16 Fast Growing Vegetables To Plant Now

Regardless of the season, it’s never a bad time to try out your green thumb. While growing flowers and house plants is rewarding in its own way, growing your own vegetables will provide you with a satisfying fruit (or rather, vegetable) for your labor.

You can even grow vegetables for a variety of reasons:

  • Grow food in times of food shortages or quarantine
  • improve your personal diet
  • and to save money when it comes to obtaining fresh produce
basket of fast growing vegetables

But when it comes to planning out which vegetables to grow, you may begin to wonder how much time this entire endeavor will take. In fact, you may even be looking to grow only vegetables that can be grown and eaten in a fairly short time period. If you count yourself among these inquisitive green thumbs, then this guide to the fastest growing vegetables is for you.

In this guide, you’ll learn all about the growing seasons and growing periods for a variety of popular vegetables, including arugula, radishes, carrots, and more. This guide will also provide you with helpful resources for learning about how to plant each type of vegetables’ seed. After reading through this guide, you’ll be well on your way to growing a speedy crop of flavorful, nutrient-rich vegetables in your own garden.

Fast Growing Vegetables 

There are lots of great fast growing vegetables to choose from. Almost all of them don’t require much gardening experience either, so you can try them out as soon as their growing season arrives in your area. Every one of the vegetable options is also packed with valuable nutrients, allowing you to diversify your diet and increase your daily intake of important vitamins.

Before you jump headfirst into growing and harvesting any of these veggies, however, you should keep these important tips in mind:

First, remember that all of the growing periods listed in this article are estimates and are based upon ideal growing conditions (including rich soil, proper drainage, and ample sunlight).

Second, be sure to always wash your garden-fresh vegetables before cooking or eating them. This is especially true if you use any kind fertilizer on your veggie plants.

Finally, the precise nutrient content of some of the vegetables listed below will vary from one variety to another. Also, some nutrients are broken down or denatured when cooked. As such, you should account for these changes when planning to add certain nutrients to your diet by preparing your homegrown vegetables.


Time To Harvest: 7-14 days
Ideal Growing Season: Year-round
Where To Buy Seeds: Check price at Hamama

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

Microgreens is a ‘catchall’ term that refers to young salad vegetables such as celery, rocket, kale etc. These plants are usually no more than 1-2 inches in height when they are harvested.

The most popular types of microgreens are:

  • Brassicaceae family: Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, watercress, radish and arugula
  • Asteraceae family: Lettuce, endive, chicory and radicchio
  • Apiaceae family: Dill, carrot, fennel and celery
  • Amaryllidaceae family: Garlic, onion, leek
  • Amaranthaceae family: Amaranth, quinoa swiss chard, beet and spinach
  • Cucurbitaceae family: Melon, cucumber and squash

Because microgreens are usually grown in special growing containers and can be grown indoors or outdoors, they can be grown successfully year round.

Edible and Nutritional Uses

Because of the wide variety of microgreens available, the taste can vary significantly. Flavor ranges from neutral to spicy, bitter or even sour.

Nutritional value of microgreens is quite high, they contain concentrated levels of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.

#1 Green Onions

green onion bunch

Time To Harvest: 20 days
Ideal Growing Season: Late fall or early winter (outdoor), early spring (indoor)
Where To Buy Seeds: Available at Amazon

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

Green onions (also known as scallions and spring onions) are closely related to other similar vegetables, including the classic onion, shallot, chive, and leek. As such, they are most often planted in the late fall or early winter when planted outdoors. This allows the bulb to take root over the winter and sprout once ground temperatures begin to warm in spring.

Meanwhile, green onions can be planted in early spring if you intend to grow them indoors or in any climate controlled environment. In this setting, a bulb or set can grow into its finished form in as few as 20 days. Growing a green onion from a set is the best method for accomplishing an abbreviated growing period.

Edible and Nutritional Uses

Green onions are extremely versatile but are rarely eaten on their own. Instead, the whites and greens of the plant are usually separated and chopped separately. The whites can be cooked in a pan to release a traditionally onion flavor before a dish is prepared. Meanwhile, the greens can be added to everything from a salad or soup to fried rice or an egg salad sandwich.

As far as nutrition is concerned, green onions are mostly water by content. Even so, they contain very few calories, fat, or cholesterol, making them heart healthy. A single serving of green onion also contains almost twice your daily recommended amount of Vitamin K, making it ideal for adding a nutritional punch to almost any dish.

Also, if you are looking to add folates to your diet during pregnancy, you can do it with green onions. They are not nearly as dense as other folate-rich veggies, either, so you can easily add them into a meal after it is finished cooking.

