Impatient gardeners will be delighted to hear that some veggies don’t take long to mature.
You can have delicious crops on your table in less than 2 months, and there are some you can harvest just 2 weeks after planting!
Ready, set, go! Here are the 19 fastest growing veggies for your garden.
1. Sunflower Sprouts
The fastest of the fastest! Sunflower sprouts will be ready for harvest in only 12 days if provided with optimal conditions.
What exactly are sunflower sprouts? The stem will generate about two leaves in less than two weeks and you can harvest them immediately. The essential thing is not to wait until the ‘true leaves’ appear since they taste bitter as they age.
Sprouts are packed with nutrients, are a good source of antioxidants, and have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic properties. (1)
You can harvest cress just two weeks after planting. You can sow the seeds in the early spring, as soon as the soil temperature increases and it becomes workable.
One of the best features of cress is that it doesn’t need much space, so it’s perfect for smaller gardens.
Prepare a planting site 2 square feet in size and enjoy a bountiful harvest!
This delicious veggie can be ready for harvest in just 3 weeks! Start harvesting the arugula leaves early, and the taste of the adult plant will be sweet and tender.
Arugula is a shallow-rooted plant so it’s also perfect for container gardening. It tolerates cool temperatures, which means you can sow the seeds early in the spring.
Re-sow arugula every 3 weeks to enjoy a continuous harvest.
4. Green Onions
Onions typically take three weeks to be ready for the first harvest. This is the fourth onion growing stage before the bulbs start to form.
You can harvest green onions, aka scallions, once they’re approximately 6 inches long.
This is a cool season crop and you can harvest the leaves after about three weeks. You can expect new growth 4 days after planting.
The optimal temperatures for healthy radish growth range from 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sow radish seeds weekly for a continuous harvest during spring and fall.
This isn’t a commonly grown veggie but it tastes amazing in soups and salads, and you can harvest it in only 25 days!
You can start harvesting young leaves when they’re approximately 4 inches long. You don’t have to wait for long until these plants fully mature. In only 40 days, you’ll have delicious fully grown tatsoi.
7. Bok Choy
Chinese cabbage, aka Bok choy, can be harvested 30 days after planting. This is a cool season veggie and will perform best if planted either in spring or fall.
You can pick baby leaves after a month or wait 2 more weeks for the Bok choy to mature.
You can harvest the delicious and nutritious greens of beets about 4 weeks after planting. If you like the flavor of baby beet leaves, I recommend growing red cultivars.
You can eat the beet leaves raw or cook and add them to many tasty dishes. When harvesting, avoid picking more than 2 leaves at once because it can affect root development.
Beet shoulders typically appear a month after the first leaves and as soon as you spot them, it’s time to take your beets out of the ground!
This is another veggie you can harvest approximately one month after planting. Orach isn’t super popular, except with growers who have problems with spinach bolting and use orach as an alternative.
Orach is a cool-season veggie but it responds well to warmer temperatures and is less susceptible to bolting.
Lettuce is a cool-season leafy green that’s ready for the first harvest in about a month. Growers love lettuce because of its low care requirements. I highly recommend red-leaf and green-leaf cultivars to beginner growers.
These cultivars have another excellent feature: they tolerate warmer temperatures. This is important for growers in warmer climates because high temperatures cause the lettuce to taste bitter.
Once spring arrives and soil temperatures are between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, you can sow the lettuce seeds.
This is a close relative of cabbage that can be ready for harvest when the leaves are 2 inches long, which is typically 4 weeks after planting.
It’s important to mention that when you harvest kale, don’t pick the central bud because it’s needed for further growth and leaf production.
A favorite veggie of many growers, spinach is a delicious fast-growing plant that can be ready for harvest in approximately 30 days.
This leafy green is very hardy and can tolerate temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pick the outer leaves continuously and re-sow the seeds every 14 days for a bountiful harvest.
You shouldn’t wait long to harvest this veggie because it bolts in warm temperatures and tastes bitter.
This uncommon veggie is actually a cultivar of chicory. You can pick the leaves about a month after planting.
Radicchio is frequently used in Italy, so if you like Italian cuisine it’s the perfect fast-growing veggie for you. It’s packed with antioxidants, can benefit heart health, and has antiparasitic properties. (2)
14. Broccoli Rabe
This veggie is ready for harvest approximately 40 days after sowing the seeds. Interestingly, it’s closely related to the mustard family and turnips, even though many think it’s a cousin of broccoli.
Broccoli rabe forms thick stems surrounded by leafy greens and buds. You can eat any part of this plant both raw and cooked.
15. Swiss Chard
Another fast-growing veggie, Swiss chard takes about 45 days to be ready for the first harvest.
It’s one of the vegetables you can easily grow from seeds and it’s not fussy over growing conditions.
Start picking the leaves of your Swiss chard when they’re approximately 3 inches long.
16. Bush Beans
After planting bush bean seeds, you should wait for 45 days to harvest. Don’t confuse bush beans with pole beans, because the latter need support and may take 5-10 days more until they’re ready for picking.
Bush beans develop fast and are super easy to maintain. If you want a continuous harvest, re-sow every two weeks.
This is a cruciferous veggie that you can harvest in 50 days. It’s not much to look at but it tastes wonderful and is full of nutrients. (3)
If you decide on this veggie, don’t sow the seeds until soil temperatures reach approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grand Duke and Kolibri are the two fastest-growing kohlrabi cultivars.
You’ll only have to wait 50 days to enjoy some delicious zucchini! Fruit will appear no more than 8 days after the flowers.
The fastest-growing varieties are the Bossa Nova and Lucky cultivars.
Gardeners often decide to grow cucumbers because they can be harvested after just 50 days.
It’s always better to pick cucumbers before they’re fully mature because they don’t taste bitter. Harvest the fruit continuously because mature ones use up plant nutrients and can inhibit further production.
I hope you found this article helpful.
Until next time!
1. Guo, S., Ge, Y., & Jom, K. N. (2017). A review of phytochemistry, metabolite changes, and medicinal uses of the common sunflower seed and sprouts (Helianthus annuus L.). Chemistry Central Journal, 11.
2. Rd, L. P. M. (2020, January 29). Radicchio: Nutrition, Benefits, and Uses. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/radicchio#benefits
3. Cpt, K. D. M. R. (2021, December 2). Get to Know Kohlrabi, a Versatile Vegetable. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/kohlrabi