With the arrival of spring the urge to go out into the garden and start planting returns, but we are keen to see quick results. Fortunately there are several fast- growing vegetables that will provide an early summer harvest and then make space for further planting of crops that need higher temperatures. This article by Niki Jabbour which I found on the Birds and Blooms website describes ten super fast-growing veggies to plant now.
Fast-growing vegetables are great for backyard gardeners who want to maximize their summer harvest (or who are just impatient!). For every quick-growing veggie we’ve chosen for our list, we’ve included the number of days it needs before it’s ready to harvest.
1. Hakurei Turnip
Brassica rapa; 38 days to harvestphoto credit: Niki Jabbour
Quick-growing salad turnips, like Hakurei, are popular at farmers markets but are easy to grow at home, too. Ready to dig up just weeks after seeding, they are known as a dual-purpose crop, yielding sweet roots as well as tasty greens for salads and stir-fries.
Why we love it: The golf ball-size roots are delicious raw, cooked or pickled. Plus, these super veggies are loaded with vitamin C, calcium and iron. Turnips also tolerate fall frosts and become sweeter in cool weather.
2. Smooth-Leaf Spinach
Spinacia oleracea; 38 days to harvestphoto credit: Niki Jabbour
Seed companies offer three types of spinach: savoy, semi-savoy and smooth-leaf. For rapid growth, stick with smooth varieties, like Corvair or Space. Their round to oval leaves stay compact and maintain quality for an extended harvest season.
Why we love it: Long stems and flat foliage make harvesting and washing a snap.
3. Adelaide Carrot
Daucus carota var. sativus; 50 days to harvestphoto credit: Pinetree Garden Seeds
Forget the imposter baby carrots found in the supermarket. Adelaide is a true baby carrot, with 3- to 4-inch-long roots and a mild flavor. It’s also among the earliest carrots to mature, with roots that are ready to be pulled in just seven weeks.
Why we love it: Even those without gardens can grow these baby carrots by sowing seeds in pots or window boxes.
See more at Birds and Blooms