#2 Salad Leaves / Lettuce

salad leaves lettuce growing

Time To Harvest: 21 days
Ideal Growing Season: Spring or fall
Where To Buy Seeds: Available at Amazon

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

Salad greens are a wide family of leafy vegetables that are known to thrive in cool weather. However, soil temperatures above 80 degrees or below 50 degrees tend to cause them to germinate poorly. As such, it is usually best to plant salad greens a few weeks before the most temperate part of spring in your area. So long as these ideal temperatures are maintained, salad greens can grow and begin to reach maturity in as few as 21 days.

Edible and Nutritional Uses

As their name suggests, salad greens are best enjoyed in their raw form. As such, you can mix your washed greens together with other veggies such as cherry tomatoes and red onions to make a flavorful salad. Salad greens can also be used to substitute for store-bought iceberg lettuce in almost all circumstances. As such, this veggie can really enhance your homemade tacos and sandwiches in a snap.

Homegrown salad greens are nutritionally superior to anything you’d get at the store. This is because they contain far more dietary fiber than their processed counterparts. They remain low in calories, too, so you can enjoy a lot of salad greens in a day without breaking your diet. In fact, regular intake of salad greens can help promote weight lose through a combination folates and potassium.

#3 Radishes

organic radishes

Time To Harvest: 25 days
Ideal Growing Season: Late winter and early spring
Where To Buy Seeds: Available at Amazon

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

Most common types of radishes are planted in the spring in order to promote rapid growth and an ideal flavoring. However, spring radishes can be started as soon as late winter with the proper warming enclosure. Several crops of radishes can often be harvested in the many, given that new crops can grow in as few as 25 days well into summer.

Meanwhile, there are some types of radishes that can be planted in midsummer. These varieties can then be harvested in winter, given that they have a much longer growing period.

Edible and Nutritional Uses

Fans of radishes enjoying eating them raw, much in the same manner as a carrot (after washing off the dirt, of course). In this manner, a radish can be quartered and enjoyed as a meal side or sliced thin and included on a light summer-time sandwich. Alternatively, these raw radishes can be picked, which imbues them with any number of flavors that can allow your family to enjoy this veggie during their off-season.

Meanwhile, if you want to soften up your radishes, they can be cooked up using a variety of methods. For example, radishes can be grilled on skewers or roasted in crockpot alongside a slab of flavorful pork or beef.

On the nutrition side, radishes provide plenty of vitamin C per serving. As such, they can be a great option for folks who are watching their cardiovascular health and are trying to lower their cholesterol. As a dense veggie, radishes are also a good source of fiber, with about 1.9 grams per serving. Radishes even contain glucosinolates, which some studies suggest contain cancer-preventing properties.

#4 Arugula

arugula bunch

Time To Harvest: 30 days
Ideal Growing Season: Early spring or fall
Where To Buy Seeds: Available at Amazon

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

Arugula is a leafy vegetable, making it an ideal candidate for planting in a spring-time garden. When planted in this season, arugula leaves tend to be larger and richer in color due to greater sun exposure. When planted at this time, a full head of arugula can grow in as few as 30 days.

Also, a second arugula crop can be planted in the fall while still allowing enough time for harvest before an early frost sets in. Though these crops tend to be slightly smaller, gardeners may still appreciate the flexibility of being able to plant this vegetable’s seeds during either temperate season.

Arugula can really thrive if they are given proper watering and a rich soil content. More information and tips on planting this leafy vegetable can be found in this guide:


Edible and Nutritional Uses

In many cases, arugula can serve as a substitute in any recipe that calls for spinach. As a result, you can mix some raw arugula leaves into salad in order to give it a slight kick. This is because arugula has a slight peppery, spicy, and tart flavor. When cooked however, this leaf’s flavors can easily be passed onto any meat or pasta sauce it wilted with.

Arugula is truly unique among vegetables, also. That’s because it contains almost no calories, with most single servings containing no more than 5 calories. At the same time, these leaves contain almost no fat at all and a decent amount of vitamin K. Individuals who are looking to improve their skin health may also find arugula’s vitamin A content to be appealing.

#5 Baby Carrots

baby carrots

Time To Harvest: 30 days
Ideal Growing Season: Spring or fall
Where To Buy Seeds: Available at Amazon

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

Baby carrots are another great vegetable option if you want quick results and at least two crops per year. Because this plant’s growing period can be as short as 30 days, you can often plant their tiny seeds more than once during the spring or fall. A second crop during the fall is particularly a viable option given that the carrot itself is fairly resilient to frost.

