When you first decide to grow your own vegetables it’s always nice to see the fruits of your labour as quickly as possible, especially if you’re gardening with kids.
Here are some choices for vegetables that have shorter growing times:
Arugula: this is a fast growing plant wit a slightly peppery taste that’s used primarily in salads and it’s great as a pizza topping or alternative to basil pesto. It takes less than 4 weeks for the leaves to be large enough to harvest. Best of all, it’s a cool season plant so it’s ideal for spring and fall and it can be grown in a container on your kitchen windowsill from which you can harvest leaves on an ongoing basis!
Radishes: these grow even faster and can be harvested in about 3 weeks from the time seeds are planted. Radishes are also a good salad ingredient. They enjoy cooler weather and you can either grow them indoors or start from seeds outside in a protected area. Sowing radish seeds every 10 to 14 days will provide an ongoing crop.
Turnips: another ‘no-brainer’ if you want an easy-to-grow, quick harvest which will be ready in just a few weeks. Turnips are great in stews, soups and roasted. You can eat both the leaves (which are rich in calcium) and the turnips themselves (which are rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin C). They’re temperature tolerant though they prefer a cool garden, so you can grow these for the full growing season.
Mesclun Mixes: this is a mix of salad greens that are easily grown, even in containers indoors, and are ready for harvest quickly and on an ongoing basis. By planting new seeds every 10 to 14 days, you’ll never run out of lovely, fresh salad greens!
Kale: is a great salad ingredient and can be used in a variety of ways. Kale leaves roasted in the oven make fabulous healthy snacks and are a great alternative to potato chips. They enjoy cool weather and moist conditions and can be harvested quickly and for a lengthy period of time if you harvest the outside leaves.
Italian Broccoli: also known as Broccoli Raab has edible leaves, buds and stems. It’s used quite a lot in Italian cuisine and has a slightly bitter flavour. It’s best to harvest the buds right away before they flower and to harvest leaves and stems when young and tender. Although it resembles broccoli in appearance, it’s actually related to turnips! It’s another cool season vegetable though you can grow it longer by succession planting. Some varieties will be ready for harvest in as little as 40 days with others maturing at 60 and 90 days. You can plant seed directly in the garden.
These are just a few of the choices – feel free to come in and see what we have in stock. Varieties may vary depending on what’s in season and available.