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20 Quick-Growing Seeds to Plant for a Harvest in Under 30 Days

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Growing your own food is both a joy and a necessity for many. For those seeking rapid results, certain plants emerge as the champions of the garden, ready for harvest in just a few weeks.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice looking to start your own patch, this list of 20 seeds will guide you to quick, delicious yields.

1. Radishes: The Rapid Root Vegetable

Radishes are the sprinters of the vegetable garden, capable of maturing in as little as three weeks. For the best results, choose varieties like ‘Cherry Belle’ or ‘French Breakfast’ for their speedy growth and crisp, peppery flavor.

Plant radishes in loose, well-drained soil at about half an inch deep and one inch apart. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged to encourage rapid and even root development.

2. Arugula: Peppery and Fast

This peppery green can begin to be harvested as early as two weeks when the leaves are young and tender. Arugula thrives in cooler temperatures, which can also help to mitigate its naturally spicy flavor.

Sow arugula seeds thinly in rows about 6 inches apart and keep the soil evenly moist. For a continual supply, practice successive planting every two to three weeks.

3. Spinach: A Speedy Green

Spinach is ideal for gardeners looking for quick yields and can be ready to pick in just four to six weeks.

For continuous harvest, choose a variety like ‘Savoy’ which is known for its fast growth and resilience.

Spinach prefers cool weather and moist, fertile soil, so consider planting it in early spring or fall. Be sure to water regularly to prevent the soil from drying out, which can cause the plant to bolt.

4. Kale: Grow Quickly Even in Cool Weather

Baby kale leaves can be harvested as soon as three weeks after planting, making it a quick and nutritious addition to any garden.

Kale is hardy and can be grown in a range of climates, but it thrives in cool weather, which helps produce sweeter leaves.

Plant seeds about half an inch deep and three inches apart, and keep the soil consistently moist. Harvest the outer leaves first to allow the center leaves to continue growing.

5. Lettuce: Fast and Continuous Harvest

Lettuce seeds germinate so quickly that you can start harvesting leaves as soon as two to three weeks after sowing. Looseleaf and Romaine varieties are particularly suited for quick harvesting.

Plant the seeds thinly and cover lightly with soil, keeping the ground moist to ensure tender, crisp leaves. By harvesting the outer leaves regularly, you can extend the production period significantly.

6. Mustard Greens: Spicy and Speedy

Mustard greens are one of the fastest-growing vegetables, ready to harvest in just about three weeks.

They add a spicy kick to salads and stir-fries and grow best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade.

Sow the seeds directly in well-drained, fertile soil, about an inch apart. Keep the soil moist to promote speedy leaf development.

7. Bok Choy: Asian Greens in No Time

Bok choy, especially the baby variety, can be harvested within 30 days from sowing. It prefers cooler weather and can bolt if it gets too warm, so it’s best planted in early spring or late summer.

Sow seeds half an inch deep and about a foot apart in rows, keeping the soil moist and the plants well-watered during dry spells.

8. Turnips: The Dual-Purpose Fast Grower

Turnips grow remarkably fast, with roots ready to harvest in just five weeks and greens that can often be picked even sooner. They are not fussy about soil but perform best in rich, well-drained soil.

Space the seeds about two inches apart and thin the seedlings to six inches apart as they grow. Water regularly and evenly to ensure smooth root development.

9. Swiss Chard: Colorful and Quick

Swiss chard can be harvested within four to six weeks after sowing, when the leaves are young and tender.

It is a hardy vegetable that tolerates poor soil, heat, and cold. Plant chard seeds half an inch deep in well-drained soil and about six inches apart.

Water consistently for best growth, and pick leaves from the outside to allow the plant to keep producing.