Edible and Nutritional Uses

Many gardeners agree that nothing beats a garden-fresh carrot. As such, baby carrots are perhaps best enjoyed raw (after a quick wash, of course). However, if you want to get creative with your baby carrots, they can be easily chopped up and used in everything from stir fries to soups. You can even pickle a lot of them in a single jar, given their diminutive size.

Baby carrots are also noteworthy given how nutrient dense they are. For example, they contain both alpha – and beta-carotene, which are important for promoting vision health. They also contain several noteworthy antioxidants, including lutein and lycopene. These, too, can play an important role in promoting eye health.

#6 Bok Choy

bok choy chinese vegetable

Time To Harvest: 30 days
Ideal Growing Season: Spring or late summer
Where To Buy Seeds: Available at Amazon

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

Bok choy are a very popular vegetable in Asian countries, which foster an ideal climate for growing several crops a year. However, in other parts of the world, bok choy can typically be planted in spring and again in late summer. In both cases, ideal growing conditions can allow plants to mature in as few as 30 days. This period may be even shorter for baby bok choy, a diminutive variant of the same vegetable.

Edible and Nutritional Uses

Bok choy are noted for their crisp texture, even when they are cooked down. As a result, bok choy are a popular pick for inclusion in many authentic stir fries. Bok choy can also be sauted and served on their own to preserve more of their crispness. Some recipes even allow you to braise bok choy, much in the same manner as you would its cousin, the cabbage.

Despite the size of each stalk, bok choy are impressively low in calories per serving. They also contain very small amounts of fat and a decent amount of protein for vegetable. However, many health enthusiasts prize bok choy for its unique mix of key nutrients. As such, you can expect to get a dose of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, as well as vitamins C, A, and K, in every serving.

Learn more: 14 Fast Growing Flowers That Bloom Quickly

#7 Spinach

spinach seedling

Time To Harvest: 30 days
Ideal Growing Season: Spring (most climates), fall (mild winter climates)
Where To Buy Seeds: Available at Amazon

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

Spinach is a popular vegetable that some gardeners have recently learned is fairly easy to grow at home. Typically, spinach can be planted alongside other regular vegetables in the springtime. Then, so long as cool weather remains throughout its growing period, spinach plants can reach maturity in as few as 30 days.

Spinach can also be planted in less-than-ideal conditions if your climate is not as temperate in the spring. For example, spinach can be grown in a cold frame and harvest as early as the start of spring under certain soil conditions. Also, regions with a mild winter can plant spinach in the fall and harvest in winter.

To learn more about planting options for spinach, check out this helpful resource:


Edible and Nutritional Uses

Despite what you’ve seen on Popeye, the best spinach is not in a can. Instead, fresh spinach is the way to go if you want to enjoy its full flavor. In fact, a salad made from a mix of iceberg lettuce and spinach can really satisfy a family while also providing great nutrients per serving. Fresh spinach can also be wilted and added to a wide variety of dishes, with its flavors complement cheese-based dished particularly well.

As for those nutrients, spinach has a lot to offer. This includes a lot of iron per serving, which serves an important role in hemoglobin production in blood cells. As such, spinach is a favorite of athletes and those recovering from injuries. Spinach also contains a great amount of carotenoids per serving, which your body can convert easily into vitamin A.

#8 Green Beans

green beans

Time To Harvest: 40 days
Ideal Growing Season: Spring (after last frost)
Where To Buy Seeds: Available at Amazon

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

Green beans are another at-home favorite that can be grown with a fair amount of ease. Generally, a best practice with green beans is to put them in the ground at any point after the final spring frost. This can ensure that the beans are able to germinate properly and take root with minimal ground temperature-based interference. When proper sunlight and hydration are provided, many common types of green beans can begin to produce pods in as few as 40 days.

Green beans are also a great gardening option if you are working with a limited amount of space and need to keep your soil fertile. This is because bean plants add nitrogen to the soil around them, which in turn is beneficial to future plants on that same location. So, for crop rotation purposes, green beans are a great pick.

Edible and Nutritional Uses

Green beans are fairly versatile and can be prepared to your liking. For example, some folks like the snap of raw green beans, not to mention their rich flavor when they are pickled. When boiled, fresh green beans often maintain their rich hue, while roasting the segmented beans can provide them with a flavorful char.

If you’re looking to enhance your bone, skin, and hair health, green beans are a great fresh veggie to grow and cook. This is because each serving contains a fair amount of vitamin C, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin K and silicon. Many of these nutrients are stored in the bean’s pod, though, so be sure to preserve it when you decide to cook up your recent green bean harvest.

