Growing a garden means cultivating patience as much as it means growing plants. In fact, one of the first things you learn when you start gardening is that you have no choice but to wait.
You wait for the growing season to arrive. You wait until it’s warm enough outside to work the soil. Then you wait for plants to grow in their own sweet time.
And if you happen to be raising watermelon, tomatoes, and peppers, then you are in for a particularly long wait.
Growing Vegetables for a Quick Harvest
Of course, after a while, you also learn that there are ways to sidestep the lengthy waiting periods. You can always plant some fast-growing vegetables and harvest great fresh food for the table in a matter of weeks.
Here are 7 fast-growing vegetables you can raise in your garden:
This versatile table favorite has slightly peppery flavor that makes it delicious in a salad. Some even use arugula as an alternative to basil pesto.
Sow arugula seeds directly in the ground, give the plant about a month to produce mature leaves, and then cut them when you’re ready to enjoy.
Cress is another unique, fast-growing green that is popular thanks to its peppery flavor. Clever gardeners will often grow cress throughout the winter as a delicious year-round microgreen.
Sow seeds directly outdoors and harvest in as little as two to three weeks, when the leaves are about 2 inches tall.
Kale is a hardy, cold-tolerant vegetable that can be grown almost year-round in some places. Kale is easy to start directly outdoors but needs a good deal water to thrive.
You can harvest leaves from the outside of the bunch just 25 days after planting. After that, you can harvest the mature leaves in about 50 to 65 days.
Radishes are not only among the fastest-growing vegetables you can grow, but they are also among the most delicious. The radish is a great plant for gardeners who live in areas with short growing seasons. They can be planted once in the spring and once in late summer.
Radishes are ready for harvest just 25 to 30 days after planting.
Spinach is an excellent crop for succession planting. Because the leaves will be ready for harvest in as little as one month, you can grow multiple crops in one season.
The vegetable is exceptionally cold hardy, too. In some places, you can grow it well into the late autumn months. If you happen to live in a warm growing zone, you may even be able to plant and harvest spinach year-round.
The carrot is not exactly a fast-growing vegetable, but you can circumvent a long growing season by harvesting baby carrots.
There’s no special trick involved. You just plant your carrot seeds as you typically would and harvest the young tubers 30 days later. That’s all there is to it, really.
Cucumbers are vigorous growers. That’s why they need between 1 and 2 inches of water a week, depending on the weather and the characteristics of your soil.
Some varieties of cucumber are ready for harvest just 50 to 70 days from planting. But then if you don’t want to wait that long, you can always harvest the tiny fruits, too.
Maximizing Yields in the Shortest Possible Time
There are many reasons for you to want a quick harvest. Fast-growing vegetables are a great way to maximize your yields, after all. If you are growing any of the vegetables in this list in a greenhouse, you can raise as many plants as possible in a year.
If you’re growing your crops outside in your garden, fast-growing vegetables allow you to get the most out of each square foot of growing space.
So, what are you waiting for? Go out and plant some fast-growing vegetables in your garden now!