112 Shares

Are you an impatient gardener? Eager to get some fast growing vegetables on your plate? Maybe you have a short growing season? Or want to fill a few spare pots. If you’re keen to find out which vegetables grow quickly, read on!

A list of 17+ fast growing vegetables for quick picks in 60 days or less. Includes leafy greens, legumes, roots vegetables + more for healthy 'fast' food! Plus 5 tips to help speed up your harvests.

Thankfully, there are plenty of fast growing vegetables like leafy greens, legumes, brassicas and root crops you can grow. So let’s dig in.

What do ‘Fast Growing’ Vegetables really mean?

Days to Maturity

While the time frame is open to interpretation, let’s assume you’re looking for foods that will be ready to eat in 60 days or less. You can find the average ‘days to maturity’ on seed packets and in catalogues. This is the time from when you sow seeds to first harvest. Often you will see this as a range e.g. 45-60 days. The vegetables in this list are based on the average harvest date from the time you sow seeds. If you start with seedlings, you can pick even earlier!

Vegetable Varieties

The vegetable variety you choose will play a part in how quickly they grow. So, for example, a small round baby carrot heirloom variety like ‘Paris Market’ that only grows to 4cm in diameter, will be on your table much quicker than one with a long root, like ‘Nantes’. Similarly, climbers will take longer to grow than bush or dwarf varieties. Makes sense right?

Seasonal Timing

It’s also worth remembering that plants tend to grow faster in warmer seasons and mature more slowly in cooler months. So WHEN you plant will also be a factor.

Other Plant Growth Factors

As there is so much variation in climate conditions, soil types, sunlight, moisture and seasons around the world, these suggestions are a guide only. Here in subtropical Queensland, Australia, I can grow year-round with only a relatively mild winter. Your climate may be different. Make sure you give your plants the sunlight hours they do best in if possible as this will speed up or slow down growth accordingly.

If your soil is poor or very dry, try improving or making your own potting mix or seed raising mix and compost to grow in. Plants will respond best in good quality moist soil.


Affiliate Links: Your support of this site is appreciated!

Set realistic expectations

If you’re anticipating successful results when you sow seeds or seedlings into ‘dead dirt’, a heavily shaded position, with little watering, fertilising or mulch, you will likely be disappointed! Below you’ll find tips on preparing for planting, so let’s get stuck into the list!

17 Fast Growing Vegetables for Quick Harvests

This list of quick maturing edibles will give you plenty of options for adding tasty leafy greens, root vegetables and tummy fillers by starting with seeds.

Lightning Fast Leafy Greens

All leaf vegetables will appreciate you adding compost to your potting mix or soil before planting. Why? Compost provides nitrogen and other soluble nutrients for quick growth.

Keep leafy greens consistently moist to avoid bitterness and bolting to seed too early. Regular liquid feeds encourage healthy robust growth.

1. Rocket or Arugula

The name ‘Rocket’ should give you a hint that this mildly peppery herb and leafy salad green is a rapid grower (40-60 days)! It’s ideal to pick leaves when young and small as the flavour is not as spicy. Need this herb in a hurry? Click here for an easy tutorial.

2. Lettuce

‘Pick and pluck’ loose-leaf lettuce varieties like ‘Oakleaf’, ‘Lollo Rosso’ and ‘Salad Bowl’ Green and Red grow leaves ready to pick in around 30-45 days. You can harvest individual leaves from the outside in, rotating from plant to plant. Try several types so your salads have different nutrients, textures and colours!

Salad bar container garden with pick and pluck salad greens + herbs

Salad Bowl container garden with pick and pluck Oakleaf lettuce varieties, rocket, basil and spring onions

3. Kale

These robust vegetables produce baby leaves in around 30 days and mature ones after about 60 days. Try ‘Dwarf Red Russian’ or ‘Siberian Kale’ for colour, texture and flavour. Try ‘Tuscan Cavalo Nero’ Kale for long slender bumpy leaves. I’ve found these mature faster than curly leaf ‘Dwarf Green’ Kale.

