10 Quick-Growing Vegetables for an Early Harvest

10 Quick-Growing Vegetables for an Early Harvest

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 harvest

A bundle of Hakurei turnips

photo 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 harvest

Smooth-leaf spinach

photo 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 harvest

A bundle of adelaide carrots.

photo 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