Growing your own vegetables is not only easy but also reaps great rewards in the kitchen. With very little space and tools, you can grow your own fast growing vegetables easily. To give you an idea all these vegetables are 3-month crops.
This article is aimed at the beginner who has little to no experience in growing vegetables. I have chosen easy to grow crops and suggested the best varieties and all crop within 3 months.
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Basic Supplies and Equipment
Before you start your fast growing vegetable mission you are going to need some basic supplies and tools. You can plant seeds straight in the ground but for best results as beginners, I always recommend starting in pots or containers to give the best results with minimal effort.
These extra bits of equipment are optional but will help get your seeds off to a great start.
- Seed Compost – Higher in nutrients than regular multipurpose compost
- Vegetable Plant food
- Windowsill propagator – this gets your seeds off to a flying start
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Spinach Is The Easiest Fast Growing Vegetable
Spinach is a very fast growing vegetable and easy to get many spinach leaves and multiple plantings within 3 months. To get started with especially for beginners. Spinach is ideal for the patio/kitchen garden and is one of those vegetables that grow quickly and easily.
You will have delicious versatile spinach in 35 to 45 days.
When to Sow Spinach?
Start to sow spinach seeds early spring. Spinach is quite frost hardy so it can be planted over winter and early spring in pots on the window sill. Spinach can be grown year-round on a window sill or greenhouse in the correct light. But outdoors in spring/summer in the ground or pots is the best time to sow. Stagger the seeds so you grow a handful every few weeks. I would say 6 plants is enough for a family of 4. 12 Plants if you really love your spinach!
How to Sow Spinach
I always start my spinach off in small 2″ pots this gives me the flexibility to start them in one location and move them elsewhere or replant. Sow the seeds about 1″ deep. If your growing in containers allows spinach plant spacing of about 4″. One mistake I made as a beginner was to plant too much spinach in the same area and they end up competing for space and not getting very big.
How to Grow On
If you started your spinach seeds in small pots or a window sill propagator you need to think about re-potting them into larger pots. When the plants are large enough to handle and you can see roots growing from the bottom of the pot than its time to re-pot them. I tend to have multiple sowings when growing spinach in summer. It’s great to grab a few leaves and add to a salad.
Spinach has a long tap root this goes deep into the soil.
Planting Spinach Into The Ground
I am used to planting mine straight into the ground. To do this loosen the plant from the pot with a few taps on the side and bottom. Dig a small hole in the ground. Carefully transplant the seeds from the pot including all the dirt into the hold. Firm down the edges of the soil and water in.
How To Grow Spinach In Pots
If you want to plant spinach into containers that will sit in a conservatory/kitchen garden or patio make sure to choose the right ones. Spinach roots need a lot of depth, go for pots that are at least 1ft deep. Planting in containers is the same as planting in soil dig a space for the plant. Take the plant out of the pot gently and place into the hole. Firm the soil and water in. I plant 1 spinach plan every 6″ approximately. One other option is growing spinach in raised beds. I am doing this at the moment and the spinach grows quite happily amongst over vegetables.
Planting Spinach Straight From Seed
you can simply plan the spinach seed straight into the ground. I find that growing directly into the ground carries more risk from the seed being eaten by pests or the fragile seeds being exposed to the elements. My advice for beginners is to start in small pots on a window sill, greenhouse or propagator then plant out.
This is a great variety and winter hardy:
When to Harvest Spinach
There is nothing more rewarding than harvesting freshly grown veg. People often ask how to harvest spinach and will spinach grow back after cutting. I made the mistake in my first crop of getting excited about the spinach leaves and cutting them all off in one go. Please don’t do this as it won’t encourage new growth. Spinach is a fast growing vegetable so when larger leaves start to appear to pick them first and leave younger shoots on the plant.
This will lengthen the picking season and give you a longer ongoing harvest of spinach. You can also start a handful of plants to start with then in a few weeks start some more this will ensure you have more spinach available for a longer length of time.
How to Store Spinach
Once you have picked all your fresh spinach your most likely wondering how are you going to store this. I wash my spinach under a cold tap and store it in the fridge for up to 10 days. The important thing is to not let the leaves get crushed.
