you to enjoy on the quick.
1. Sunflower Shoots – 12 Days
The product of extremely immature sunflowers, sunflower shoots (or sunflower greens or sunflower sprouts) may be tiny but they sure pack a wallop in terms of nutrition! Harvest by cutting the stems once they have two leaves, but before they show their “true leaves” because sunflower shoots become bitter as they age.
2. Garden Cress – 14 Days
Ready to harvest in as little as two weeks, garden cress can be planted in early spring – as soon as the soil can be worked. Also a garden space-saver, a small (1 or 2 feet square) patch of cress will supply you will an abundance of this tangy herb.
3. Radishes – 21 Days
A cool season crop, spring radishes grow best in 50?F to 65?F weather. Once sown, you’ll see leafy green shoots above the soil in just three or four days. Keep planting seeds every week or two for a constant harvest through spring and autumn.
4. Green Onions – 21 Days
Also called scallions, green onions are quick-growing plants that can be cut back to their base again and again throughout the season. Once their green shoots reach a height of 6 inches, they are ready for the first round of harvesting.
5. Tatsoi – 25 Days
A low-growing mustard green, tatsoi (pronounced “taht-SOY”) is a wonderful addition to salads and soups. Baby tatsoi leaves can be harvested when they reach 4 inches in length, or you can wait the full 40 days for tatsoi to mature to full size.
6. Lettuce – 30 Days
Another cool-weather vegetable that prefers temperatures between 60?F and 70?F, lettuce seeds should be sown in early spring and late summer.
Of the five types of lettuce – loose-leaf, cos, crisphead, butterhead, and stem – leaf lettuce varieties like green leaf and red leaf are among the easiest to cultivate and are more tolerant of hot weather. Planting new seeds every 14 days will provide a continuous harvest.
7. Spinach – 30 Days
Able to survive in temperatures as low as 15?F, spinach is a cold hardy vegetable that can be planted as soon as the ground thaws. Pluck outer spinach leaves from the plant as it grows or re-sow seeds every two weeks for successive harvests.
Don’t wait too long to gather spinach because its leaves will become bitter once the plant reaches maturity.
8. Arugula – 30 Days
Since arugula seeds germinate well in cooler soil, they can be planted as soon as the garden bed can be worked after the spring thaw. Sow seeds every two to three weeks for continuous harvesting.
9. Kale – 30 Days
A “cut-and-come-again” plant, kale’s young and tender leaves can be culled continually throughout the growing season once the plant is about 2 inches tall. Avoid picking the central bud, since this keeps kale growing and productive.
10. Bok Choy – 30 to 45 Days
Bok choy – also known as pak choy and Chinese cabbage – is a cool weather vegetable that is best planted in spring and fall. Baby leaves can be harvested in a month, or you may wait a couple more weeks for full-sized bok choy heads.
11. Turnips – 30 to 55 Days
Ready to harvest in less than two months when grown for its large bulbs, gardeners can also choose to pluck turnips from the soil early for a sampling of tender, sweet, mild-tasting roots. When turnip greens reach a diameter of about 2 inches, they can be topped as well and added to fresh salads.
12. Beets – 35 to 60 Days
With edible bits above and below the soil, red beet cultivars produce nutritious greens that are ready to be picked about a month after sowing.
Beet leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, but only snip off a leaf or two from each plant so as not to impede root production.
When beet shoulders begin to protrude from the soil, after another month, it’s time to pull the plant from the ground.
13. Zucchini – 40 to 50 Days
A true bumper crop, a single zucchini plant will produce between 6 to 10 pounds of fruit each season.
Once zucchini begins to flower, fruits will be ready to harvest in about 4 to 8 days. For fast results, plant “Eight Ball”, “Seneca”, “Gold Rush”, or “Spacemiser” varieties.
14. Bush Beans – 40 to 55 Days
A good choice for the beginner gardener, bush beans are low maintenance and easy to grow. Unlike pole bean varieties, they do not require the support of a stake or trellis, and will spread up to two feet. Plant new seeds every two weeks for staggered harvests.
15. Broccoli Rabe – 40 to 60 Days
A distant cousin to broccoli proper, rapini – or broccoli rabe – is actually closer to the turnip and mustard families.
With leafy shoots surrounding a cluster of green buds on thick stems, all parts of broccoli rabe are edible and can be eaten raw in salads, sautéed with garlic and oil, or boiled in soups.
