All these fast growing vegetables and fruits are ready to harvest around 75 days or less! These are the vegetables to plant in your backyard garden, no matter the gardener, these are great vegetables to plant in your backyard garden, no matter the gardening method.
23 fast-growing vegetables harvested within 75 days or less after the time of sowing. Plus a few quick tips to maximize your garden space!
It’s okay to be an impatient gardener at times – it happens to the best of us. If you’re just starting your vegetable gardens, these are great crops to plant. Let’s get growing!
Fastest growing vegetables you can harvest within 35 days
Green Onions: This fast-growing vegetable is most often called a scallion. They are ready for their first round of harvesting when the shoots are about 6 inches tall, about 21 days after sowing.
After that, you’ll cut these back again and again throughout the season!
Radishes: The ‘Cherry Belle’ takes 22 days to harvest and it’s the most common radish to see in a supermarket.
Kale: Ready to harvest as soon as 50-55 days, as long as you avoid picking the central bud. Kale continues to be a fast growing vegetable and produce starting at around 2 inches. Kale is fully matured at 70-80 days.
For the best taste, grow kale in the autumn season when winter temperatures don’t fall below the teens.
Spinach: A cool-season crop, most varieties mature within 45 days and can be harvested as soon as it has 4-6 leaves. Keep in mind once it gets too warm, your spinach will flower and bolt.
Arugula: This Vitamin-K packed salad green is ready to harvest when the leaves are large enough to eat. This occurs typically between 30 to 40 days.
Arugula is another fast-growing vegetable that will continue producing all season, or you can cut away the entire head for one large harvest.
Swiss Chard: For baby leaves, harvest can begin around 30 days after sowing. If you’re looking for full-sized leaves with a thick midrib, wait 45-60 days.
Lettuce: Plant two or three crops by planting varieties of lettuce that mature in 45-55 days. Sierra or Simpson Elite are good options.
Looseleaf and butterhead varieties are both fast-growing vegetables. They can be harvested at almost any time in their development. Heading varieties, such as romaine lettuce, take longer to mature (75-85 days).
Collard Greens: Collards are ready for harvest as soon as they reach a usable size. Though they’re most tasty young (less than 10 in. long). Collard greens will fully mature around 85-95 days from direct sow date and are one of my favorite crops.
Micro-greens: Ready to harvest only 2-3 weeks after sowing, snip the micro-greens above the soil line when you see the first set of real leaves. Micro-greens have a short harvest time and are one of the most popular fast-growing vegetables for gardeners of all levels!
Vegetables you can harvest within 60 days
Mustard Greens: Most mustard greens varieties are ready for harvest within 45 days or less. They’ll reach full size around 45 days. For heat-tolerant and curly-leafed greens, try growing Green Wave or Southern Giant Curled. Both are ready to harvest within 45 days and slow to bolt.
Early to bolt, but ready within 42 days, is Old Fashioned Ragged Edge; a Southern heirloom mustard green.
Recommended varieties: Smooth-leafed mustards include ‘Florida Broadleaf'(slow to bolt; 47 days), ‘Red Giant’ (also slow to bolt; 43 days), ‘Savannah’ (very early harvest and slow to bolt; 20 days).
Pole Beans: My favorite variety of pole beans are French Climbing Beans, ready for harvest in 60-90 days after sowing. Be sure to provide a sturdy trellis and try to avoid harvesting in warmer weather.
Bush Beans: Ready to harvest 50-60 days after sowing. Continue to pick these fast-growing vegetable pods before they’re fully mature.
Picking the pods early encourages the flowering and production of new pods. We love the Blue Lake Bush variety down here in Florida!
Sugar Snap Peas: Sugar Snap Peas take around 13 days to germinate, flower and produce sweet, crunchy peas within 50-60 days.
These fast-growing vegetables are finicky, growing slowly in cooler soil but have a hard time germinating at all about 80 degrees F.
Summer Squash: Botanically a fruit, this fast-growing summer “vegetable”, produces it’s first “fruits” approximately 40 days to 50 days from planting.
Depending on the growing conditions and cultivator, of course. Squash tastes the best when the skin is tender, around 4-6 inches, and does not have fully formed seeds.
If you’re anything like me, you forget about them and pick them once both of those requirements have flown by. I don’t mind because they’re still tasty and easy to grow!
Zucchini: Similar to summer squash, zucchini is most enjoyable between 4 and 8 inches and takes 35-55 days to harvest from sowing. Zucchini is easy to grow all summer long.
