Being self-sufficient is a common goal among most homeowners and fast growing vegetables can help achieve that. With the huge amount of free time we have at our hands at the moment because of the covid-19 pandemic, this might be the right time to start planting your food.
However, setting up your garden can be quite challenging, especially since most plants take a very long time to mature. Plants like pepper and tomatoes are ideal for long growing seasons.
Luckily, there are numerous quick growing vegetables that you can plant in your backyard this summer. And with proper planning, you will have more than enough food for your family for the coming seasons.
Plus, crops tend to mature faster in summer, so this is the best time to start preparing to be self-sustainable. So if you're in a hurry to taste the fruit of your labor and want to know which are the quickest vegetables to grow, please read on.
10 Fast Growing Vegetables You Must Have
Radishes are edible root veggies that were domesticated in Asia before Roman times. And according to Eco Peanut, radishes are actually one of the fastest-growing vegetable plants that you can have in your backyard garden.
Radishes are planted and eaten worldwide, mostly raw as crunchy salad veggies with a pungent flavor. And the good thing about radishes is that you don't need to wait for a certain season to plant them.
These root veggies thrive at a temperature ranging between 50°F and 65°F. And being one of the fastest-growing vegetables and fruit, you will never have to worry about diseases.
There are several varieties of radishes that vary in color, size, flavor, and amount of time it takes to mature. These root veggies can be harvested within three to four weeks of planting.
Plus, their seeds germinate within four days of planting, so you should be ready to thin their seedlings after they have sprouted to allow the roots to grow without constraint.
Radishes are great cover crops; therefore, you should just sprinkle their seeds in your backyard and watch them grow. And for a constant supply of fresh radishes, you should plant new seeds weekly.
2. LettuceThis hearty plant can thrive in colder temperatures, but it prefers a cooler climate with temperatures ranging from 60°F to 70°F. Some varieties can survive in hot weather, and during hot summers, this plant can still grow in a shaded corner or pots on your balcony. Lettuce matures within 30 days, and planting new seeds every two weeks will ensure that you get a constant supply of fresh salad leaves all summer long.
Lettuce is a versatile crop with a reputation for being a fast growing veggie. Lettuce is a speedy developer, and fast germinator, says Your Energy Blog.
And what's more precious about this crop is that you don't have to uproot the entire crop when harvesting. All you have to do is break a few leaves and leave the plants to continue growing. Plus, there are numerous varieties of lettuce for you to choose from.
Spinach is a highly nutritious veggie that grows faster in a cool climate. This plant can easily cope with below-freezing temperatures. Therefore, you can grow spinach immediately after winter when your garden has thawed.
Spinach is one of the few crops that are known to overwinter in temperate areas. Plus, there are numerous varieties of spinach that you can plant on your farm.
All you have to do is to prepare the soil, sow some seeds, and then water them and wait. And before you know it, you will enjoy fresh spinach.
Spinach can be harvested several times in a season using the cut-and-come-again method. Pluck the older, bigger leaves and create space for the young inner leaves to grow for later harvesting.
Remember, you should harvest your spinach regularly since its leaves can become bitter when they reach maturity.
Arugula has been adding a peppery flavor to salads since Roman times and for a great reason. Arugula is a fast growing veggie whose edible leaves can add color to your salad.
This plant belongs to the brassica family, and it is known by numerous names, including rocket which was derived from the Italian word ruchetta.
Arugula has numerous health benefits, and the fact that it's composed of 90% water means that it is a perfect cooling and hydrating food in summer.
Sow some seeds directly into the ground, and you will be enjoying its peppery leaves within three to four weeks. And since its roots are quite shallow, arugula can be one of the fast growing vegetables in pots.
After planting its seeds, the seedlings will appear within two weeks. This delicious veggie thrives in cool weather, and you can plant it in early spring as soon as your garden has thawed.
5. Bok Choy
Bok Choy also referred to as Pak Choi, is one of the fastest-growing edible plants that mature within a month. Bok Choy is a highly nutritious Chinese cabbage that doesn't form heads; instead, it has a green leafy blade with a bulbous bottom.
Bok Choy is quite famous in Southeast Asia and China. There are two types of this plant that you can grow on your farm: standard Bok Choy, which attains a height of about 2 feet, and the baby variety, which is about 10 inches tall.
Plant your Pak Choi is a partially shaded region for maximum yield, but it can also handle the direct sun. And make sure you water it regularly to prevent it from bolting.
