Back in the day when I first lived on my own as a Real Live Grown-Up, I planted a couple of pots of tulip bulbs. Not being a very patient gardener and just a beginner, really, I would dig up those bulbs every couple of weeks to find out what was going on!
Had they sprouted yet?
Shouldn’t they be growing faster?
I probably prolonged the time it took for them to sprout and eventually blossom, but that same impatience has carried over many decades.
When I plant something, I want results. Now!
I feel the same way about my vegetable garden. The impatient gardener in me wants to grow food fast!
Tips to Help You Grow Food Fast
Here are some of my best ideas for getting food from seed to harvest as fast as possible:
- Remember the first rule of prepping: Only store what you eat. Similarly, only grow what you eat. For example, why grow radishes if you think they taste awful?
- Instead of planting from seed outside, start seeds indoors when the weather is still not favorable for planting. They’ll be ready to harvest even more quickly with a headstart of a few weeks.
- Relatedly, know your Zone and the microclimates of your location, so you know when you can plant outside.
- Sow seeds in rotation. Planting another batch every week or two increases the likelihood you’ll have a supply throughout the growing season. With some plants, like lettuce, you can snip what you need for your meal and it will continue to grow.
- Even the fastest-growing vegetables won’t do well if their environment is poor. Test your soil and amend as needed. The soil needs to be alive and thriving for your plants to do the same.
- Plant in appropriate locations. Don’t expect a sun-lover to grow as well in the shade and vice versa.
- Water and fertilize according to each plant’s needs.
- Protect from pests. A healthy plant growing in healthy soil more easily resists disease, but keep an eye out for slugs and winged critters that can decimate your efforts. Vigilance is key here. Once established, an infestation is more difficult to be rid of. Row covers are useful for this. They can also help protect tender plants from an unexpected last frost.
- If even these aren’t speedy enough for you, try sprouting; it’s an excellent method of adding high-quality nutrition to the diet year round. It’s also probably one of the fast-growing, if not the fastest, food to grow.
Here are 13 quick-maturing veggies to try. I’m getting hungry just looking at this list:
- Baby Carrots
- Bush Beans
- Bok Choy
- Lettuce and other greens
- Green Onion
Plant your favorites in a pretty container for easy salad fixings! Containers are a great way to garden in small spaces.
These are also great cool season options if you want to dabble in gardening in the late summer and fall.
Whether you’re impatient, like me, or just want to improve your food security, it’s simple to plant some fast-growing vegetables to supplement your diet.
Which fast-growing vegetables do you like to grow?