With COVID -19 on everyone’s mind, people are wondering what Crops will grow quickly in my garden. And with talk of food shortages being a possibility, growing your Veggies has never seemed more attractive. It also a great activity to do with the kids while they are off school.
So what are the Quickest producers of food that are also fairly easy to grow? I have listed 5 below from Fastest to Slowest – which is only 60 days !!
1. Salad leaves
Sowing to harvest: 21 days
The speediest crop on our list. Grow individual varieties or create your own salad blend by mixing two or more varieties together before sowing. Suitable salads include lettuce, mustards and other Oriental leaves, kale, and rocket.
For the quickest results, sow a mix of salads sold for cut-and-come-again harvesting.
Sow the seeds very thinly into drills spaced around 6-10 inches, or 15 to 25cm apart. Cover the seeds back over then gently pat the surface of the soil down. Water along the rows then keep the soil moist and weed-free as the seedlings grow. These are -perfect for spring to as they prefer cooler conditions and tend to bolt in the summer
Try sowing them as we did here, in a planter so you can keep them away from slugs.
Harvesting can start just three weeks after sowing. Take two or three outside leaves from each plant at any one time. This allows the remaining leaves to grow on and provide another cut in a few days’ time. Cut little and often for best results.
Sowing to harvest: 25 days
Radishes are really speedy, taking just 3 to 4 weeks until you can pick them.
Seeds can be sown into prepared ground or pots of potting soil. Sow the plump seeds very thinly, spacing them about one inch (2.5cm) apart. Sowing small batches every few weeks until the very end of summer will give you a continuous crop of the peppery roots.
The seedlings will pop up within a week of sowing. If necessary, thin the seedlings so the roots have enough room to expand. Keep the ground free of weeds, and water in dry weather. Harvest the roots before they get too large when they can turn hard and woody in texture and become really spicy!!
Sowing to harvest: 30 days
I love Spinach and use it a lot in recipes like Tasty Spinach, Bacon and Chickpea Pasta and it is great for smoothies. You can plant it in succession all through the growing season until the frosts come.
Sow into rows about a foot (30cm) apart. Set the seeds an inch (2.5cm) apart then thin the resulting seedlings to roughly 8in (20cm) apart. Plants can bolt in hot weather, which causes the leaves to turn bitter. I try and plant them in a shadier spot and by always keeping the ground moist.
Cut the leaves away using a sharp knife or scissors. Don’t let the leaves get too big, and remember to harvest little and often. Later sowings could be covered with a row cover or tunnel to help growth along as the weather turns colder.
Sowing to harvest: 50 days
Carrots are not the most obvious speedy vegetable, but choose a quick-growing smaller variety like Chantenay carrots and you can expect sweet, crunchy roots in just six weeks which are perfect for roasting
Sow into pots of potting soil, spreading the seed thinly over the surface, then cover with a thin sieved layer of compost. Or sow the seed into drills spaced about 6in (15cm) apart, cover back over, and water.
Carrot fly can prove a nuisance, burrowing into the roots and spoiling the crop. C0-planting with Spring onions helps, also a cover is handy.
Pull up the tender carrots while they are still young if necessary using a border fork to first loosen the soil.
5. Dwarf green beans
Sowing to harvest: 60 days
The quickest beans around are dwarf beans. Taking just two months from sowing to pod production, these trouble-free beans are a must – and kids love them!
In summer the beans can be sown directly into the ground or into pots of potting soil. Poke the seeds into the soil so they are 10-16in (25-40cm) apart. Sow a batch once a month until the end of summer. The short, bushy plants will soon come into flower.
Pick the pods every few days, as they appear, so that you are always enjoying them while they are still smaller and more tender. Regular picking encourages plants to continue forming pods. They taste really good lightly steamed with a bit of butter and some pepper.
How to Prepare Your Soil
Sow your super-speedy crops into well-prepared soil. This simply means ensuring the soil has enough nutrients to support healthy growth and has the right texture to encourage even germination. In most cases, all that’s needed to prepare the ground is to sprinkle on a top-up of organic fertiliser before raking the soil surface to a fine tilth.
All of these super-speedy vegetables can also be grown in pots which is great if you lack space, just use good-quality, multipurpose compost.
Protecting Against Pests
Hopefully, these super-speedy vegetables will have little time to attract pests, do take a few precautions. Carrot fly has already had a special mention. Use the same row covers protecting your carrots to guard against flea beetles on radishes and some salad leaves. Slugs can decimate seedlings, so check out my Slug Wars post on how to fight them organically.
I hope you enjoyed this post you can find more Gardening posts here
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