Gardening isn’t usually a process that should be rushed. It takes time to prepare a spot that you’ll be planting in, and patience usually pays off when you’re growing your own food. There are a few crops, however, that always mature fairly quick. If you’re short on time during your growing season or just want to get your toes wet as a first time gardener, we’ve put together a list of a few crops that are quick to grow and will have you harvesting your own homegrown veggies in no time at all.
Lettuce – (Harvest in about 30 days) Lettuce is a wonderful crop to grow, and matures fairly quickly. Sow new lettuce seeds every 30 days for a continuous harvest that will provide you with fresh leafy greens year-round. Lettuce prefers cooler temps, somewhere around 50-60 degrees but will also thrive during the summer if grown in the cool shade. Have a sunny window? It grows wonderful indoors as well. Short on space? Lettuce loves being grown in containers and usually doesn’t mind being crowded when planted so you can sow your seeds fairly close together as long as you’re not sowing varieties that produce a round head.
Radishes – (Harvest in about 20-25 days) Want a fast growing crop that packs a ton of flavor? Radishes take up very little gardening space, grow very quickly, and can come in over 200 varieties with a wide array of colors, shapes, sizes and flavors. They grow well in containers, and prefer full sun however some varieties can be grown in partial shade. In cooler climates they can be planted in both the spring and fall. In warmer climates they should be grown over winter.
Spinach – (Harvest in about 30-45 days) Baby spinach leaves can be harvested about a month after planting. The smaller leaves are loaded with flavor, regardless of the variety you choose. Harvest the larger leaves at the base and allow the plant to continue growing and you’ll be able to harvest from a plant for quite a few weeks before it goes to seed. It grows a lot like lettuce, so try and grow it in cooler temps. or in the shade during the summer. Also grows well in containers and doesn’t require a lot of space in the garden.
4. Bush Beans
Bush Beans– (Harvest in about 50 days) Beans love warmer temps. and seeds can be sown every two weeks during the summer to ensure a continuous harvest. Bush beans usually produce most of their beans within a 2 week period.
Peas- (Harvest in about 60 days) Peas are a wonderful cool season crop that take up virtually no space since they grow vertically on a trellis. They do best when directly sowed. The simplest way to prolong harvest is to plant early, mid season, and late varieties at one time rather than sowing every 2 weeks.