16 Fastest Growing Vegetables For Quick Harvests

While I love patiently tending to my tomatoes and other slow-growing crops, quick wins in the garden are always such a treat. There is something so special and rewarding about seeing a seed you planted mature into something delicious and healthy for you and your family to enjoy.

The plants on this list are here because they provide fast wins—most in the 30-60 range, but some are ready in mere days. With a few of the subjects, the varietals chosen are key. Make sure you’re specifically looking for varieties bred to mature faster, as some plants have an incredible range depending on the type.

Arugula

Arugula.
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Arugula: Arugula is a top pick for quick harvests due to its rapid growth rate, often ready to start harvesting in as little as 3 to 4 weeks after planting. Its peppery leaves add a flavorful kick to salads, sandwiches, and pizzas, making it a popular choice for home gardeners looking for a speedy harvest.

Younger arugula has a milder flavor and you can keep returning to the same plant for more.

Lettuce & Salad Greens

Salad greens.
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A cut-and-come-again salad bed is a must for practically free salads all spring and summer long. Choose multiple varieties for a colorful and interesting salad.

Lettuce and other salad greens, such as spinach and mesclun mix, are known for their fast growth. You can begin to harvest the small outer leaves in as little as 3 to 4 weeks after sowing.

One trick is to succession plant your lettuce mixes, staggering them one week apart so that you always have leafy greens on hand in a continuous supply and never get overwhelmed.

Radish

French radish.
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I stick radish seeds literally everywhere at the start of spring as soon as it’s possible, and you should consider doing the same.

Radishes are one of the fastest-growing vegetables, ready for harvest in just 3 to 4 weeks after planting. Their crisp, peppery roots add a refreshing crunch to salads and sandwiches, while their greens can also be eaten as nutritious leafy greens. Radish is quite versatile, too. You can roast them, make soups, or ferment them into a probiotic-rich snack.

Since they grow so quickly, radishes can be interplanted with almost everything else in your garden, which will help you maximize your space and make the most of it.

Beets & Beet Greens

Beet greens and beets.
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Beets are another fast-growing root vegetable, typically ready for harvest in 6 to 8 weeks after planting. Both the roots and greens are edible, offering a double harvest from a single plant. Beets add vibrant color and earthy flavor to salads, soups, and side dishes, making them a valuable addition to any quick-growing garden.

Harvest the roots earlier for a sweeter taste. Some varietals are grown for their leafy greens, which are ready in a few weeks.

Kale

Baby kale.
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Baby kale leaves are ready to begin harvesting within a few weeks from planting or transplanting. The mature plant only needs about 60 days, making this one of the best choices.

Kale is a nutrient-dense leafy green; its sturdy leaves can withstand cooler temperatures and be continuously harvested by snipping off outer leaves, ensuring a steady supply of fresh greens for salads, smoothies, and sautés throughout the growing season.

Spinach

Spinach.
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There are endless varieties of spinach, including baby spinach, which can be harvested within weeks. Its tender leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals and can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in various dishes, making it a versatile and quick-growing option for home gardeners.

Zucchini Flowers

Squash flowers.
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Zucchini flowers, or squash blossoms, are prized for their delicate flavor and can be harvested in as little as 4 to 6 weeks after planting. These edible flowers can be stuffed, battered, and fried, or used to garnish salads and soups, adding a gourmet touch to home-cooked meals.

Turnips

White round turnips.
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Turnips are fast-growing root vegetables that can be harvested in 6 to 8 weeks after planting. Their crisp, slightly sweet roots can be eaten raw or cooked, while their greens are also edible and nutritious. Turnips are so delicious when fermented too.

Turnips are a versatile and quick-growing option for home gardeners looking for a fast harvest.

Mustard Greens

Greens.
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One of my hands-down favorite things to grow and eat, I can’t get enough of these flavorful greens. If you’ve never grown them, please try!

Mustard greens are known for their rapid growth and can be harvested in as little as 3 to 4 weeks after planting. Their spicy leaves add flavor and depth to salads, stir-fries, and soups, making them an ideal choice for home gardeners seeking a fast harvest.

Bush Peas

Peas.
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Bush peas are compact varieties of peas that are ready for harvest in 8 to 10 weeks after planting. Unlike traditional pole peas, bush peas do not require support and can be grown in containers or small garden spaces, making them a convenient and quick-growing option for home gardeners.

Bush Beans

Bush beans.
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Bush beans are another fast-growing crop, typically ready for harvest in 6 to 8 weeks after planting. Their tender pods are packed with flavor and can be eaten fresh, steamed, or sautéed, while their compact growth habit makes them well-suited for small garden spaces.

Another crop I literally stick everywhere around the garden because green beans are just so delicious and so low-maintenance. They freeze well, can be pressure canned, make for great soups, and are incredible when fermented.

Pea Shoots

Pea shoots.
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Pea shoots are young, tender shoots that are harvested from pea plants in as little as 2 to 3 weeks after planting. These nutritious greens add a fresh, pea-like flavor to salads, sandwiches, and stir-fries, making them a quick and easy addition to homegrown meals.

Cucumber

Small pickling cucumbers.
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Dwarf and pickling cucumber varieties are compact, making then ideal for small spaces and also much faster to grow and develop fruit. Make pickles and eat your cucumbers fresh all summer long.

Sprouts

Sprouted seeds.
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It’s not a garden crop, but it’s something you can grow in your kitchen using regular mason jars.

Sprouts grown in mason jars are ready for harvest in as little as 3 to 7 days after sprouting. These nutritious sprouts add crunch and flavor to salads, sandwiches, and wraps. Growing sprouts in mason jars is a simple and convenient way to enjoy fresh greens at home.

Examples of seeds that can be sprouted: mung bean, alfalfa, radish, brocolli, lentils, sunflower, quinoa and more.

Microgreens

Microgreens.
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Microgreens are young, tender greens harvested from the seeds of vegetables and herbs in as little as 7 to 14 days after planting. These nutrient-packed greens add color, flavor, and texture to salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. You don’t need a garden, just trays of some sort and a spot in your kitchen.

Common seeds used for microgreens include broccoli, kale, arugula, radish, sunflower, pea, and cilantro.

Rapini

Rapini.
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Rapini, also known as broccoli rabe, is a leafy green vegetable prized for its rapid growth and distinctive bitter flavor. Typically ready for harvest in just 4 to 6 weeks after planting, rapini is a quick-growing addition to any garden. Its tender leaves, broccoli-like florets, and slender stems are all edible, offering a variety of culinary uses. Rapini is commonly used in Italian cuisine, where it is sautéed with garlic and olive oil or added to pasta dishes and pizzas for a burst of flavor.

The Italian name cime di rapa translates into turnip greens.

Most Nutritious Crops

Tomatoes growing on trellis in garden.
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Learn More: 22 Most Nutritious Foods To Grow In Your Garden

Vertical Growing

Gourds growing in slings on high arched trellis.
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Learn More: 20 Veggies & Fruits You Should Grow Vertically

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