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Maybe you have more space for a garden than you had before. Or perhaps you now have more time to spend tending a garden. Or maybe, during these uncertain times, you want to know what plants deliver the most food in the least amount of time.
Whatever your motivation, we’ve got you covered with this list of eight fast-growing veggies. Keep in mind that various factors come into play when it comes to harvest times. These variables include:
- Climate – Plants tend to grow more quickly in warmer months and more slowly in cooler months.
- Sunlight – Many vegetables need a minimum of six to eight hours of direct daily sunlight without blockage from trees, houses, shrubs, or fences.
- Soil Type – The plants in this list will grow best in moist, nutrient-rich soil. You can boost your soil or potting mix by blending in compost.
- Moisture – Consider soaker houses or a timed drip irrigation system to give your fast-growing plants the right amount of water without wasting this valuable resource.
- Plant Variety – Bush or dwarf varieties tend to grow faster than ones that have bigger root structures.
Now that you have those factors in mind, here is a list of eight speedy veggies that you can plant and harvest within about a month.
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An excellent plant for children and all beginning gardeners, radishes take take about 25 days from sowing to harvesting. They are also incredibly easy to grow.
Sow radish seeds thinly, spacing them about one inch apart in an area exposed to full sun. You should see seedlings pop up within three to five days. Keep the ground moist and free of weeds, and you should be able to harvest these tasty root veggies in about three weeks.
2. Baby Carrots
Baby carrots are great for snacking in their raw form and cooking, and they take less time to grow than the full-sized varieties. You should be able to harvest your baby carrot crop within a month after sowing.
Sow your baby carrot seeds thinly over the soil’s surface; then cover with a thin second layer of soil before watering. After seedlings appear, thin the plants to about an inch apart. After about four weeks, pull up one carrot to check its size.
These plants do well in containers, so they can give you the option of expanding your growing space.
With its peppery flavor and hearty consistency, arugula makes a great addition to soups and salads. And the best part is that the plant only takes about a month between sowing and harvesting.
Plant arugula seeds in full sun about a quarter-inch deep and about one inch apart in rows that are about 10 inches apart. The seeds will germinate in about a week.
After about a month, you can snip mature leaves to enjoy. If you sow new arugula seeds every few weeks, you can have a continuous harvest!
An iron-rich addition to salads, stir-fries, quiches, pasta sauces, and other recipes, spinach is easy and quick to grow. Sow to harvest time only takes four to five weeks.
Sow spinach seeds about an inch apart in rows about a foot apart. Plant in full sun or part shade, and be sure to keep the ground moist. You might be able to harvest your spinach leaves a few times in the same season.
Here’s how. Cut the individual older leaves, allowing the younger inner leaves to continue to grow for later harvest. If you snip the leaves about an inch above the base, the spinach plant may send out a new batch of leaves for you to gather and enjoy later.
5. Bok Choy
Often called Chinese cabbage, bok choy is another fast-growing veggie you should try in your home garden. Baby bok choy grows and matures within 30 days.
Plant seeds or seedlings one half-inch deep and spaced one inch apart. Thin your baby bok choy plants when they are about two inches tall. (Thin full-size plants to six inches apart).
Plant bok choy in areas that get at least six hours of daily sun. Very hot temperatures and inconsistent watering can cause the plant to bolt, so pay attention that you do not over- or under-water.
Kale is a cold-tolerant plant that can grow year-round in some climate zones. Plant kale in full sun or partial shade in well-drained moist soil.
While some kale varieties can take 45 to 55 days from sowing to harvest, baby kale usually needs only about 30 days. Plant seeds about a half-inch deep and one-inch apart in your garden soil or in a wide, shallow container. Baby kale is ready to harvest when it has three sets of leaves.
7. Green Onions
Also known as scallions, green onions are young onions that have not formed bulbs. These plants are not only quick and easy to grow, but the entire plant is edible – roots, stalk, and all.
For the fastest grow-to-harvest results, use leftover store-bought green onions as starts. After keeping three to four inches of the white bulb intact, plant it about a half-inch deep in fresh soil. The rejuvenized plant will produce green stems that should be ready to harvest in just three weeks.
Green onions grow best in direct sunlight and slightly moist, well-drained soil. Tip: You can snip off and use up to 70 percent of the green shoots, leaving the bulb to continue to grow in the soil. New green shoots will grow back within about two weeks.
Red beet plants produce nutritious greens that are ready to be harvested about a month after sowing and then eaten either raw or cooked. Beet greens offer even more nutrition than the roots!
Just take care to snip off only a couple of leaves from each plant so that the underground root production is not affected. You will be able to harvest the root after about another month.
Sow beet seeds a half-inch deep and one to two inches apart in rows that are about a foot apart in areas that get at least six hours of full sunlight each day. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
Thin the young beet plants to three to four inches apart after the greens grow to be about four inches tall. This thinning process allows the roots to grow to their full size.
You can add many more veggies to this list if you expand the timeframe from sowing to harvest to 40 to 50 days. Depending on the climate where you live, sowing and re-sowing different seeds at different times throughout the year means you can have a fast harvest throughout much of the entire year.
After a long winter, all gardeners look forward to spring planting. However, now that you know how quickly some crops grow, you’ll want to consider starting and growing food for your family throughout most of the year.
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