Hello, fellow garden warriors! Do you ever find yourself wishing you had more time to devote to your garden, but between work, family, and catching the latest binge-worthy Netflix series, you simply can’t squeeze it in?
You’re not alone – it’s the perennial (no pun intended) struggle of the modern, busy gardener.
But here’s the good news: there’s a multitude of vegetable plants out there that grow like they’ve got a hot date with your dinner plate.
Fast-growing veggies can be a boon for those of us juggling tight schedules and still wanting to enjoy the gratification of a home-grown harvest. Let’s dive in and discover the top 22 speedsters of the veggie world, shall we?
They might be small, but their speed is impressive! These root veggies might not have a lot of patience, but hey, neither do we! Radishes are ideal for impatient gardeners who crave the satisfaction of a quick harvest. You can literally see growth day by day, and the best part?
There’s a myriad of varieties to choose from, each with a unique flavor profile. Radishes can mature in just 20-30 days. They’re like the sprinters of the veggie world.
Popeye’s favorite doesn’t waste time. It’s ready to pick in as little as 4-6 weeks. The bonus? Your biceps may thank you. This leafy green is a powerhouse of nutrition and grows remarkably quickly.
With a little attention and frequent watering, spinach plants will flourish and provide you with fresh greens to enhance your salads, soups, or smoothies. Plus, they’re frost tolerant!
Have your salad bowl handy because lettuce, depending on the variety, can be ready in a brisk 30-70 days. Who said fast food wasn’t healthy?
One of the most versatile fast-growing veggies. Opt for loose-leaf varieties that allow you to harvest outer leaves while the plant continues to grow. It’s the vegetable that keeps on giving!
Your pickles might just be ready before you’ve even found the perfect recipe! Cucumbers typically take 50-70 days to mature. Ideal for a summer garden.
There’s nothing quite like the taste of a freshly picked cucumber. Plant in well-drained soil and watch them flourish. They’ll need a trellis or cage for support, but their vertical growth will save you space.
Ah, the plant that keeps on giving… and giving… and giving. You’ll be harvesting zucchini in 40-50 days, and probably gifting them to neighbors by day 60. Zucchini plants are generous producers. Once they start, they won’t stop! Pro tip: harvest them when they’re small for a sweeter taste.
6. Baby Carrots:
What’s up, doc? These little guys mature faster than their full-sized counterparts. They’re ready to munch in about 60-80 days.
These are perfect for containers and small gardens. The quicker growth cycle means you can enjoy them sooner than standard carrots, and they are just as sweet and crunchy.
You’ll have more than enough time to jump on the kale smoothie trend because this superfood matures from seed in just 55-75 days.
Though I become ready for harvesting within 30-40 days only. This superfood is surprisingly easy and quick to grow. It’s also quite hardy, standing up to frost and even tasting better after a light freeze.
8. Bok Choy:
Your stir-fry will thank you. This fast-growing Asian green can be harvested in 30-45 days. This Asian green is a stir-fry staple. Harvest leaves individually as the plant grows, or wait until it’s mature and harvest the whole plant.
9. Swiss Chard:
With only 45-55 days to harvest, this leafy green is not only fast, it’s colorful and versatile, too. This leafy green isn’t just quick and easy to grow, it’s also a colorful addition to your garden. Swiss chard leaves can be harvested at any stage, offering flexibility and extended harvest.
10. Green Beans:
Jack’s got nothing on these beans. They can be ready to pluck from the vine in just 50-55 days. These fast growers are a great source of garden-fresh produce. Plus, they enrich the soil with nitrogen.
This peppery green rockets (literally) to maturity in as little as 20-50 days after sowing. Salads, here we come! This spicy salad green is one of the quickest to grow. It’s a cool-weather crop, perfect for spring and fall gardens.
Don’t turn up your nose at these roots. They’re fast growers, ready for harvesting in about 6 weeks. But to get the main crop, you should wait for around 10 weeks. These hardy root veggies grow well in cool weather. Both the greens and the roots can be eaten, providing a dual harvest from one plant.
They can’t be beaten in speed. Harvest time? Just 50-70 days. Beets are a double duty crop – you can eat the greens and the roots. They’re also quite hardy and can tolerate a bit of frost.
Give peas a chance! They’ll reward you with a speedy 60 days to harvest. These sweet, crunchy treats are worth the garden space. Plus, they are frost-friendly and can be planted early in the season.
Also known as green onions, these speedy veggies can be harvested in as little as 10-12 weeks after sowing. This kitchen staple is quite low-maintenance and grows quickly. They take up little space and can even be grown in containers.
