Fast Growing Vegetables

Fast Growing Vegetables For Quick Veggie Garden Results

I love to get an early harvest. It’s so good to enjoy the wonderful flavor from the fruits of your labor, so to speak. Whether you’re simply impatient, or just want some of your veggies early — here are some of the fast growing vegetables for your garden.

Fast vegetable crops are good to grow because they provide some food on the table in the shortest period of time. They are a good jump-start to the growing season.

If you have a shorter growing season (colder climate zones), then you can help maximize your garden’s output by growing fast-growing vegetables.

List Of Some Fast Growing Vegetables

These vegetables will provide quick food from the garden…

Radishes

Days to harvest: 20-30. Talk about instant gratification! Radishes are definitely a fast growing vegetable! They might be a little spicy-hot, but they are one of the fastest-growing root vegetables. They’re one of just a few vegetables that you can plant from seed, and harvest them within a month.

Tip: Someone on the blog once said, “Try throwing a few radishes into your vegetable soup. They lose the heat and develop a sweet broccoli like flavor. They are In same family, after all.”

Radish seeds germinate quickly, in just several days (~ 3 or 4). You can keep it going all season by planting weekly. Depending on the variety, radish spacing can range from 1-3 inches.

You might also consider, when sowing radish seeds, plant some about a half-inch deep and the rest a little deeper. Those close to the surface will germinate more quickly, extending the harvest by a few days. The deeper roots will be later, but larger, than the shallow ones.

Turnips

Days to harvest: 30 – 60. (Depending on how big you let them get). Turnips are a fast growing vegetable. The entire plant is edible.

“Turnips are on the top of my list. I call them a “poor mans potato”, since they can be fried, stewed , and even mashed, You can grow three crops a year of these and they even like cool weather.”

commenter on Modern Survival Blog

Plant turnips in rich, loose soil with lots of organic matter and compost. Thin successful seedlings from 4 to 6 inches apart. Mulch heavily and water at a rate of 1 inch per week to prevent the roots from becoming tough and bitter.

Fully mature turnip roots are generally ready after 60 days, when they measure up to 3 inches in diameter – although can be harvested smaller.

Beets

Days to harvest: 35 – 60. Like turnips, the entire plant is edible. In fact beet greens have the most potassium of any vegetable, even more than spinach! Not everyone likest them, but in my opinion, beets are delicious. And sweet tasting.

Beets are a cool season vegetable and do not like heat. They can survive frost and almost freezing temperatures. Consequently, this makes them ideal for northern gardeners.

Thin the young plants to 3 to 4 inches apart once the greens get to be about 4 inches tall. This allows their roots to grow to their proper size. Pick beets when their shoulders protrude from the soil.

Beet roots can be harvested from the time they’re about the size of a golf ball to the size of a tennis ball. Be aware that larger beet roots may be tough and woody. 

Spinach

Days to harvest: 30-50. (Depending on how long you let the leaves grow out). Spinach is one of the fastest growing leaf vegetables.

Plant in the spring and start harvesting the leaves within 30 days. A final spacing of 3-5 inches is best for most varieties. So either transplant them directly to this spacing or thin them.

Pick the outer leaves regularly. If you don’t, the leaves become bitter once the plant reaches maturity.

Re-sow seeds every couple of weeks for successive harvests. Spinach will keep growing and producing new leaves all season long.

Zucchini

Days to harvest: 45 – 90. Zucchini is a fast growing vegetable in that you can harvest on the early side. In my opinion, young zucchini tastes better anyway. You can also let them grow longer and they will probably turn into a monster size! A 10 pounder anyone?

Space zucchini plants 18-24″ apart in rows 6′ apart. Wider spacing may allow for easier harvesting.

I love cooking sliced zucchini on the grill after having sprinkled them with a good dose of McCormick Grill Mates Roasted Garlic & Herb! (view on amzn)

Or here’s another idea… Spiralized zucchini — a sort of pasta replacement (Keto friendly). 

Bush (Snap) Beans

Days to harvest: 50-70. Bush beans provide a fast and high yield. In about six weeks after planting, you can start harvesting thin, tender bush beans from your garden. To keep the plants productive, harvest when the beans are small.

Snap beans (bush and pole varieties) are best harvested young and tender. You eat them pod and all. They will be tougher if left on the plant too long.

Bush beans are determinate — meaning they grow to a certain size (up to ~ 2 feet tall). They will come to harvest all at once. A good choice if you want your crop to be ready all at once for canning or freezing.

Pole beans are indeterminate — meaning they continue growing through the season. They do require support as they vine. But will continue to produce throughout the season.

Note: Days to harvest are from seed, and will vary depending on your variety and conditions.

What about your experiences with fast growing vegetables? Which ones?

[ Read: Potatoes In Your Garden — Good Choice For Survival Food ]

22 Comments

  1. Radishes are good to interplant with other stuff like lettuce, radishes, marigolds and lettuce.
    The interplanting of fast crops with slow crops is good for many different reasons, or even interplanting tall stuff with shade loving veggies.
    Me thinks we will all need to spend more time paying attention to our gardens.

    1. Kulafarmer,

      I use radishes as a trap crop for flea beetles. When planted with things like bok choi, or squash, they draw the pests to themselves, sparing the main crop. Amen to focusing on gardening. It’s good for the soul, too.

