Jack Solaris. Permaculture Practise and Design, Urban Farming and Sustainability.
Are You Making the Most of the Growing Season in Your Garden?
There are many advantages of growing your own vegetables. For one, you can guarantee the freshest garden-to-table produce. And if you are one of the rapidly increasing number of organic home-growers, then you can rest assured that no pesticides or chemicals have been used on your precious vegetables.
It’s a common misconception that vegetables will take months and months to grow. This is true in some cases, such as with the squash family of vegetables. But in other cases, you will be surprised at how fast you can grow them and have the food on your plate.
This article will break down a handful of fast-growing vegetables that you can start planting today.
The Benefits of Fast-Growing Vegetables
Here are some great benefits to planting some of these fast growers.
Inter-cropping is when you plant crops in between the rows of other types of crops. It allows you to get more diversity in your garden and on your plate, while making the most of the space that you have available. If you are growing other, slower-growing crops, you can inter-plant these fast-growing vegetables and get an extra harvest while you wait for your main crops to be ready.
Fast-growing crops allow you to make the most of what’s known as succession planting. Succession planting is when you grow several crops in the same space during the course of a single season. To really benefit from this practise, you want to use fast-growing crops. Planting them will mean that you have plenty of time to get several crops in the ground over the course of a single season.
Making the Most of the Space You Have
Using these methods allows you to make the most of your limited garden space, harvest several crops during one season, and also increase the diversity of your garden beds. Boost your harvests and put more food on your plate!
Radishes are one of the fastest growing of all vegetables as well as being very easy to grow successfully. There are dozens of fantastic varieties that you can experiment with, but they all grow fast: within 30–45 days.
To plant your radish seeds, you simply need to make small holes, about 1 inch deep, for the seeds with a dibber spaced between 2 inches apart. If you don’t have a dibber, you can use a pencil or even your finger!
You will want to plant your radish seeds where they can get a lot of sunlight for the very best results, but they can also grow well in partial shade. They are not especially thirsty plants, but you want to make sure they are watered regularly, especially if you are not getting any rain.
Usually people plant their radishes in rows but you if you are inter-planting them with other crops then you can dot them around wherever you can fit them in.
Carrots are a fairly fast-growing crop (usually about 90 days). But if you really want to cut down the time, you can harvest the carrots after 30–45 days. These smaller carrots are known as "baby carrots." You can also buy special baby carrot varieties to harvest rapidly, but any variety can be grown in this way.
Baby carrots are a favourite of chefs around the world, because they are especially sweet and tender when picked earlier.
To plant your carrots, prepare the soil with a small trench about 1 inch deep. Carefully sprinkle your carrot seeds thinly through along your trench. Cover with soil and water them in.
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For best results, grow your carrots in a sandy soil. This makes it easier for the carrot (the root of the plant) to push through the soil. Try to avoid a soil that is heavy in clay, as this will make it harder for your carrots to grow.
Spinach is a famously healthy food and has even been described as a superfood. Plant spinach in seeds in small holes about 6 inches apart from each other in rows. It’s a tough and hardy plant that can thrive even in quite poor soils.
You will be able to start harvesting the spinach within 30 days. Pick leaves from the plant and allow it to continue growing.
Spinach is high in vitamins A and C and is very beneficial to your health. It can also lower your blood pressure and helps fight against heart disease.
Lettuce and Other Salad Leaves
Lettuce and other salad leaves can be ready within 30 days! Another advantage of growing this versatile crop is that you can repeatedly pick the leaves and allow the plant to continue growing.
To grow lettuces, you will want to have well-prepared soil in a sunny spot. Sprinkle lettuce seeds in rows about 4–6 inches apart. This will give you a nice dense bed of lettuce but will still give the individual plants enough room to grow.
Lettuce is great to have growing in your garden. Just pick a few leaves and you can have a nice side salad for your meals at home. It’s great for your health and home-grown, freshly picked lettuce really does taste very good compared to its shop-bought counterparts.
If you grow several varieties of lettuce and salad leaves together, you will have a colourful bed of fresh leaves for your salads.
Lettuce is a very easy crop to grow, so you won’t go wrong!
Use These Crops to Fill Those Productivity Gaps at the End of Season
Towards the end of the growing season when you’ve harvested a lot of your main crops, your growing beds can start to look a little empty. Use fast-growing crops to fill those gaps in your calendar.
These are just a few of the fastest-growing crops that you can grow in your garden. Growing quick-cropping plants is satisfying and will really allow you to make the most of your garden space.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on August 03, 2020:
I planted spinach from root, grow very fast
RTalloni on September 03, 2019:
What a great idea to get baby carrots at the end of summer's harvest!