With spring right around the corner, there’s no better time than now to start planning an edible garden. Homegrown vegetables are a great idea, to begin with – not only are they more reliable than store-bought veggies, but they’re also fresh, tasty, and can save you a whole lot of grocery money.
However, homegrown bounties come with their own challenges. Vegetables such as peppers and tomatoes can take forever to grow, which can make you quite impatient. The best solution to this problem is to grow some fast-growing vegetables that will tide you over while you wait for the rest of your produce to sprout up. Sowing a few seeds every few weeks will give you an endless supply of freshly harvested produce that will last you all season.
Without further ado, let’s have a look at some of the best plants that you can sow early in the growing season and harvest them in the form of delicious veggies in around eight weeks.
With a slightly peppery flavor and a touch of spice, arugula makes a great ingredient for salads. Also known as rocket, this delicious vegetable is quite often used as a substitute for basil pesto. Arugula is one of the easiest and fastest vegetables to grow in your backyard.
All you need to do is sow the seeds straight into the ground and chop up the leaves when they’re ready for harvest. The seedlings are generally expected to emerge between a week or two, and arugula leaves will be ready to harvest in about 3 to 4 weeks.
The earlier the leaves are harvested, the sweeter and tender the arugula will be. Also, since this plant has relatively shallow roots, it can easily be grown in container gardens. Moreover, if you plan on growing arugula through the summer month, you should choose a shadier spot to keep it from going to seed too fast.
Cucumbers are a highly versatile and juicy vegetable that can be used in a variety of delicious recipes, especially salads, and even be eaten fresh. You can also make pickles with fresh cucumbers. While big cucumbers might take a while to grow, baby cucumbers can easily be planted and harvested as early as 50 to 60 days after planting. An important thing to note is that cucumbers like to run so either you will have to give them ample space to grow or place them on a trellis.
3. Bok Choy
Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage that grows very quickly. There are two varieties of bok choy that can be grown in your backyard. The first type of bok choy is a baby bok choy that is less than 10 inches tall, and the second type is a standard bok choy that grows almost 1 to 2 feet.
Bok choy requires partial shade and rich and well-drained soil for best results. However, it can also handle full sun. Bok choy needs consistent watering to grow well. Bok choy is typically ready to harvest within 45 to 60 days.
Kale is one of the fastest-growing vegetables that can survive through extremely cold weather conditions. In fact, in certain garden zones, kale can be grown almost all year round. However, spring-planted kale does take a little bit longer to grow than kale grown in early fall. Kale can be grown directly outdoors and requires copious amounts of water to keep it from becoming bitter. You can harvest the leaves from the outside of the bunch when they are big enough to eat.
Radishes are a must-try for your edible garden because of how quickly they grow. You can harvest them as quickly as three weeks after planting them. Heirloom radishes are often considered the best choice to grow due to their unique shapes, colors, and flavors. Once the thin seedlings have sprouted, their roots will continue to grow without constraint. Also, since radishes require full sun and loamy soil, you can start growing them directly outdoors.
6. Mustard Greens
Even though they are easy to grow, mustard greens need to be kept well-watered as they can turn out to be bitter if they dry out. Mustard greens aren’t as well-adjusted to the cold as kale, but they can tolerate a light frost. Just like many other green veggies, mustard greens are quite sensitive to heat. So, you will either have to plant them during early spring or mid-summer or provide them with ample shade during the hottest times of the year. Mustard leaves can be harvest and eaten once they are large enough to eat.
7. Baby Carrots
Baby carrots are one of the most delicious healthy snacks that can be eaten as it is or used as an ingredient in various dishes. Baby carrots don’t take too much time to grow since they are much smaller than the normal carrot variety. So if you want to enjoy carrots quickly, then you should choose the baby carrot variety and plant them in the ground. Make sure to sow the seeds directly in quality soil, and then you can reap your first harvest in a month.
Cress is another juicy and easy-to-grow veggie with a unique peppery flavor and is often grown throughout the year. Cress is best grown in a shallow tray lined with wet paper towels. You simply need to sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil and cover it with plastic wrap. The cress will sprout within a few days and will be ready to harvest when the leaves are about 2 inches in size.
Turnips are great veggies that can be used in many delicacies. They are considered old-fashioned vegetables and provide a huge harvest for home gardeners. Turnips can be kind of fussy when it comes to temperature conditions as they require full sun. You can pick the roots when they are tender at around two to three inches in circumference and pick the harvest leaves when they’re young.
Spinach is a highly nutritious vegetable that grows pretty quickly, especially in cool weather. Whether it is planted in full sun or partial shade, it will be ready to harvest within just four to six weeks. Spinach can be harvested multiple times; you can the individual older leaves and let the younger inner ones grow for a later harvest.
All the above-listed fast-growing vegetables are healthy ingredients that can be used to make a salad and many other recipes. Once you start growing these vegetables, there’s no going back!