      1. It really is good for the soul, i need more good for the soul stuff, feeling old and out of shape so this weekend will be start the work weekend.
        Am going to concentrate on garden for a change, i can do it just need to get past the feeling tired thing.
        I think its as much an emotional and psychological tired because of all the negative energy in our world today ans it is just a physical tired from being a working stiff.
        Got to get the plastic ordered for my other tunnel, that should help too.

        1. I understand! I have been having problems with low energy as well. But I noticed once I get out into the garden, that tired feeling seems to go away! I hope you had a similar experience once you got out there! Grow Garden Grow! :-).

  2. i know it’s not organic but we have always used liquid seven in a sprayer… one call, that’s all, it’ll get em. we don’t play with our gardens. it’s to much work to take chances and in our area of the south the bugs like aphids can ruin the plants in a few days.
    we have to stay on top of it. same with the fruit trees.
    nothing against organic methods. just say’n, aphids, squash bugs and tomato worms- kill them all and let God sort em out. : )

    1. Brother scout, yup us too. Just got back from the store with two more bottles as a “stock up” supply.

      Gas shot up here in north Florida from $4.19 to $4.49. in a week !

      1. I’m in Michigan and gas prices are $5.49 & up!!! It’s downright ridiculous! Trying to get all errands done in one go! That way I’m not taking numerous trips and wasting the gas I have! If I can order it and have delivered for free…I do that as well! Hope things get better for us all soon! If the so called “president” just hadn’t stopped the pipeline that had over 50,000 workers …to harness our own energy without having to rely on other countries…we would Not be in this position!!! Sorry fav soap box!

    2. Scout,
      Yeah, I know…not organic. I have been trying different organic insecticides in the orchard and vineyard. They all come up lacking. When dealing with a garden and row crops for survival, you gotta use what you know will work. Sevin and Captan based insecticides work well, and you can reduce the amount of ai applied and still get good results.

      1. Minerjim, I’ve said this for years. Another forum I stop by occasionally absolutely hates anything “non-organic”. Many of the problems they deal with are easily stopped with the application of a small amount of Sevin. Instead they will lose a crop by trying multiple internet remedies with the craziest things you ever heard. That’s not to say that some home remedies and organic solutions don’t work, I use a few myself that actually do work, Neem oil in particular. But I keep a good stock of Sevin dust for plants and Bifen for fire ants.

        1. BG in TX,
          agreed. i have always used liquid seven in a sprayer to get under the leaves as well. a large garden is to much work to play around with and lose a crop to bugs.
          there is nothing wrong with organic if a person is just going to just play around with it, and it may work. never tried it. me, i’m not taking any chances. but i wonder sometimes if those people can grow enough food in one year to feed themselves for two. there is no guaranty that a garden will make every year for many reasons. i use andros for fire ants.

  3. My early yummies:
    Overwintered Egyptian Walking Onions are producing the bulbetts and stalks and greens are edible now.
    Yes to radishes, lettuce, and spinach. We are enjoying them now, also.
    First harvest of strawberries yesterday.
    Beets are getting close to harvesting the greens.
    Sugar snap peas are in bloom.

    Life is good in my backyard !!

  4. For the life of me, I can’t grow radishes. They never form bulbs. For this year, I bought a fertilizer called “Big A$$ Carrots” – I have high hopes for all my root crops, including radishes.

    1. I add a little bonemeal to radishes, turnips and beets. I could never get beets to bulb but I had a bumper crop last year. It really works.

  5. I highly recommend trying Rutabagas..they are sweeter than Turnips and seem to have less pests. I can’t grow Turnips here in S. WV without row covers but Rutabagas are fine. They also store well and in milder climates you can overwinter outside. Green beans can also easily be planted after a spring crop and being a legume, help add nitrogen to the soil.

  6. Swiss chard, can plant when very cool, fast growing, keeps growing after trimming outer leaves. Wash, steam leaves, bit of vinegar with salt and pepper.

  7. In our area it is standard to ‘plant the garden’ over Memorial Day Weekend thru the first week or two of June. So, we only plant fast growing items and fast growing versions of things like cabbage, tomatoes, etc. This year, due to heavy snows over the winter — extensive snow drifts. Our regular garden will be questionable/protracted/only super-fast super-nutritional crops.
    Plan B – Getting the potatoes in the ground, here in town by the end of the month and go from there.
    In other areas, instead of snow, it might be flooding, etc. cutting into your growing season…

    Gasoline here $4.49 to $4.79. Same .30 cent jump that Pitchfork has.

  8. ken,
    we like to cook our zucchini’s in some foil on the grill, slice them in half, put a lot of butter, some basil and oregano, salt and pepper on them and wrap them up in foil and let them cook for a long time. pretty good food.

    1. We slice them lengthwise, scoop out the middle into a bowl and mix with some breadcrumbs and previously canned/cooked sausage crumbles. Kinda like a stuffed pepper… Now I’m hungry..

  9. I grow almost everything mentioned except turnips. Not a big fan. If you like beets, then you should definitely try cylinder beets. They are sweeter and firmer than round beets. They’ll get up to 6 inches long, and as big round as a golf ball in diameter, and slice great. Good for freezing. Spinach is my favorite greens. I grow ‘long standing bloomsdale’. Always seems to produce a good crop. It’s finally stopped snowing up here in North Idaho(well, almost), so I’m going to start putting things in this weekend.

  10. My wife peels and slices zuchini length ways and marinates it in a gallon ziplock baggy in the fridge. After a day or two I grill it until tender. You can eat it as is or cut it up and it up to add to stir fry etc. For marinade use anything you like

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