Plant “Quarantina” or “Sessantina” varieties for a quicker harvest.
16. Swiss Chard – 45 Days
A member of the beet family, Swiss chard can be harvested throughout the season by cutting off the outer leaves when they are about 3 inches long and are still young and tender.
In addition to using the fresh leaves in salads, you can cut Swiss chard stems from the leaf and cook them like you would asparagus.
17. Baby Carrots – 50 Days
Pint-sized varieties like “Little Finger” and “Thumbelina” are faster growing than other carrot cultivars, and because of their short stature, they can be easily grown in a container garden.
18. Cucumber – 50 Days
Since cucumbers become bitter with age, it’s best to pick them while they are immature, and well before they begin to yellow.
Faster growing varieties include fresh slicing types like “Bush Crop”, “Straight 8”, and “Sweet Success” as well as pickling cultivars such as “Bush Pickle”, “Carolina”, and “Calypso”.
Be sure to harvest cucumbers frequently as leaving the fruit on the vine (or bush) will exhaust the plant and slow the production of new cukes.
If you get little impatient when growing vegetables– Must see this list of Fast Growing Vegetables. Most of these fast growing container vegetables can be harvested in 2 months or even quicker.
When it comes to fast growing vegetables, lettuce is our favorite. Healthy and continuously productive, this crispy salad green has many qualities that make it a blessing for health. Growing lettuce is easy and fun too, to read more about this !
2. Arugula (Rocket)
Arugula is an aromatic, peppery-flavored salad green. This easy to grow leafy green is fast growing, and you can start to harvest it in just 20-21 days for baby leaves. Window boxes or other shallow but wide containers are suitable; you can place this edible where it will receive a fair amount of sun and plenty of moisture.
Spinach is one of the vegetables that can be grown in both shade and sun. It grows easily in containers, and you can even plant it indoors on a windowsill. For growing spinach in pots, choose a pot that is least 6-8 inches deep and use a quality potting mix that is rich in organic matter. Check out this article to learn how to grow it in pots.
Growing beets in containers is quick and easy, and you don’t need a large container for planting it, too. A container that is 6-8 inches deep and soil that is rich in compost is all you need. Its roots get ready to harvest in as little as 45 days although you can harvest the greens within two to three weeks.
Radishes are one of the quickest growing vegetables and suitable for container vegetable gardening as you can also grow them in small pots. A planter that is 6 inches deep is enough as they have a shallow root system. Radishes are ready for the harvest within 24-60 days, depending more on the variety.
6. Asian Greens
Asian greens are great to grow in pots in shady spaces, they grow fast and don’t need a lot of sun. You can grow them in a spot that receives only 3-4 hours of sun. Providing them plenty of moisture and organic fertilizer is important so that they thrive.
Bok choy of one of the Asian greens that get ready to harvest as soon as about 30 days for baby varieties.
7. Green Onion
Green onions can be a crispy and delicious addition to your salad bowls and sandwiches. Even in a limited space like a windowsill, you can get enough harvest. Green onion stalks can be picked after 3 or 4 weeks.
If you are little impatient for harvesting, grow sprouts. Sprouts can grow almost anywhere in your home. It is such a rewarding experience as they grow easily and quickly. All you need is a quart jar, a few tablespoons of sprouting seeds and water. In a week, you’ll have a jar full of healthy delicate sprouts that can be sprinkled on salads, added to sandwiches or tossed into soups for a delicious and healthful twist on your favorite recipes.
Fenugreek is a lesser known annual Asian vegetable (popularly used in the Indian subcontinent), it grows quickly if the temperature is warm in summer. You can start this plant from seeds just like spinach. Check out more here!
Within 2 months after planting, peas can be harvested. If you choose a right variety and growing conditions are optimal, growing peas is super easy, even in containers. Also, check out our article on BEST CONTAINER VEGETABLES!
Kale can tolerate some heat, but the best flavor comes when the weather cools down, especially in spring and fall. You can plant kale from early spring to late summer, and if you want to try this green in subtropical or tropical climate, winter is the right time for its growth.
Also known as “Lady Finger,” this slimy-sweet, warm weather vegetable is favorite of many Southerners and in other parts of the world. It’s true that no other vegetable can taste like okra! Many okra varieties start to produce pods in just 50 days, not only this– its flowers look beautiful too.