If you want to keep spinach for longer the best thing to do is to blanch it in boiling water for a few minutes. Then cool it down quickly in ice water. Then squeeze out the excess water and put into bags then you can freeze and enjoy spinach all year round.
Using Spinach In The Kitchen
I enjoy fresh baby spinach in salads as well as adding to recipes. I like to heat some oil in a pan with thinly sliced onion and garlic. Sauteed the leaves quickly add a fresh squeeze of lemon. That is it, keep it simple and enjoy on its own or with pasta and pesto.
The Health Benefits of Spinach
Spinach is rich in iron and iron helps the healthy functioning of red blood cells. Its also a great source of Vitamin K, A, C, Magnesium and B2.
Top Tips For Growing Spinach
One challenge with Spinach comes during the heat of the summer. You must keep the spinach watered to prevent it from wilting and bolting. Bolting is when the plant will flower and go to seed this also causes the leaves to go bitter. Its easily preventable by regular watering and keeping an eye out for flower shoots. Just pick them off.
Baby Carrots Number 2 Fast Growing Vegetable
Many think carrots are hard to grow but this is not true. With the right knowledge, anyone can grow baby carrots in their back garden. Baby carrots take up to 60 days to be ready to harvest and you can do a few sewings to get a good 3 month crop.
When to Sow Baby Carrots?
Carrots are best grown straight from seed. I start my carrots in late spring when the last frost has gone. You can keep sewing every few weeks to keep you stocked up throughout summer and autumn. Carrots are one of my favourite vegetables that grow quickly and easily.
Soil Preparation For Carrots
The key issue with carrots is nearly always down to the type of soil. Carrots need loose loamy/sandy soil. If you do not have the right soil in your garden I recommend sewing carrots in pots. Use multipurpose compost lookout for multi-buy deals in your local garden store and always buy more than you need. The container needs to be at least a foot deep. My Favourite container for growing carrots is the cylinder potato fabric bags.
You can start carrots in individual plugs but they don’t always transplant correctly.
I sew the carrot seeds a few inches apart and up to 1 cm deep. I normally sprinkle the seeds on the surface and lightly cover with soil/compost. Carrot seeds are small so consider a seed dispenser they are low cost and handy for sewing large quantities of seeds. For a regular supply of carrots sew at 2-week intervals throughout the growing months.
How to thin out?
You may see the term “thin out” on the seed packets. This is the term given to removing weaker plants to allow stronger plants to develop. You will always get some seeds that don’t grow but in the case that they all grow and are close together consider sacrificing smaller plants. They are smaller but still tasty. This allows your larger carrot plants more room and nutrients to grow. If you don’t thin out then you will end up waiting for longer for your harvest and you will have lots of small carrots. So do thin out for fast growing vegetable!
When to Harvest Baby Carrots?
It’s tempting to see those carrot heads and pull one up to have a look. Give it at least 30 to 40 days before you start to pull your carrots up. For baby, carrots look for finger-sized vegetables!
Using Baby Carrots In The Kitchen
This veg is versatile, steaming, boiling but my personal favorite is Roasting!
To prepare the carrots simply cut the green tops off the carrots (compost), wash and peel.
- Lightly cover in oil
- Season with Pepper
- Roast at a medium to high heat for up to 30 minutes.
- Turn halfway
If you have a favorite carrot recipe please let me know and I will update to include it.
Beetroot is my #3 choice for Fast Growing Vegetable
I can’t quite put my finger on why but beetroot is my favourite fast growing vegetable. I guess it’s because beetroot was one of my first very successful vegetables that grow quickly and easily.
When to Sow Beetroot?
Sow after the first frost has gone or sooner in the greenhouse in containers or the windowsill.
How to Sow Beetroot?
many seen packets say to grow straight in the ground but I haven’t had any issues starting them in seed trays or pots on the windowsill. I then transfer them to pots or the ground. If you prefer you can easily sow them straight into the ground or pots. I grow my seeds 10 cm or a hands width apart. Sow 1 cm deep in the soil and keep moist.
When to Harvest Beetroot?
