Just because vegetable gardening is usually an exercise in patience doesn’t mean you can’t grow fast food. For all the keen and restless gardeners out there who can’t stand the long wait for fresh produce, we’ve gathered up some of the fastest growing foods for you to enjoy on the quick.
1. Sunflower Shoots – 12 Days
The product of extremely immature sunflowers, sunflower shoots (or sunflower greens or sunflower sprouts) may be tiny but they sure pack a wallop in terms of nutrition! Harvest by cutting the stems once they have two leaves, but before they show their “true leaves” because sunflower shoots become bitter as they age.
2. Garden Cress – 14 Days
Ready to harvest in as little as two weeks, garden cress can be planted in early spring – as soon as the soil can be worked. Also a garden space-saver, a small (1 or 2 feet square) patch of cress will supply you will an abundance of this tangy herb.
3. Radishes – 21 Days
A cool season crop, spring radishes grow best in 50?F to 65?F weather. Once sown, you’ll see leafy green shoots above the soil in just three or four days. Keep planting seeds every week or two for a constant harvest through spring and autumn.
4. Green Onions – 21 Days
Also called scallions, green onions are quick-growing plants that can be cut back to their base again and again throughout the season. Once their green shoots reach a height of 6 inches, they are ready for the first round of harvesting.
5. Tatsoi – 25 Days
A low-growing mustard green, tatsoi (pronounced “taht-SOY”) is a wonderful addition to salads and soups. Baby tatsoi leaves can be harvested when they reach 4 inches in length, or you can wait the full 40 days for tatsoi to mature to full size.