Are you like me, an impatient gardener that wants to see my homegrown produce on the table early in the season? If you are, we have a guide of 21 fast-growing vegetables you can start today and have on your table in less than 60 days (some are even less than 30!)
So, what type of crops can grow under 60 days?
Fast-growing crops include baby green shoots like sunflower and pea shoots, leafy greens like lettuce, spinach and turnip, and beet greens. But you can also grow broccoli, green onions, bush beans, radishes, bok choy, zucchini, or peas.
If you want to see the complete list read on!
Environmental Factors that Can Impact How Long it Takes a Crop to Reach Maturity
The quantity, quality, and duration of light will impact plant growth.
Plants will generally grow more quickly during warm summers with long days than in winters with short days and long nights.
Temperature influences most plant processes, including photosynthesis, germination, and flowering.
Without the correct temperatures, many seeds will fail to germinate. Warm-season crops, for example, require a soil temperature of 65-74 F to germinate. Cool-season crops that enjoy the shoulder seasons require 55-65 F.
Unexpected weather can impact the germination and growth development of new plants. For example, a late spring freeze, an early summer drought, and an unexpected heatwave can cause challenges with projected harvest dates.
Water & Humidity
Without adequate water and humidity, plants can die or become stunted. Plants lacking water will stress, and stressed plants will be a welcome beacon for pests and diseases.
Plants require specific nutrients from the soil, which can cause stunted growth and stress if they are unavailable.
Fast-growing Vegetables for Impatient Gardeners
Here is an extensive list of fast-growing vegetables you can add to your vegetable plot for quick harvests in under 60 days.
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Sunflower Shoots (10-14 days)
Did you know sunflower shoots are edible? They are also one of the fastest-growing crops on this list.
They have a sweet, nutty taste and are delicious in salads.
You can reap a harvest in a mere 10 to 14 days from planting. You will want to harvest the shoots under 3 inches tall. When harvested young, sunflowers shoots are tender and sweet.
You can grow sunflower shoots in a flat, shallow tray indoors. Or plant out in the garden after the last threat of spring frost.
Learn More: Check out these other posts on growing sunflowers:
- Did you know you can grow sunflowers successfully in containers? You can see our full guide on how to care for container-grown sunflowers.
- And if you’re wondering if it is too late in the season see our list of short-season sunflowers you can start in early summer.
- Interested in microgreens? Check out our full guide!
Green Onions (20 – 30 Days)
To reap quick-growing green onions (spring onions), start with onion sets; they will produce much faster than seeds. Plant the sets outside.
Plant onion sets as soon as the ground can be worked in late spring. Make sure the temperature doesn’t dip below 20 degrees F.
Green onions will reach full maturity in about six weeks, but you can begin to harvest once their leaves are 1/2 inch wide. You can harvest leaves from your green onions right up until winter.
- Learn More: You can also grow green onions in containers and indoors; we have all the tips you need to have green onions on hand all year long.
Pea Shoots (21 Days)
Pea shoots can be harvested in as little as three weeks. You will want to gather your shoots when they are four inches tall. Any taller, and they tend to be fibrous and tough.
Pea shoots are quickly grown in trays of potting soil on a bright window sill or under grow lights, but you can also plant them outside after the last predicted spring frost.
When eaten raw, the shoots are crisp, sweet, and tender and taste like an ultra-fresh pea!
Radishes (22-50 days)
Radishes are extremely fun to grow with for kids. They mature quickly, and they do not need a lot of care. They make lovely peppery additions to salads and taste good if slow-roasted until they caramelize.
Sow your radish seeds in spring as soon as you can work the soil. If you sow a few every two weeks, you can have a recurring harvest until mid-summer.
Baby Kale (25-30 days)
Kale plants are quick-growing vegetables you can harvest only 25-30 days after the seeds are sown.
The mature leaves will be ready in 40-55 days.
Sow seed outdoors as soon as soil can be worked in late spring.
Baby kale leaves are mild-tasting and tender and are our favorite vegetable to grow in our garden.
- Learn More: Kale grows easily in containers! See our guide on planting and caring for container-grown kale!
Leafy Greens (30-55 Days)
Leafy vegetables like leaf lettuce, butterhead lettuce, and romaine lettuce can be sowed in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked.
In 30-55 days, the salad greens will be large enough to pull off a few outer leaves from each plant.
Succession planting rows every 1-2 weeks will ensure a continued supply of fresh salad baby greens right up until the heat of mid-summer.
You can also sow leafy greens toward the end of summer for a fall harvest.
