Many people love to garden for the tangible benefits and sense of accomplishment it brings. People enjoy seeing plants grow and thrive from seedlings or plantlets to mature vegetation with a harvestable product. Gardening requires patience, however, and not everyone wants to invest the time and effort for months on end to have fresh produce.
Growing vegetables doesn’t need to be an exercise in patience; these 15 fast- growing plants are ready to harvest in about a month.
1. Baby carrots
Baby carrots grown in the garden taste leaps and bounds better than anything purchased at the market. Look specifically for baby carrot varieties that grow quicker than traditional varieties. If planting in containers, choose ones at least 6 to 8 inches deep, allowing the room needed for proper growth and development.
Green leafy vegetables rank high on the list of quick growers, providing harvestable produce in a short amount of time with little effort. Sow seeds directly into well-amended garden soil or high-quality soil if using containers; harvest when leaves reach the desired size. Avoid growing spinach in the hottest part of summer because it will bolt and go to seed.
A love-it or hate-it root veggie, beets are grown for both their leafy green tops and the tender resulting beet. Grow beets when the weather is cooler for best growth. If harvesting the tops, take only one or two leaves at a time to avoid impeding root growth.
4. Leaf lettuce
A garden staple for many, leaf lettuce requires little care and is ready to harvest quickly. Many varieties exist to choose from, and all grow well in containers or the ground. Plant seeds every couple of weeks when temperatures are cooler for a continuous harvest.
5. Swiss chard
Swiss chard is a member of the beet family, yet it doesn’t produce root vegetables. The outer leaves of the plant are harvestable when 3 inches tall; the stems can be cooked and enjoyed as well.
6. Bok choy
Bok choy isn’t normally grown in many gardens, but it is a fun and quick vegetable to grow. Baby leaves are ready to harvest in a month; full-sized heads are ready a couple of weeks following.
With its ever-growing popularity, kale is becoming a staple vegetable grown in many gardens and even windowsills. Baby greens are ready to pick when they are about 2 inches tall; avoid harvesting the central growing point of the plant to maintain continuous growth throughout the growing season.
8. Mustard greens
Unlike other green leafy vegetables, mustard greens thrive in warmer temps. Mustard greens are easy to grow and can be used in salad mixes to add variety and flavor.
9. Green onions
Green onions are a smart choice for anyone who wants fast-growing vegetables. The bottoms (“bulbs”) that are normally tossed in the garbage can be put in water to start new plants. (Homesteading explains step by step how to start new plants from kitchen scraps.) After roots are developed, either keep them in the water until there are leaves to cut or plant them in soil.
Another two-in-one plant, turnips are grown for both their greens and root vegetables. Turnip greens are ready for harvest when they reach 2 inches tall. Smaller turnips are milder and sweeter tasting than those that grow larger.
This perennial plant adds a peppery twist to salads and comes back in the garden year after year. Plant seeds in two-week successions as soon as the garden soil is workable in the spring for a continuous harvest.
12. Garden cress
One of the fastest-growing garden plants, garden cress is ready for harvest in as little as two weeks. This space-saving plant only needs a small patch of soil to produce peppery leaves and grows well outside or indoors in containers.
Gardeners love to plant radishes for their peppery flavor and rapid growth. They grow well in either containers or soil that has been worked well. Radishes thrive in ambient temperatures between 50 and 65 degrees, making them good spring and fall crops. They can be harvested in as quickly as three weeks.
A commonly used ingredient in Asian dishes, fenugreek grows quickly in warm, summertime conditions. Fenugreek leaves are ready to harvest in about 20 days.
15. Sunflower shoots
These towering beauties are known for their regal flowers but are also a great nutritious victual when grown for their greens. Unbeknownst to many, the tiny sunflower shoots pack a punch of nutrition, notes Natural Society. Harvest shoots once they have two leaves but before the true leaves emerge to avoid bitterness.
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