Zucchini, also botanically a fruit, grows very quickly so keep an eye on them during the growing season! We grow Black Beauty Zucchini in our gardens and have loved it.
Cucumbers: Ready for harvest 50-70 days from planting, cucumbers are a fast-growing, multi-use vegetable. One cucumber plant can typically grow 10 cucumbers per plant so if you plan on pickling them, grow more!
Beets: Beets reach a harvesting date between 45 and 65 days and are a good candidate for succession planting. Sow before it gets too warm, usually, about 78-80 degrees then continue to sow seeds every 2-3 weeks.
Plant these fast-growing vegetables again when temperatures drop, but around 7 weeks before your first frost.
Broccoli: Many gardeners start broccoli inside towards the end of the summer so they’re ready to be planted in the fall for a winter harvest. For a shorter harvest date, grow them from transplants for harvest in 55 to 85 days.
Okra: Okra plants can produce for up to 12 weeks, or until frost comes which will quickly kill them. Reaching maturity in 50 to 65 days, be sure to pick them before get too large as they’ll be very tough and difficult to prepare.
We grow Clemson Okra on our homestead. All okra varieties have little spikes so you might want gloves on when you harvest your pods.
Turnips: Turnips come to harvest 30 to 60 days after sowing but along the way you can harvest their greens for salads or sauteing! When it comes time to harvest, lift their roots carefully with a garden fork.
Vegetables ready for harvest in 75 days or less
Cabbage: Cabbage is one of the more fun vegetables to grow in your garden. Taking 80-180 days from seed or 60 to 105 days from transplanting, you’ll be happy you grew your own once you’re bottling your own, homemade sauerkraut!
Depending on the geological zone and variety, cabbage can be planted in the spring for a fall harvest. You can also plant late in the summer to harvest before the first frost. Keep in mind that cabbage needs a fair amount of room to grow!
Larger varieties, such as Scarlett Nantes (my favorite) and Chantenay, take around 70 days to harvest. Scatter the small seeds in a long row and thin the seedlings as they grow for the best harvest! Protip: You can use the carrot tops to make pesto!
Tomatoes: If you’re direct sowing tomato seeds, you can expect some varieties to start producing fruits around 40 days to 50 days. Transplants will provide you with a quicker harvest date.
When planting tomatoes, there is a long list of varieties to consider with different expected harvest dates. Be sure to do your research before planting.
A few quick tips for easy to grow crops
Succession planting is when you plant a new wave of crops every 2-3 weeks for a steady harvest of vegetables throughout the season. This is especially smart to do with “one-off” crops like corn. Beans, peas and salad greens are also great fast-growing vegetable candidates for succession planting.
Catch cropping is when you sow in place of a plant that was pulled up early due to disease or pests. If your tomato plant is overrun with bugs, you can pull up that plant and sow another fast-growing vegetable in its place.
Inter-cropping is similar in ways to catch cropping, instead intentionally. You’re using space in a way that promotes less soil erosion and pests. By pairing slow-growing vegetables with fast-growing vegetables (like kale and garlic).
You’ll leave the garlic in the ground while harvesting the kale. Lettuce and brussel sprouts is another well-known companion for inter-cropping.
The Three Sisters method is when you pair corn, squash and pole beans together.
- The corn provides trellis support for the beans.
- Squash provides share for the soil preventing dry out, weed growth and garden pests.
- Beans input nitrogen into the soil, providing corn (a heavy nitrogen feeder) a nutrition source to grow tall and strong.
Pro tip: If you’re trying out The Three Sister method, be sure to give your groups enough room to grow. Plant them in mounds or a spiral instead of rows.
Plant for the rain: The drastic change in weather year to year means we’ve had to consider the unpredictable summers on our homestead. Fast-growing vegetables avoid competing for water with other crops.
Planting fast-growing vegetables before it’s too hot means they can later be replaced with drought-tolerant vegetables (catch cropping).
Summarizing the fastest growing vegetables and fruits
We can all be a little impatient when it comes to gardening. Planting fast-growing, easy vegetables can help tremendously when gardening, especially as a beginning gardener.
You can also try growing fruits eventually, although many fruits are more of a time investment than vegetables. Try something simple like strawberries first! Have you ever grown any of these crops before?
More on gardening:
- How to plant a vegetable garden
- Best vegetables for raised beds
- The 5 easiest vegetables to grow as a beginning gardener
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