Beet Greens (30 Days)
Most people plant beets for the roots, but beet greens are a delicious addition to salads and incredibly nutritious. In addition, beets are a great use of garden space because you can eat the whole plant.
Direct sow your beet seed four weeks after the last frost until mid-summer. Beet seeds will not germinate in cold soil.
To harvest beet greens while waiting for the root to mature, take one or two outer leaves from each plant, leaving the inner leaves intact.
Spinach (37-45 Days)
Spinach is a fast-growing crop and can reach Maturity in only 37 days. But you can start harvesting when the plant already has six leaves.
Baby spinach leaves are much sweeter and incredibly tender.
Plant your spinach seed as soon as the soil can be worked. Spinach is a cold-weather crop and will grow best (and taste best) in cooler months.
Try succession planting a second crop in late summer for fall harvest.
Mustard Greens (40 Days)
Mustard greens are fast-growing and will mature in just 40 days.
Plant a crop of mustard greens in early spring and late summer for a fall harvest. You can sow directly outdoors as soon as the ground can be worked.
The greens have a spicy flavor that tastes like spicy mustard. You can blanch mature leaves to remove some of the bitterness. Early baby leaves do not tend to be as bitter or as spicy.
To harvest greens snap off the outermost leaves. This cut-and-come method will extend the harvest for many weeks.
Turnip Greens (40 Days)
Turnip greens are ready about 40 days after planting, depending on your soil temperature at planting. Turnips are another lovely addition to the garden because the entire plant is edible.
Turnips are a cool-weather crop, and you need to sow seed in early spring or late summer for a fall harvest.
To harvest greens, use garden shears and cut out the outer growing leaves. New leaves will come in quickly and will not be as large as the original cuttings, but you will still be able to get a second harvest.
You can also grow turnip greens in cold frames in the winter to harvest crops all year round.
- Related: Did you know that turnips have good planting companions and bad? See our complete guide before you plant.
Rocket or Arugula (40-60 Days)
Rocket greens have a peppery flavor and make a great addition to salads with other salad greens.
Rocket likes to grow in the cold season, so sow the seeds in early spring or fall.
Rocket is perfect for picking when young and slight, as the flavor is not as strong or bitter.
Bok Choy – Pak Choi (45 Days)
Bok choy (also called Chinese cabbage, Pak Choi, and napa cabbage) matures in only 45 days, but bok choy makes for an excellent cut-and-come-again option for greens. You can begin to pull off outer growing leaves as early as 30 days.
To grow healthy, delicious bok choy, you will want to plant in mid-summer so that the plants will mature in the shortening days and cooler temperatures of September.
Asian greens like bok choy are excellent in stir-fries and for making kimchi!
Zucchini (45-55 Days)
Zucchini plants are super fast-growing vegetables that everyone should have in their garden. But you don’t need a dozen plants; 1-2 plants is plenty. Zucchini plants are generally heavy producers.
You can begin to harvest zucchini when fruits are palm-sized, and you can expect the first harvest in under 60 days.
- Learn More: Did you know you can grow zucchini in containers? You can! We have the complete guide on growing these versatile vegetables in pots on decks and porches all summer long.
Swiss Chard (45 Days)
Chard grows well in colder seasons and is a great crop to start for fall and winter harvests. You can begin harvesting swiss chard in just six weeks from planting.
Toss the foliage into salads, sauté with olive oil and garlic, chop the stems and add to soups and salads.
Sow the seed outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked and the soil temperature has warmed.
Harvest in 45 days for baby greens. Look for young leaves that are at least 3 inches tall. Only pick a few leaves from each plant and allow more leaves to grow from the center of the plant before harvesting again.
Beet Roots (50-60 days)
Beetroots can be ready for harvest in under 8 weeks. They store incredibly well, and you can grow a crop in spring and late summer ( 8-10 weeks before the first expected frost) for a fall harvest.
Roots can be canned, pickled, roasted, or boiled.
Sow the seeds as soon as soil can be worked and grow until temperatures begin to warm during the summer months.
- Related: See our favorite beet pickling recipe – it’s one we never seem to have enough of!
- Related: Did you know you can even grow beets in containers? You can, and we have the full guide for you.
Cucumber (50-60 Days)
Cucumbers are a staple in any garden, especially for those who love homemade pickles. Homegrown cucumbers taste so much better than store-bought grocery versions.
Cucumbers are highly productive!
Although you can start seeds indoors, cucumbers tend to grow better when directly seeded.
Sow seed after the last expected frost when the soil temperature has warmed.
