Mother Earth Gardener

Fast-Growing Spring Vegetables for Eager Gardeners

Photo by Getty Images/ehaurylik

Once springtime hits, gardening season is on. Professional gardeners will have done their annual research to predict when the last frost may occur so they can be prepared for planting. Some gardeners will fill their garden kits with fresh soil and plant for the long-haul, choosing vegetables that take a while to mature. Other gardeners, like yourself, may be more eager for your garden bed to reach that first harvest as soon as possible. If so, there are some vegetables known for having rapid growth.

Kale, turnips, spinach, sugar snap peas, and radishes are great examples of fast-growing spring vegetables. As you can see, leafy greens and root vegetables tend to grow quickest. They are perfect for salads, stir-fries, and have a rustic taste that always astounds. There is no difference between fast-growing and slow-growing vegetables — simply the vegetables themselves. If you are looking for a quick harvest, get to know the following vegetables and their growth times.


Time to harvest: 50 to 70 days.

Kale is known for its cold tolerance and could potentially be planted before the last frost. They need plenty of water and will produce frequently if you harvest from the outside leaves.


Time to harvest: 30 to 60 days.

Extremely rustic and beautifully colored, the turnip is a root vegetable. But don’t let that keep you from trying the leaves as well! Turnips are one of the few vegetables that provide an edible leaf and root. Similar to kale, turnips have the potential to be grown year-round, which makes them perfectly suitable for early spring planting and harvest.


Time to harvest: 35 to 40 days.

Another leafy green, spinach is considered the “beginner-gardener’s choice”. One of the most versatile leaves, spinach can be used in salads, as a topping, sautéed, roasted, or blended. Known for having a sweeter taste than kale, people gravitate towards spinach for its nutrient richness and sweeter disposition.

Sugar Snap Peas

Time to harvest: 55 to 70 days.

Most flavor profiles change depending on the harvest time, but they can be subtle and go unnoticed. Sugar snap peas’ flavor ranges wider, with earlier harvests producing a sweeter pod. One of the fast-growing spring vegetables that differ, it’s a seedpod instead of leafy green or root vegetable. These delicious harvests are perfect cold or cooked, so the most eager gardeners can eat them right off the vine.


Time to harvest: 30 to 70 days.

With heirloom varieties coming in many shapes and colors — from round to carrot-like, in white, purple, green, and black — radishes are similar to turnips in that they too have an edible lead and root. Typically a more cold-hardy plant, radishes can be planted 2 to 3 weeks prior to your last expected frost date.

  • Published on Dec 1, 2017
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