#9 Carrots

carrot plant

Time To Harvest: 50 days
Ideal Growing Season: Spring or fall
Where To Buy Seeds: Available at Amazon

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

As with their “baby” counterparts, regular-sized carrots grow in most types of fertile soil during their prime growing periods in the spring and fall. Unlike their smaller counterparts, though, full-sized carrots take 50 days to reach maturity under ideal growing conditions. This can make planting in mid-to-late fall more challenging, given that deep freezes can put carrots at risk while they’re still in the ground.

Edible and Nutritional Uses

Carrots are one of the few fast-growing vegetables that tastes perfect without any cooking at all. That being said, fresh carrots should be consumed quickly because they won’t last as long as their store-bough counterparts. If you’re still looking for more to do with a carrot, then you can try some roasted, pickled, boiled in a soup, or even baked into a flavorful carrot cake.

In all of these uses, carrots provide an unbeatable source of biotin. This nutrient is one of the B vitamins that can help supercharge anyone’s metabolism and encourage weight loss in turn. As with other red and orange vegetables, carrots also contain a great deal of vitamin A that can help preserve eye health.

#10 Cucumber


Time To Harvest: 50 days
Ideal Growing Season: Spring or summer
Where To Buy Seeds: Available at Amazon

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

Cucumbers are definitely a warm-season crop given that they cannot tolerate frost at all. As a result, cucumber seeds can be planted at any time the “warm seasons” begin in your region. For very warm climates, that could be as early as late winter. However, in most regions, you can safely start your cucumbers in the mid-spring months of April. In either environment, you can expect a properly water cucumber to reach maturity at around 50 days.

Edible and Nutritional Uses

Cucumbers are another great fast-growing veggie pick if you want something with solid versatility. Raw cucumber is, of course, delicious raw in salads as well as sliced up and added to water. Those same raw cucumbers could also be diced to add to a veggie wrap or pickled in salt brine to make familiar pickles right at home. You can even get creative with your cucumbers and make at-home sushi rolls with cucumber spears inside.

When most folks think of cucumbers, they think of their high water content. So, of course, this veggie is a great hydrator. But also, you can get a surprising amount of potassium and calcium from eating cucumber, raw or in a cooked form. A single serving of cucumber also has more than your daily recommended amount of vitamin K, making it an ideal snack for folks who are deficient in that nutrient.

#11 Beets

freshly harvested beetroot

Time To Harvest: 30 days (leaves), 50 days (bulb)
Ideal Growing Season: Spring or late summer
Where To Buy Seeds: Available at Amazon

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

Beets are another cool-weather crop that has recently gone through a new birth of popularity. As such, many at-home gardeners are eager to get their beets in the ground within a couple weeks of the final spring frost. So long as temperatures continue to rise, you can expect an average beet to reach edible maturity about 50 days thereafter.

Should you choose to do so, you can also plant successive beet crops in late summer or early autumn. In these cases, your beets may take a bit longer than average due to the decreasing soil temperatures over their growing period. Be sure to keep an eye out for the first autumn frost when harvesting, too, as this can spoil otherwise good beets.

Some gardeners also choose to harvest beet leaves separately and utilize their unique nutritional properties. Doing so can stunt the main beet’s growth, however. In any case, most beet leaves are ready to harvest within 30 days of germination.

Edible and Nutritional Uses

Though they contain a rich crimson juice inside, beets are not unlike potatoes when it comes to preparation. As such, they can be sliced, diced, roasted, fried and more while preserving their unique mild flavor. Pickling beets has also become a popular option lately, as has juicing the veggie using an at-home juicer.

Also like a potato, the beet is a dense piece of produce that can provide an individual with a decent amount of fiber per serving. Most of the beets other nutrient load is modest at best, save for its inclusion of more than 15% of your daily manganese intake per serving. These two factors combined make beets a great pick for folks suffering from digestion problems.

#12 Kale

kale in the garden

Time To Harvest: 55 days
Ideal Growing Season: Spring or fall
Where To Buy Seeds: Available at Amazon

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

Kale is an ideal veggie to grow at home given that its recent popularity has made it more expensive. To do this, you should plan to get your seeds in the ground around a month after your last major frost. This could occur in early or late spring, depending on your regional conditions. So long as they receive proper drainage throughout their growing period, you can expect kale to be ready for consumption after around 55 days.

Edible and Nutritional Uses

Kale leaves have an unmistakable nutty flavor that few other green veggies offer. As such, kale can be worked into a wide variety of recipes that require more flavor than spinach alone can provide. To that end, steamed kale is very popular, as is using kale in omelets, casseroles, and of course, salads.