4. Spinach

There are so many varieties of baby leaf spinach as well as perennials, you have heaps of choices! A few to try are ‘Bloomsdale Long Standing’ (39-50 days); Silverbeet ‘Bright Lights’ (28 days baby leaves, 55 days mature); ‘Golden Sunrise’ (baby leaves 28-33 days after sowing); ‘Lucullus’ a heavy yielding hardy Silverbeet for warm weather (45-60 days) and Chard (60 days).


Affiliate Links: Your support of this site is appreciated!

5. Mustard Greens

You can harvest these colourful spicy leaves when young in 30 days or less, and mature in around 40-60 days depending on the variety. I often pick them in just 3 weeks! The seeds germinate quickly and these leafy vegetables are ideal for adding peppery flavour to salads, soups and stir-fries. Try ‘Osaka Purple’ (40 days), ‘Red Splendor’ (45 days) and ‘Garnet Giant’ (21 days for baby leaves, 45 days for full size).

6. Tatsoi

This tasty Asian spinach is ideal for stir-fries plus quick to grow. Tatsoi is one of my favourite fast growing vegetables. It produces an attractive rosette of dark green leaves in just 45-50 days that you can pick from the outside in, rather than harvesting the whole plant at once. Perfect for quick salad greens too. It’s a brilliant baby spinach substitute.

7. Bok Choy

This is a Chinese cabbage that doesn’t form a head and is grown for its tender white stemmed green leaves. Use in stir-fries and soups. Pick individual outer leaves often like silverbeet by slicing the base with a knife. Bok choy is ready in around 60 days.

Bok choy and Tatsoi fast growing Asian green vegetabless

Bok choy and Tatsoi are fast growing Asian green vegetables

8. Salad Greens

OK, so really this list is a LOT longer than just 17 vegetables but I’ve grouped salad greens together for convenience! There are too many salad greens to mention them all but these are a few popular ones to try. Red-Veined Sorrel (55 days); Corn Salad (45-60 days); Miner’s Lettuce (40 days); Mizuna (40-60 days) and Radicchio (55 days). They all have different colours, textures and flavours to add zing and nutritional value to your meals.

Rapid Root Crops

Firstly, one of the fabulous things about growing root vegetables is you can eat both the root and leaves. They don’t take up much space and grow well even in deep pots. Perfect to fill in spaces in your garden. Avoid overwatering. Read these Tips for Growing Root Crops.

9. Radishes

Radishes are sown from seed and harvested in just 3-4 weeks. These delicious crunchy, crisp and colourful vegetables are absolute speed demons from seed to feed! A few compact varieties I like are ‘Champion Cherry Belle’ (30-35 days), Hailstone ‘White Globe’ (23-30 days), ‘French Breakfast’ (28 days) and ‘Plum Purple’ (28-30 days).

10. Baby Beetroot

I think beetroot are best harvested young and slightly smaller than their mature size. They can get woody unless you keep an eye on them. The leaves are absolutely delicious in salads, and you can use all parts of this vegetable. Watch this video to learn how. That way you maximise every part of your beet! A couple of my fast growing favourites are ‘Golden’ and ‘Early Wonder’ (both 55 days).

Alternatively, try growing ‘Bull’s Blood’ beetroot for its dark red-purple leaves to enjoy in salads as microgreens or mature leaves (35 days) or enjoy the baby beet (58 days).

11. Turnips

These easy-to-grow vegetables are nutritious and tasty. Try roasting with carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin to bring out the sweetness. One of my favourites is ‘Purple Top White Globe’ which matures in as little as 45 days. ‘Purple Top Milan’ is even faster in around 30-35 days as it has a white flat root shape.


Affiliate Links: Your support of this site is appreciated!

Snappy Pods

12. Bush Peas

Sow seeds after pre-soaking to speed up germination in cooler months. Because snow peas don’t need to fill out like podded peas, some of these varieties mature the fastest. Try Bush ‘Oregon’ snow peas (60 days) or Bush ‘Sugarsnap’ (56-58 days). Read these tips for growing perfect peas.

13. Bush Beans

Similarly, these vegetables establish a small compact bush first before flowers and beautiful beans appear. Consequently, bush beans are much faster producers than climbing varieties. These have a longer growing period before you can pick your crop. A few to try are creamy yellow ‘Cherokee Wax’ (55-60 days); purple ‘Royal Burgundy’ (50-60 days); high yielding early green bean ‘Provider’ (52 days) and ‘Gourmet Delight’ (53-60 days). Tips for Growing Beans.