Globe varieties such as Red Ace produce small globes of delicious beetroot in 50 to 60 days. Sow seeds every 2 weeks for a full supply. Don’t leave to grow too long as some varieties tend to go woody.
To prepare them for salads simply boil gently until I knife no longer sticks in them. Peel the skins off and run under a cold tap. Serve in salads. Alternatively roast for a deliciously sweet addition to your Sunday roast.
Lettuce is Very Fast Growing Vegetable
When to Sow Lettuce?
you can grow lettuce all year round on your windowsill, in the soil, in containers or raised beds. Start sowing seeds in the greenhouse or undercover.
How to Sow Lettuce?
sew a few seeds on top of compost and lightly cover with more compost. Water lightly, that is it!
When to Harvest Lettuce?
It will take 40 to 60 days depending on the variety.
Easy, pick and add to salads.
Grow many varieties to liven up your salads. You may never buy a supermarket lettuce again!
Fast Growing Vegetable #5 Is Courgettes / Zucchini
When to Sow?
I sew my courgettes a few weeks before the last frost.
How to Sow?
I start mine in 3-inch pots on the windowsill or greenhouse. The seeds are large and easy to handle. The seeds need to go about 2 to 3 cm deep. I find that my courgettes do so much better in the ground, They do need to be protected from slugs.
When to Harvest?
I find that I start harvesting when the courgettes start to reach a thick finger stage. As the summer progresses 3 plants produce so much that I end up giving it away.
I like to serve my courgette with pasta. I fry onion and garlic in a pan and add cubes of courgette, season and add a squeeze of lemon. Mix with pasta for a fresh summer lunchtime meal. Enjoy outside with something cold! You deserve it!
Keep plants well watered, water as close to the base of the plant as possible and feed with a good quality fertilizer.
A Bonus Fast growing Vegetable – Radishes!
Radishes are one of the fastest growing vegetables you’ll ever see in your garden. Once you sow the seeds, you’ll be harvesting fresh homegrown radishes in just about 3 to 4 weeks! Since they’re pretty straightforward to grow, radishes are the ideal crop for beginners too. You can grow them in the ground or your container garden.
When To Sow Radish
Sow radish seeds while the weather is still cool in early spring. Typically, a month before the last frost is the ideal time to plant radishes for most climates. Planting in pots gives you the advantage of bringing the pot under the shade of a covered garage or patio in case a cold night is forecasted.
How To Sow Radishes
Sow the seeds in potting soil, spacing them an inch apart. Bury them ½ inch deep into the soil. You can continue sowing batches of seeds every few weeks until summer for a continuous supply of homegrown radishes through the end of summer.
How To Grow On
Once the seeds are in the soil, they’ll need consistently moist soil to grow those plump, juicy roots. Keep the soil moist throughout the growing season but not wet. Soil in the pots dries out quicker than that in the ground, so you’ll need to be extra particular about watering radishes growing in pots. Fertilization is typically not needed since the potting soil already has enough nutrients to support the short growing season of this vegetable.
When To Harvest Radishes
The seed packet will tell you the average harvest time for the variety you are growing. Once the roots are close to their harvest time, remove some soil from the top of one of the roots to check if they have reached the right size. If the bulb has reached its mature size, it’s time to harvest. Don’t be tempted to leave it longer in the ground until it grows bigger. Though the roots may grow bigger if left in the ground beyond the ideal harvest time, they’ll start losing their taste and grow woodier.
If you have more than you can eat, store radishes in the fridge in a bowl of water after removing their green tops. If you use radish greens, you can store them separately and consume them within 3 days.
Uses Of Radishes In The Kitchen
Radishes are typically served raw. They look delicious served halved and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Add slices or shavings into a fresh garden salad. You can also shred them into a unique coleslaw! Chopped radishes make a crunchy, juicy addition to tacos. If you want to try out something different, you can pickle radishes or roast them. Radish greens can be steamed or sauteed, similar to other green vegetables.
These are just 5 of the best vegetables that will crop in 3 months. These are some of the vegetables that grow quickly and easily others that I havent mentioned include.
- Bok Choy
- Green Beans