16. Cherry Tomatoes:
These little bursts of sunshine mature quicker than larger varieties, usually within 45-65 days. While all tomatoes require a bit of patience, cherry varieties tend to produce fruit sooner. Make sure to provide them with a trellis or cage for support.
17. Mustard Greens:
For a quick crop of spicy leaves, mustard greens mature in just 6 weeks. These spicy leaves add a kick to any dish. They’re cool-weather lovers and can be harvested in stages, extending your harvest period.
18. Bush Beans:
Unlike their vine relatives, bush beans can be ready in about 50-55 days. A compact version of pole beans, bush beans don’t require staking, which makes them an excellent choice for a low-maintenance, fast-yielding garden.
19. Summer Squash:
With a mere 50-60 days to maturity, it’s perfect for those impromptu summer BBQs. These plants are prolific producers. They love warm weather and, given the right conditions, will reward you with a bountiful harvest.
20. Broccoli Rabe:
This bitter green is ready in 30-70 days. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a fast one, nonetheless. This leafy green is a favorite in Italian cuisine. While it’s not everyone’s favorite, if you enjoy its unique, slightly bitter flavor, you’ll be pleased with how quickly it grows.
This alien-looking veggie is surprisingly speedy, maturing in 50-60 days. Don’t be deterred by its unusual appearance. Kohlrabi is a crunchy, sweet veggie that’s a quick and easy addition to any garden.
22. Collard Greens:
If you have around 80 days, you’ve got collards. They’re the tortoises of this list, but still fast by veggie standards. These are perfect for a fall garden.
Collard greens tolerate frost and their flavor actually improves with a bit of cold. This makes them one of the last veggies you can harvest from your garden before winter sets in.
Tips for Growing Fast Growing Veggies:
Efficiency is the name of the game for the busy gardener, and we have just the tactics to help you maximize your garden productivity without investing every waking hour. Welcome to our ‘Green Thumb on the Go’ guide, where we’re about to dive into the world of smart gardening.
We’ve got time-saving tips that won’t sacrifice your garden’s bounty. From grouping plants by their needs, automating tasks, clever use of your vertical space, utilizing mulch, to succession planting, we’ll reveal how to streamline your gardening tasks.
Let’s equip you with tools and strategies to make your garden thrive, even on a busy schedule.
Not all plants are created equal. Some require more attention than others. Grouping plants with similar water, light, and soil needs together can save you time and resources.
For instance, water-loving plants like cucumbers and zucchini can be planted together while drought-tolerant veggies like beans and squash might share another plot. This way, you’re not running around catering to each plant’s individual needs.
As a busy gardener, anything that saves time is a godsend. Automating your watering can significantly reduce the time you spend in the garden.
Drip irrigation or soaker hoses deliver water directly to the base of your plants, reducing water waste and preventing common diseases caused by wet foliage. Once installed, you can put the system on a timer, so your garden is watered even when you’re away.
If you’re pressed for time and space, vertical gardening is your best friend. Growing plants upwards on trellises, cages, or fences not only saves valuable ground space but also makes harvesting and pest management easier.
You’re less likely to miss that ripe cucumber when it’s hanging at eye level! Plants like beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes are natural climbers and can easily be trained to grow up a support.
Mulch isn’t just a pretty finishing touch for your garden beds; it’s a time-saving secret weapon. It keeps the soil cool and moist, reducing the need for frequent watering. It also suppresses weed growth by blocking light, which saves you from tedious weeding.
Organic mulches like straw or compost can even enrich your soil as they decompose, adding nutrients for your plants to absorb.
Instead of planting all your seeds at once, try sowing a new batch every 2-3 weeks. This guarantees a continuous harvest throughout the season, particularly for fast-growing crops like radishes or lettuce. If you harvest a head of lettuce, sow more seeds in that spot.
This way, by the time you’ve eaten through your first harvest, the next batch is ready to go. It’s the circle of life in your garden—efficient, productive, and delicious.
Each of these strategies is all about working smarter, not harder, in your garden. By making the most of your resources and the natural characteristics of your plants, you can cultivate a productive garden without spending every spare moment tending to it. Happy gardening!
And there you have it, the 22 fastest-growing veggies to help you garden smarter, not harder. Now go forth, busy gardeners, and conquer your veggie plots!
With these speedy vegetables and time-saving tips, you’ll maximize your harvest without having to quit your day job (or Netflix binge). Remember, in the garden, as in life, it’s all about growth. Happy gardening!