Gardening requires patience, but sometimes a fast turnaround is important. If you live off of what you can grow, it’s especially important to know what you can grow quickly to feed your family. Let’s look at a few of our favorite quick-growing vegetables that can go from seed to plate in under a month (under perfect conditions). These versatile plants will help you make the most of your growing space and can provide you with fast, wholesome produce in just a few weeks.
For fast turnaround, nothing beats the humble radish. These crunchy root vegetables can be ready to harvest in anywhere from 3-6 weeks. Pick them as soon as they’re ready because over time they’ll develop a woody texture. Radishes are delicious eaten raw on salads, sandwiches, and tacos. They’re easy to pickle and can be added to all sorts of dishes. The leafy greens are also edible and can be sauteed or used much like mustard greens or spinach.
Spinach is an easy-to-grow, nutrient-dense green leafy that is perfect for indoor gardening. It can be ready to harvest in about a month, especially if you like to eat it at the baby stage. This versatile vegetable is delicious in salads or for adding to your smoothies. Spinach is also delicious when cooked. Many people don’t realize that the nutrients in spinach become more absorbable by the body when heated, plus cooking can lower the oxalic acid content which can be hard on some people’s kidneys.
Homegrown leaf lettuce is so much tastier than store-bought. Leaf lettuce can be picked early as a baby green, or left to mature. Use it in your summer salads, but don’t forget that it’s also a great addition to summer rolls, burgers, and sandwiches. They can also be used as a wrap for appetizers or gluten-free sandwiches. Some varieties are cut-and-come-again types that can be harvested multiple times, adding even more food to your harvest.
Arugula, also known as rocket, is a peppery salad green that pops up almost overnight. It adds a slightly spicy horseradish zip to your meals. In addition to salads, it can be a great pesto base or pizza topping. Arugula can also be sauteed, just like any green leafy, and has an impressive nutrient profile, too!
Pak Choi (Bok Choy)
There are so many benefits to growing fast-growing vegetables. The quick turnaround allows you to sow in succession (or multiple times), ensuring a continuous harvest. Plant every two to three weeks to have a replacement crop growing when you harvest your current crop. Because they’re all container-friendly, you can enjoy these vegetables all year round, no matter how hot or cold it is outside. You can also use them to fill out empty spaces while your other plants mature, which can help prevent weeds and keep your garden healthy.
Last but not least, these vegetables can provide a huge morale boost. Sometimes you need a little bit of external motivation to keep going. The gratification of eating something you grew yourself is a huge reward, and the sense of accomplishment that a quick harvest gives can make all the difference between giving up and keeping going. No matter what your age or your experience level, we think everyone should have a few quick-growing vegetables in the garden.