While some vegetables take several months to mature and produce fruit (think melons, tomatoes, peppers, etc.), there are actually quite a few options that can grow and produce a crop within just a few weeks.
As the summer gardening season draws to an end, try some of these fast-growers in your fall garden. Many of these do best in cooler weather anyway. Some can even be grown indoors any time of year. These guys are the true definition of healthy fast food! 🙂
‘Evergreen Bunching’: You can pick the leaves and leave the base of the stem to regrow for many months of harvesting, or pull out whole as you want them…. Ready to eat in eight weeks.
Tasty Asian greens for salads, stir-fries, and steaming. Great for fall and winter gardens. Ready to eat in four weeks.
‘Tokyo Cross’: Tender, juicy roots, for stews, roasting or eating raw…. Ready to eat in eight weeks.
Ferny leaves that add a nutty flavor to salads…. Loves cool weather. Ready in four weeks.
5. Silverbeet (A.K.A. Swiss Chard)
‘Rainbow Chard’: Lush foliage rich in iron and vitamins, it can be eaten raw in salads or cooked…. Ready to eat in six to eight weeks.
‘Oak Leaf’ or ‘Lollo Rossa’: Pretty green or bronze leaves that look gorgeous in the salad bowl, and taste great, too. Plant another batch every six weeks.
7. Dwarf beans
‘Tendergreen’ or ‘Brown Beauty’: Easy to grow non-climbing bean varieties…. First picking in only eight weeks.
‘Thumbelina’ Crunchy bite-sized globes of goodness that are quick to mature. Ready to pull from nine weeks.
9. Pak Choy
Tasty Asian greens that are perfect for salads, stir-fries and steaming…. Delicious, nutritious and easy to grow….
10. Pea Shoots
‘Oregon Giant’ or ‘Sugar Snap’: While pea pods will take eight to 10 weeks to develop, the leafy pea shoots and tendrils can be picked and eaten anytime after a month….
‘Cavallo Nero’, ‘Red Russian’ or ‘Scotch Curled’: Fashionable and nutritious, kale is a cabbage cousin but much quicker to crop…. Ready to eat in five weeks.
12. Rocket (Arugula)
Fast? Why do you think it’s called “rocket”? This is a wildly popular, spicy-tasting leafy salad green. Grow it from seed and start picking in four weeks….
‘French Breakfast’, ‘Cherry Belle’: Hot and spicy, and great in salads…. Ready to eat in four weeks. (Likes cool soil, so best planted in spring.)
You can do this gardening in the kitchen. Ready to eat in just one week. Buy seed especially for sprouting from a hardware or garden store and follow the instructions on the packet….
Try Soy beans, chickpeas, lentils, alfalfa, sunflower, mung beans and fenugreek….
Like sprouts, eaten as sweet, tender seedlings, tasty, nutritious microgreens are one of the speediest crops of all. Sprinkle them onto a salad, use as a garnish on soups, or try an egg and microgreens sandwich!
How to grow microgreens:
Rocket, mustard, cress and kale are all suitable. Sow seeds thickly in a shallow pot of seed-raising mix… Seedlings will start to appear within two to seven days. To harvest, snip off at ground level with scissors when plants are about 2″ tall. Sow another batch straight away.