When starting a vegetable garden, it can be discouraging if you have to wait a long time before you can harvest your homegrown bounty. Tomatoes and peppers are some of the crops notorious for their long growing seasons.
The solution to that is simple: sow fast-growing vegetables too, so you can expect a harvest while waiting for the rest of your crops! You can also merely opt for these varieties as they can be some delicious add ons to your everyday meals as well.
Here is our garden experts’ list of the top fast-growing vegetables you can plant in your home garden:
Growing best in cold weather, spinach is a delicious and highly nutritious crop to plant and harvest. To get the most out of your planting space, it’s best to grow two spinach crops so they can mature in succession.
You can plant your first crop in winter, about 4 weeks before the date of the last expected freeze. The second crop can then be started about 6-8 weeks after the last freeze date.
As soon as the leaves grow to their appropriate size — or as early as 20 days — you can already consume your spinach crops. You can first remove their outer leaves and then continue to harvest into the season.
Taking merely three to four weeks to reach its time of harvest, the radish is considered as a fast-growing vegetable. Aside from that, it is also exceptionally easy to grow.
You can sow radish seeds into prepared ground or planters of potting soil. Plant them very thinly into the soil and leave a space of about one inch (2.5cm) between each seed. You can continue sowing small batches of radishes every few weeks until the end of summer to have a continuous supply of the vegetable.
Within three to five days of sowing from seeds, you can expect seedlings to begin popping up. If you find it necessary, you can thin the seedlings to allow their roots to have enough room to grow. You should also keep the soil weed-free and water the plants in dry weather.
It is best to harvest the roots before they get too large and turn woody in texture.
Another cool-season and fast-growing vegetable, arugula is a leafy green which can add a tangy, mustard-like flavour to your salad. You can plant it early or late in the growing season and your harvest will be ready as early as 4 weeks after sowing.
Arugula prefers a humus-rich and well-drained soil, but it can tolerate a variety of soil conditions too. You can begin planting this vegetable outdoors in full sun or part shade as soon as the soil can be worked in spring. Sowing it in late-summer can also grant you with a fall or early winter harvest.
You can then plant new arugula crops every 2 to 3 week for a continuous harvest. Their leaves are best harvested young when they are about 2 to 3 inches long. The white flowers are edible.
Popular for its peppery flavour, cress is another easy-to-plant and fast-growing vegetable. It is also a cold-season microgreen rich in vitamin C. You can grow it throughout the winter for a delicious crop to add in salads and soups.
Choose a shady area to grow cress in your garden as direct sunlight and hot weather can make it taste bitter and inedible. You can plant it in a minimum of 1 to 2 square feet and harvest as soon as the leaves grow to about 2 inches in size. Planting cress successively each week can provide you with a continual harvest during the colder months of the year.
Tagged as a nutritional powerhouse, beans are another fast-growing vegetable which can be consumed in a lot of ways. It is edible raw, can be easily dried, and is rich in nutrients — making it an efficient staple in every vegetable garden.
Some bean crops grow well with minimal support and are easier to harvest (bush beans), while other varieties grow best in trellises and produce tastier fruits (pole beans). They are best grown when the soil is consistently warm. Most beans are also ready for harvest in 60 days, though others can take up to 100.
An old-fashioned favourite among home gardeners, turnips are a fast-growing vegetable that are also easy to care for. You can either plant them in spring for a summer crop, or in late summer to enjoy a harvest in fall.
Both the leaves and roots of turnips are edible. They aren’t an extremely fussy plant when it comes to temperature conditions. You can sow them during the entire growing season in various gardening zones. When planting them from seeds, you can simply sprinkle them into your prepared soil and gently rake them in.
Harvest turnip roots when they are tender — at around 2 to 3 inches in circumference — and pick their leaves when young.
Start sowing these easy-to-plant and fast-growing vegetables in your garden and expect a fresh harvest in no time! If you want to grow your favourite crops at any time of the year, you can also invest in a high-quality greenhouse. Choose among our wide variety of designs for your specific needs.