10. Beet Greens: Not Just the Roots

While beets take a bit longer to mature fully, their greens can be harvested in about four weeks. Plant beet seeds in sandy, well-drained soil about one inch apart and thin them to three inches as they grow, which helps the roots develop. Keep the soil moist and harvest the greens carefully to allow the beet root to continue growing

11. Cress: From Seed to Salad in No Time

Garden cress can sprout in just a matter of days and is usually ready to eat within two weeks. It has a tangy flavor that makes a great addition to salads and sandwiches.

Sow cress seeds lightly on moist paper towels, soil, or cotton wool, and keep them in a bright, cool spot.

Regularly mist the growing medium to keep it wet, and harvest the sprouts as soon as they develop their first true leaves.

12. Tatsoi: A Fast Asian Green

Tatsoi, a spoon-shaped Asian green, matures in about three to four weeks. It’s perfect for salads and soups, offering a mild mustard flavor.

Plant tatsoi seeds a quarter inch deep and several inches apart in rich, fertile soil. It prefers cooler temperatures and partial shade to full sun. Harvest the outer leaves for continuous growth, or the whole plant when mature.

13. Green Onions: Harvest Early as Scallions

Green onions can be harvested as scallions in just three to four weeks from sowing. They require minimal space and can easily be grown in pots.

Plant the seeds one inch deep and a few inches apart in loose, fertile soil. Keep the soil consistently moist and provide plenty of sunlight. As they grow, thin the plants to allow room for larger bulbs to develop if desired.

14. Carrots: Baby Varieties for Quick Crunch

Fast-maturing varieties of carrots, such as ‘Adelaide,’ can be ready to harvest within 30 days as baby carrots.

Sow seeds directly into light, sandy soil that doesn’t retain too much moisture and is free from stones, about an inch apart.

Thin seedlings early to avoid crowding, and keep the soil moist but not soggy to encourage rapid growth.

15. Peas: Shoots and Pods with Speed

Peas are another dual-purpose plant, with shoots that can be harvested in just two to three weeks and pods that follow shortly after.

Plant seeds in early spring, about an inch deep and two inches apart, in a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Provide support for climbing varieties to maximize space and sun exposure.

16. Garden Cress: Ready in a Flash

Garden cress is incredibly quick-growing and can be ready to harvest within 10 to 15 days. Like watercress, it grows well in moist conditions and does not even require soil—cotton wool or paper towels work well.

Sow the seeds densely and keep the medium saturated. Snip the leaves once they reach a usable size.

17. Radish Microgreens: Harvest in Days

Radish microgreens are some of the fastest growers, ready in just five to seven days. They offer a spicy flavor similar to full-grown radishes.

Sow radish seeds densely on a tray of moist soil or a hydroponic medium and cover lightly with another layer of soil or a paper towel.

Keep the soil moist and in a warm, sunny place. Harvest by snipping at the base once the first true leaves appear.

18. Zucchini: Fast and Productive

Zucchini can start producing fruit within 40 to 50 days from sowing. Plant seeds in a sunny, well-drained area directly in the ground or in large pots.

Space them about two to three feet apart to allow for spreading. Water them regularly, especially once the plants start to flower and fruit, for a consistent, quick yield.

19. Cucumber: Quick Pickles Anyone?

Cucumbers are fast growers, with some varieties ready to pick in just 50 days. Plant seeds one inch deep in a sunny, well-drained spot after the last frost.

They need lots of space or a trellis to climb, and plenty of water, particularly during fruiting. Harvest when young for pickling or allow them to mature a bit more for slicing.

20. Sunflower Shoots: Nutty and Nutritious

Sunflower shoots can be harvested within about 12 to 14 days. Sow seeds densely in trays or pots and cover with a thin layer of soil.

Keep the soil moist and in a sunny place. Harvest the shoots once they’re a few inches tall for a crunchy, nutty addition to salads.

Quick-growing plants are an excellent way to enjoy fresh, tasty, and nutritious food without a long wait.

This list of 20 seeds to sow gives gardeners plenty of options for adding variety to their plates quickly.

Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned green thumb, these plants can provide immediate gratification and success in the garden.

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