Out of all of these uses, raw kale is the most likely to provide an individual with its full nutrient potential. To that extent, raw kale contains alpha-linolenic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that can serve as a healthier fat substitute in your regular diet. Kale also gets its rich green hue from lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which can work against macular degeneration and prevent the formation of cataracts in your eyes.

#13 Broccoli

head of broccoli

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

Time To Harvest: 60 days
Ideal Growing Season: Late winter or early spring
Where To Buy Seeds: Available at Amazon

Broccoli is one of those vegetables that average gardeners don’t think they can grow at home. But indeed, in a cool weather climate that remains around 75°F between planting and harvesting, broccoli can thrive. As such, it is best to plant broccoli in spring and early summer in order to harvest a crop around 60 days later. In warmer climates, you may also be able to plant in mid-summer and still obtain a full crop in the fall.

Edible and Nutritional Uses

Just like broccoli heads you pick up at the store, homegrown broccoli can be enhanced through simple cooking. As such, those who want to soften up their broccoli and make it more palatable can do so by steam or blanching the florets. Alternatively, broccoli can be roasted or sautéed in order to bring out their rich inner flavors.

Because of broccoli’s structure, it tends to hold onto many of its nutrients, regardless of how it is prepared. As such, you can expect to get a whopping 135% of your daily vitamin C intake from just a single serving of broccoli. That’s enough to rival a glass of orange juice! Besides that, you can also get 116% of your daily vitamin K intake from a broccoli serving, which certainly places it in the ranks of super food.

#14 Peas


Time To Harvest: 60 days
Ideal Growing Season: Early Spring
Where To Buy Seeds: Available at Amazon

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

Though peas aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, you’ll be surprised at how easy they are to grow at home. In fact, these can be one of the first seeds you get in the ground in early spring when ground temperatures rise above 45° F. From there, pea plants only need the regular amount of water and sunlight (as well as proper cages) in order to start developing pods within 60 days’ time.

Edible and Nutritional Uses

Peas are an unusual vegetable because they can be prepared and served in almost any state you can imagine. This includes raw, which is favored by folks who enjoy the snap of a fresh peapod. Alternatively, you’re looking for something a little softer, peas make a great addition to stir fries, as well as in a steamed, boiled, or mashed state.

However you choose to eat them, peas (in or out of the pod) are a great source of your daily vitamins. Specifically, a ½ cup of peas contains significant levels of vitamins A, C, and K. What’s more, peas contain greater levels of thiamine (also known as vitamin B1), which helps your body draw energy out of all of the other key nutrients in your diet.

#15 Turnips


Time To Harvest: 40 days (leaves), 60 days (bulb)
Ideal Growing Season: Spring or fall
Where To Buy Seeds: Available at Amazon

Growing Season and Length of Growing Period

Turnips are not a common vegetable in most folk’s diets. But it could soon be if you start growing your own at home. To do so, you’ll want to get these cool-weather veggies in the ground in either the spring or fall. In either case, you’ll want to avoid the hot summer months, which can cause turnips to dry up if they are not properly established.

If a turnip is able thrive, though, it can be ready to dig up, wash, and eat in around 60 days. However, before that, those seeking to grow turnips to use their unique leaves will be able to harvest those at around 40 days.

Edible and Nutritional Uses

Because turnips are not as common in the American diet, not many folks are familiar with how to prepare them. However, you’ll find that there are lots of interesting recipes that call for turnips to be used in soups and sautés. You can also roast a diced turnip or even slice them thin for frying into chips.

Meanwhile, turnip greens can be used in place of most other leafy greens. As such, you can try to add them to a salad or even wilt them for inclusion in a pasta dish.

In its raw form, turnips and their greens are at their most nutritious. In this form, a 1-cup serving of turnip greens can provide a full 115% of your daily vitamin K intake. Meanwhile, you can also get 30% of your daily vitamin C intake from enjoying the same amount of raw turnip. Both also contain a decent amount of folates, which should make this veggie popular with pregnant women.

The Wrap Up

As you can see, there are a lot of great vegetables to choose from if you are basing your choice on how fast they grow and how many valuable nutrients they provide. There are so many benefits that can come with growing your own produce, not least that you’ll save money and improve your diet on a daily basis.

So, don’t wait to start growing some of these great vegetables! They’ll be ready to eat before you know it!

Did you enjoy this collection of fast-growing vegetables? What are your experiences with growing these or other vegetables at home? Let us know down in the comments. Also, if you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with another green thumb in your life.


Photo of author
Aaron Green
Aaron is the founder of and Essential Home and Garden. He likes to spend his spare time with his family, and doing DIY projects in the home and garden.

Leave a Comment