Depending on the weather and the variety you planted, your veggie will mature within 45 to 60 days. So you can either wait for it to mature and harvest the whole head or start harvesting individual leaves after 21 days.
Fast growing vegetables like turnips are quite common in the farmers' market, but they are also quite easy to grow. These old-fashioned veggies can provide a great harvest for backyard gardeners. Plus, both its roots and leaves can be consumed.
This delicious vegetable is loaded with iron, calcium, and vitamin C. Turnips golf ball-size roots can be consumed raw or cooked. The leaves can be picked and added to salads as soon as they attain a diameter of about 2 inches while the roots continue to grow.
Turnips can thrive in full sun, and they can be grown the entire season in numerous gardening zones. The roots can be picked when they attain a circumference of about 3 inches while the leaves are consumed while young.
Even though they take two months to mature, you can harvest them sooner for a mild-tasting, tender, sweet root veggie.
Beets are delicious sweet veggies, and just like a turnip, the whole plant is edible. It is one of those veggies that you either love or not. But, even if you dislike the beet itself, you can enjoy the benefits of its leaves.
Beets are the best root veggies to grow if you plan on harvesting in a hurry. And the best time when we are heading to fall or in spring.
Beets can withstand a little heat, but not the high summer temperatures. They are highly nutritious plants that can help keep your blood pressure in check and also improve your digestive health.
They can be harvested when the upper part of its globe starts showing above the ground. But in the meantime, you can enjoy its delicious leaves.
Just make sure you pick at least two leaves at a time to avoid impeding root production. The roots can be harvested after about 50 days, while the leaves can be harvested after 30 days.
The roots tend to get woody and tough when left in the ground for a very long time. So make sure you harvest them as soon as they mature.
Here is our Growing and Planting Beetroots | Complete Guide
Other than being a quick-growing vegetable, kales are cold-tolerant plants that can be grown all year long. Among the fastest-growing kale, varieties are smooth-leaved kales like Red Russian and Toscano, which can be harvested within a month of being planted.
However, spring-planted kales take longer to mature than the ones planted in early fall or late summer. Starting a kale farm is quite easy, but you will need a lot of water as drought turns this delicious plant bitter.
Kales mature after 65 days, but you can start harvesting delicious young leaves after 25 days. And to boost your yields, you can start harvesting the leaves when they are about 8 inches tall.
Harvest from the outside of the bunch and let this plant continue feeding you for numerous weeks.
Broccoli is a delicious green plant whose stalk, huge flowering head, and leaves are consumed as veggies. It is a fast germinator plant that can be consumed either cooked or raw.
Broccoli comes packed with vitamin K and vitamin C, so if you love this veggie, you can plant it at home and pick them while young.
There are numerous varieties of broccoli, but the most common ones are Sprouting broccoli, Calabrese broccoli, and Violet Cauliflower. The Calabrese broccoli originated from Italy and has a thick stalk and huge green heads.
The Sprouting broccoli has several heads with a large number of thin stalks, while the Violet Cauliflower has cauliflower-shaped heads, which are made up of several tiny flower buds.
So you can pick any of these varieties and plant them in your garden and wait for 60 days to enjoy them. You can also eat the smaller head even earlier than two months.
Remember, it all depends on your preference. Check out our guide on how long does broccoli last.
10. Baby Carrots
Baby carrots are delicious veggies that make great snacks and are great to cook with. Plus, they don't take long to mature as full-sized carrots because of their small size.
These crunchy roots are a great source of antioxidants, potassium, vitamin K, fiber, and beta carotene. Carrots can improve your eye health and lower your cholesterol levels.
So, instead of purchasing carrots, why don't you plant them in your backyard? Just make sure to know how long do carrots last.
Remember, carrots grow faster, and since you plan to eat them while small, you don't have to space them out on your farm. Baby carrots are one of the fast growing vegetables you can grow in pots.
It is essential to provide carrots with the right nutrients when growing them. Our article on best carrot fertilizers should do the trick.
Wrapping Up Our 10 Fast Growing Vegetables
In times of scarcity, people can't rely on the food sector to provide them something to eat. In fact, during the World Wars, food was rationed in several parts of the world, and people were encouraged to plant their own food.
Therefore, being self-sufficient is not a new thing; in fact, people have been planting their own food for centuries. So instead of purchasing your food in the market every week, why don't you plant the above fast growing vegetables in summer?