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20 Fast Growing Vegetables For Swift Harvests

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Gardening can be a rewarding hobby, not just for the soul, but for the kitchen too. For those who can’t wait to taste the fruits—and vegetables—of their labor, choosing rapid-growing crops is a smart strategy.

From crisp radishes to leafy greens, this article explores 20 vegetables that are perfect for swift harvests.

1. Radishes: The Speedy Spice of the Garden

Radishes are the sprinters of the vegetable world. Ready to harvest in as little as 20-30 days, they come in various sizes and flavors, from fiery reds to milder pinks.

Plant them in loose, well-drained soil and keep the ground moist for best results. Radishes are perfect for intercropping with slower-growing veggies, utilizing garden space efficiently and shading the soil.

2. Spinach: A Nutrient-Rich Quick Grower

Rich in iron and vitamins, spinach is a cool-season crop that grows best in full sun and fertile, moist soil. It can be ready to pick in just 4 to 6 weeks.

For a continuous supply, practice successive planting every couple of weeks until the weather warms.

Spinach can bolt (flower and go to seed) quickly in hot weather, so enjoy this leafy green in the cooler parts of the growing season.

3. Arugula: Peppery Leaves in No Time

Arugula adds a delicious, peppery kick to salads and is equally easy to grow. It’s ready to harvest in about 4 weeks.

Sow arugula seeds in fertile, well-drained soil and in a sunny location for best growth. Regular harvesting encourages the plants to produce new leaves until it gets too warm, at which point arugula will bolt.

4. Lettuce: A Staple for Rapid Salads

Lettuce thrives in cooler temperatures and can be harvested as early as 30 days for leaf varieties. Plant lettuce seeds in moist, fertile soil and provide some shade during warmer days to prevent bolting.

Harvest outer leaves regularly to encourage the plants to keep producing. With varieties like Romaine, Butterhead, and Oak Leaf, you can have a continuous salad supply right from your garden.

5. Green Onions: Flavorful Shoots Quickly

Also known as scallions, green onions can be harvested about 3 to 4 weeks after planting. They need well-drained, fertile soil and adequate moisture to thrive.

You can even regrow green onions from store-bought ones by planting the bulbs with roots intact. Cut the green tops and they will regrow, providing you multiple harvests from a single planting.

6. Kale: Fast-Growing Greens for Health

Kale is a superfood that can be harvested as soon as 5 weeks after planting. It prefers cooler temperatures and rich, well-drained soil.

Young leaves are tender and great for salads, while older leaves can be cooked. Regular harvesting encourages more growth, extending the harvest period across the season.

7. Bok Choy: Asian Greens in a Flash

This Asian green is incredibly quick-growing, maturing in just 30 to 45 days. Bok choy requires cool temperatures and rich, moist soil to prevent bolting.

It’s perfect for stir-fries and soups, and harvesting the outer leaves can prolong the production period.

8. Swiss Chard: Colorful and Quick

Swiss chard is not only nutritious but also ornamental, with vibrant red, pink, yellow, and green stems. Ready to harvest in 50 to 60 days, chard can tolerate light frosts and even some heat.

Plant in fertile, well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. Harvest outer leaves regularly to keep the plant producing new growth.

9. Turnips: Root and Greens in Weeks

Turnips grow quickly, producing roots ready to harvest in 2 months and greens in just a month. They prefer cool weather and well-drained soil.

Sow directly in the ground and thin seedlings to prevent overcrowding. Both roots and greens are edible, offering dual benefits from a single plant.

10. Bush Beans: Speedy Legumes for Any Garden

Bush beans are one of the most straightforward vegetables to grow, requiring little maintenance once established. They begin producing pods in just 50 to 55 days after planting.

Plant bush beans in well-drained soil and full sun after the last frost, and ensure they get regular watering. Unlike pole beans, they don’t require support, making them perfect for container gardening.

11. Zucchini: Quick and Plentiful Produce

Zucchini is a prolific vegetable that can start producing fruits in just 45 to 55 days after planting. For best results, sow seeds directly into rich, well-drained soil in a sunny part of the garden.

Keep the soil consistently moist and watch for the first flowers to appear. Harvest zucchini when they are about 6 to 8 inches long to encourage more fruit production throughout the season.

12. Mustard Greens: Spicy Leaves Quickly

Mustard greens are one of the fastest-growing vegetables, ready to harvest in just 20 to 30 days. These spicy leaves thrive in cool climates and should be planted in well-drained, fertile soil.

Regular picking of the outer leaves encourages new growth, allowing multiple harvests from the same plant. They add a peppery kick to salads and are delicious sautéed or steamed.

13. Beet Greens: Dual-Purpose Speedy Vegetables

While beets themselves take a bit longer to mature, beet greens can be harvested within just 4 to 6 weeks of planting.

Plant beet seeds in loose, well-drained soil and thin them as they grow to ensure healthy root development.

Young greens can be picked when they are tender, adding a sweet and slightly earthy flavor to your dishes.

14. Cucumbers: Fast Vines for Fresh Snacks

Cucumbers can be ready to pick within 50 to 70 days after sowing. They prefer warm, humid weather and need full sun and regular watering to thrive.

Train cucumbers on a trellis to save space and keep the fruits clean and blemish-free. Harvest when they are medium-sized to ensure crispness and avoid bitterness.

15. Baby Carrots: Swift Crunchy Snacks

Baby carrots can be harvested as early as 30 days after planting. These small, sweet treats are perfect for snacking and require less space and time than full-sized carrots.

Plant seeds in sandy, well-drained soil and thin them early to give each carrot room to develop. Keep the soil moist to prevent the roots from becoming woody.

16. Peas: Early Pods with Sweet Returns

Peas are cool-season crops that can be harvested about 60 to 70 days after planting. They need full sun and moist, fertile soil.

Support climbing pea varieties with trellises or stakes to encourage upward growth and ease of harvest. Pick pods when they feel plump, and the peas inside are still tender.

17. Asian Greens: Varieties That Grow Overnight

Asian greens, such as pak choi and tatsoi, mature in just 30 to 40 days. These vegetables prefer cooler temperatures and can be grown in both spring and fall.

Plant in fertile, well-drained soil and keep the plants well-watered. Harvest the outer leaves frequently to encourage new growth.

18. Cherry Tomatoes: Rapid Fruiting Favorites

Cherry tomatoes are quick to fruit, often ready to pick 50 to 60 days after transplanting. Choose a sunny spot and use stakes or cages to support their growth.

Water regularly, and once the first fruits appear, feed with a tomato-specific fertilizer to boost production. Pick tomatoes as they ripen to encourage the plant to produce more.

19. Dill: Fast Herbs to Accompany Your Vegetables

Dill is an easy-to-grow herb that complements many vegetables on this list. It can be ready to harvest within 40 to 50 days after sowing. Plant dill in full sun and well-drained soil.

Water regularly and pick the feathery leaves as needed for cooking; this will also encourage the plant to grow fuller and bushier.

20. Mesclun Mix: A Salad Bowl in Less Than a Month

Mesclun mix seeds produce a variety of young salad greens that are ready to cut in about 30 days. Sow seeds in cool, moist soil and keep the bed evenly moist.

Cut the leaves when they are young and tender, and leave the roots in place; they will regrow for multiple harvests.

Growing your own vegetables is not only a pathway to healthier eating but also provides a sense of achievement and relaxation.

By choosing these fast-growing varieties, you can enjoy the rewards of your garden quickly and extend your growing season with successive plantings.

Whether you have a large garden or a small balcony space, there’s always room for something green and growing.

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