Also Read: How To Grow Okra In Pots
13. Mustard Green
Like other greens, mustard is one of the fast growing vegetables. It is easy to grow and prefers warm weather. You can use its tender leaves in salads, or use it like spinach. There are also many curry recipes that require mustard leaves.
Tired of growing the same varieties of veggies year after year? To diversify (and hone your skills as a gardener), try growing your garden from seed! Here are some of the easiest vegetables to grow from seed rather than from transplants.
Why Start Plants from Seed?
There are a few good reasons to try starting your garden plants from seed:
- Seeds are much cheaper, especially in greater quantities. They often keep at least a couple years, and they can be shared with friends and neighbors, too.
- Seeds offer much more variety than the often limited choice of transplants in a nursery. Just take a look at these seed catalogs and let the dreams begin!
- Starting plants from seed means you can ensure they are healthy and strong right from the start.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with using transplants to start your garden—most people do. Transplants are less fragile and they allow you to get a head start on growing plants that require a long, warm growing season, like tomatoes.
10 Easy Vegetables to Grow From Seed
This is not a complete list, by any means, but these are considered some of the easiest and most common vegetables that can be grown from seeds.
Bean plants are fast growers and thrive in warm, moist soil. Bush beans need no support, but pole beans do need to climb something, such as poles, strings, trellises, or tepees. See our Growing Guide for Beans.
Photo by Smereka/.
Photo by Darasp Kran/.
Many beginners find their carrots are short and deformed. It’s important to provide well-drained, soft soil. Mix in some sand and really loosen it up. Also, it is essential to THIN carrot seedlings to the proper spacing so they’re not overcrowded. Be bold! Thin those seedlings if you want carrots to form properly. See our Growing Guide for Carrots.
Prepare in advance for cucumbers; amend the soil with a fertilizer high in nitrogen and potassium to support the plant’s large yields. If possible, plant cucumbers in the sun next to a fence. The fence will serve as support for climbing and act as a shelter. Or plant them near corn. The corn will trap the heat that cucumbers crave and also serve as a windbreak. See our Growing Guide for Cucumbers.
Super-nutritious kale is an easy member of the cabbage family to grow. You can set out plants any time from early spring to early summer and kale will grow until it gets too hot. Plant again the fall, especially if you live in the southern United States. Another nice thing about kale is that it only gets sweeter after being hit by a couple frosts.
Try kale baked, stir-fried, or steamed. Enjoy in salads, smoothies, omelettes, casseroles, or wherever you’d use spinach. See our Growing Guide for Kale.
Lettuce is one of the few “vegetables” that does fine in some shade and, in extremely hot weather, actually prefers a shady respite. Lettuce growth slows in shade; it is also slower to go to seed, or “bolt.” If you want full heads of romaine and head lettuce to develop, thin them. Allow for 8 to 10 inches between plants. As you thin young plants, save the delicate small leaves for salads. See our Growing Guide for Lettuce.
Plant peas as soon as the soil can be worked—2 weeks before the average last spring frost for your region, if possible. To harvest a continuous supply of peas during the summer, simultaneously sow varieties with different maturity dates. Then sow more seeds about 2 weeks later. Continue this pattern, sowing no later than mid-June. See our Growing Guide for Peas.
Photo by DigiCake/.
Growing a pumpkin is easy and fun. Just give them warm soil that’s rich in compost because they’re greedy eaters. Water often, as they drink a lot, too. Plant seeds on a mound and give them plenty of room (3-foot diameter) for their vines to sprawl. See our Growing Guide for Pumpkins.
Radish seeds are natural companions to carrots. Mix radish seeds with carrot seeds before you sow, especially if your soil tends to develop a tough crust. The quick-to-sprout radishes will push up through the soil, breaking it up for the later-sprouting carrots. As you harvest the radishes, the carrots will fill in the row. See our Growing Guide for Radishes.
Photo by Udra11/.
10. Squash (Zucchini)
Like pumpkins, squash and zucchini also like well-composted soil and need plenty of space (3 to 6 feet apart, warm soil, and lots of sun.) Always water at the soil level—not the leaves—to avoid powdery mildew. Soon enough, you’ll have so many zucchinis, you’ll be leaving them on neighbors’ doorsteps! See our Growing Guide for Squash and Zucchini.
The above are some of the easiest vegetables you can grow, but there are many, many more veggies for you to try! Check out our complete library of Growing Guides for advice on planting all the popular vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers.
And now that you know which seeds are easiest to grow, see our Tips to Starting Seeds Indoors!