Quick Pick Vegetables

14. Squash/Baby Zucchini

Picked young and tender, these delicious members of the Squash Family are great tummy fillers. I harvest zucchini when just 10-12cm (4 in) long in around 60 days. Give these vegetables a little more space and they’ll produce a fabulous harvest.

15. Spring Onions

These are delicious members of the onion family ready for picking young stems in around 60 days. I harvest from the outside in, to encourage new growth. They are more like big chives and so packed with nutrition and flavour. Learn how to grow spring onions including a short cut!

Fast growing vegetables like Broccolini are packed with flavour and nutrients

Healthy fast growing Broccolini harvest packed with flavour and nutrients

16. Broccolini and Broccoli

So, while these brassica crops push the 60-day barrier, I harvest my first shoots in this timeframe and think they’re worth including. I make sure to sow seeds or plant seedlings in the new moon phase for optimum speed of root and shoot development. Why? Because this gives them a massive head start and accelerates growth, so I can harvest earlier than normal seed packets suggest. Snip off the baby shoots and leaves for sulphur-rich, anti-cancer vegetables in your meals. Try ‘Italian Green Sprouting Waltham 20’ (60+ days) or ‘Spring Raab’ (40-60 days) and Broccoli ‘Broccoletti’ (60+ days) for tender side shoots. Much earlier if you start with seedlings rather than seeds!

17. Cucumber

Dwarf and compact pickling cucumber varieties are ideal for small spaces and impatient gardeners alike! Try ‘Beit Alpha’ (55-57 days), ‘National Pickling Gherkin’ (50-58 days) and ‘Green Gem Pionsett’ (56+ days).


Affiliate Links: Your support of this site is appreciated!

5 Tips for Fast Growing Vegetables

1. Seedlings vs Seeds

You can save money by sowing seeds. However, starting with seedlings can save you an average of 3-4 weeks and (sometimes much longer) waiting for seeds to germinate. The times above are for sowing seeds, so you can definitely speed up harvest time by planting seedlings!

2. Work with Nature’s Timing

Time your planting in harmony with the moon phases. If you want to get faster growth of leaves, strong root development and harvest quicker, moon planting offers you many advantages. You are just working with the sap flow in plants and using nature’s timing to your advantage, and can often save weeks. I wouldn’t dream of growing my garden any other way. New to this concept? Learn more about moon planting.

3. Care for your Plants

Prepare your soil or potting mix well and maintain consistent moisture so your plants have the best chance of success. Heat, nutrient or water-stressed plants will slow down in growth.

4. Speedy Sprouts and Microgreens

Sow vegetable and herb sprouting seeds and harvest in 7-21 days as microgreens or even faster as sprouts. These digestive enzyme-rich living foods are harvested as baby plants not long after germination. Even though microgreens and sprouts don’t provide bulk food, they are an extremely valuable source of raw energy and nutrients.

5. Pick Early

Finally, harvest vegetables when immature, young and tender rather than waiting until they grow full size. For example, pick young celery when stalks are thin, not stringy and they are delicious. Less water used too! Baby leaf greens, Asian greens and baby carrots are a few other vegetables you can pick early.

 

Impatient to plant these fast growing vegetables? Follow this tutorial to get started: ‘Fast Food – DIY Instant Veggie Garden Part 1’.

Why not try a few of these fast growing vegetables in your garden? Clearly, there’s no need to wait when you can be enjoying healthy ‘fast food’ on your plate in weeks!

Related Articles:


Like this article?

Please share and encourage your friends to join my free Newsletter for exclusive insights, tips and all future articles.

© Copyright Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener 2019. https://themicrogardener.com. All rights reserved.

Some links within this article are affiliate links. I only recommend products or services I use personally or believe will add value to my readers. If you purchase a product via an affiliate link, I will earn a small commission (and I mean REALLY small)! There is no additional cost to you. It’s a way you can support my site, so it’s a win-win for both of us. You directly support my ability to continue bringing you original, inspiring and educational content to help benefit your health. Thanks! Please read my Disclosure Statement for more details.

112 Shares