- Related: See our popular crispy pickle recipe if you plan on canning this summer!
Baby Carrots (50-60 Days)
You don’t have to wait for carrots to fully mature before pulling them from the garden! Baby carrots are usually ready to harvest in under 60 days.
Carrots are by far one of our favorite vegetables, and we grow many varieties every year in two different plantings; one in spring for summer harvests and one in mid-summer for fall harvests.
Root vegetables like carrots require quality soil with good drainage to grow best.
Fall-harvested carrots always taste sweeter after a light frost when the roots start to store sugars.
Begin sowing seeds after all danger of heavy frost is past.
- Learn More: Did you know you can grow carrots in containers? Check out our post on growing carrots in pots.
Turnip Roots ( 50-60 Days)
Turnip roots reach Maturity in 50-60 days and will grow best in spring or fall weather when the air is cool.
Turnips do not transplant well, so direct sowing is recommended.
Direct sow turnip seed 2-3 weeks before the last frost date in your region for a summer harvest. For a fall harvest, sow the seeds in mid-summer.
Early fall-planted crops tend to be sweeter and more tender than spring crops, and you will have less pest pressure to deal with. Fall-harvest turnips will also store longer.
Bush Beans (50-60 days)
Green beans (both bush and pole beans) grow best when direct-seeded.
Sow the seed after the last predicted frost date in your area when the soil is at least 50F.
If you sow seeds early, the seed may fail to germinate due to too low a soil temperature.
Pick your beans in the morning when sugars are at their highest for the best-tasting pods.
- Learn More: Beans are an excellent crop to grow if you want a heavy harvest. Beans dry, can, and freeze beautifully, making them a wonderful vegetable to grow for preservation.
Kohlrabi (55 days)
Kohlrabi is an easy-to-grow cool-season crop. It has a pepper flavor that tastes like a combination between cabbage and radish.
The kohlrabi bulb can be enjoyed raw in salads or slaws, roasted with other vegetables, or added to soups, stir-fries, and stews.
Sow seeds after the last predicted spring frost.
Pick when the bulbs are about 2-3 inches in diameter.
Snow Peas (60 Days)
Sow the pea seeds 4-6 weeks before the last spring frost. Peas will need a support structure like a trellis to grow well.
You can pick snow peas in 60 days. Use two hands when harvesting to prevent tearing the vine. Harvest often and regularly to encourage more pods to develop.
Tips for Fast-Growing Vegetables
Here are a few tips to get the most out of your fast-growing vegetables this season:
Seed Or Seedling Start
Direct sowing is the best method for root crops, but you can buy or start your seeds for many crops early indoors. Seedling starts can give you a jump on the season by up to 4 weeks.
Read Those Seed Packets
Be mindful of the information on the back of seed packets.
Time of planting, seed spacing, and seed depth are all essential directions to follow for healthy growth.
Grow Your Vegetables in Fertile well-draining Soil
Nutritionally rich soil creates nutritionally rich produce.
To grow vigorous, healthy plants, you will want to amend your soil with rich organic matter.
Soil drainage is also essential to prevent roots from rotting and help prevent some diseases.
Pick Early And Often
The earlier you harvest, the faster the turnaround for new growth.
Plus, early harvested shoots and leafy greens are much tender and sweeter than their mature counterparts.
Plant a Second Harvest
You always have time to plant a second harvest around mid-summer with fast-growing vegetables.
Quick Growing Vegetables For Your Vegetable Garden
Growing your own vegetables is incredibly rewarding. But the benefits don’t stop there. Home garden produce is generally more nutritious than varieties purchased at the market and tends to be far tastier.
If you’ve never gardened before and want to start, any of the vegetables on this list are easy to grow and can put food on your table and help jazz up stir-fries, salads, and meals in under 60 days.
It’s an easy test to try, from Asian greens, salad bowl leafy greens, and baby shoots, all available in less than 30 days!
Give it a try, and let us know how it goes.
Looking For More Gardening Inspiration and Information?
We have lots of gardening information and inspiration on the site. But if you want to grow your own food, start with these helpful posts:
- Vertical Vegetable Gardens – High Yields In Less Space
- Companion Planting for Higher Yields and Healthier Gardens
- 28 Vegetables That Grow in Shade For Gardens Without Full Sun
- How To Plan A Vegetable Garden In 7 Easy Steps
- Vegetable Container Gardening: 15 Veggies to Grow in Pots
- The Best Kale Companion Plants For A Robust Harvest
- Jalapeño Scoville Heat Ranking – How Hot Are Jalapeno Peppers?