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Quick-Growing Vegetable Crops

Cherry tomatoes are prolific and ready in 55 to 70 days.
Beans in garden
Bush beans will be ready for harvest in less than two months.

Most vegetables include cultivars or varieties that are quicker-maturing than others. Quick-growing vegetable crops come to harvest in as little as 4 to 10 weeks. They are “short stayers” not “long stayers” in the garden.

Below is a list of specific crop varieties that grow to maturity the most quickly.

Quick-Growing Vegetable Varieties

Choose the crop you want to grow then look for the following varieties. Each variety listed is followed (in parenthesis) by the number of days for that crop to reach full harvest size. Most vegetables can be eaten as soon as they are large enough to bite.

Snap beans. Bush green beans: ‘Blue Lake 274’ (58); ‘Contender’ (53); ‘Derby’ (57); ‘Provider’ (52); ‘Tendercrop’ (54); ‘Tendergreen’ (57); ‘Topcrop’ (51). Bush yellow beans: ‘Cherokee Wax’ (52); ‘Gold Crop’ (54); ‘Slender Wax’ (56).

Lima beans. ‘Baby Bush’ (67 days); ‘Baby Fordhook Bush’ (67 days); ‘Henderson’ (70).

Beets. ‘Detroit Dark Red’ (58); ‘Early Wonder’ (52); ‘Lutz Green Leaf’ (70); ‘Ruby Queen’ (60); ‘Sweetheart’ (58).

Broccoli. ‘Cruiser’ (58); ‘Green Comet’ (60); ‘Green Goliath’ (60); ‘Premium Crop’ (60); ‘Packman’ (55).

Cabbage. ‘Charmant’ (52 days); ‘Earliana’ (60 days); ‘Early Jersey Wakefield’ (63); ‘Golden Acre’ (58 days); ‘Ruby Ball’ (70).

Baby carrots harvest
Most vegetables–like carrots–are edible as soon as they are big enough to bite.

Carrots. ‘Baby Finger’ (50 days); ‘Danvers’ (65); ‘Imperator’ (64 days); ‘Lady Finger’ (60 days); ‘Scarlet Nantes’ (70); ‘Tendersweet’ (60 days).

Cauliflower. ‘Early Snowball’ (55 days); ‘Snow Crown’ (60); ‘Snow Grace’ (65); ‘Snow King’ (45 days).

Chard. ‘Burgundy’ (60); ‘Rhubarb’ (60); ‘Fordhook Giant’ (57); ‘Lucullus’ (50); ‘Rainbow’ (55).

Sweet corn. ‘Bodacious’ (72); ‘Early Xtra Sweet’ (79); ‘Maple Sweet’ (70); ‘Cotton Candy’ (72); ‘Spring Snow’ (65); ‘Sugar Snow’ (71).

Cucumbers. Slicing cucumbers: ‘Bush Crop’ (55); ‘Fanfare’ (63); ‘Salad Bush’ (57); ‘Spacemaster’ (56); ‘Straight Eight’ (65); ‘Sweet Slice’ (63). Pickling cucumbers: Calypso (50); Lucky Strike (52); National Pickling (55); SMR-53 (53).

Eggplant. ‘Beauty’ (65 days); ‘Burpee Hybrid’ (70); ‘Dusky’ (56); ‘Easter Egg’ (52 days); ‘Ichiban’ (58 days); ‘Millionaire’ (55 days); ‘Violetta’ (65 days).

Endive, Frisse. ‘Fine Curled’ (50 days); ‘Salad King’ (46 days).

Kale. ‘Dwarf Blue Curled Vates’ (55 days); ‘Russian Red’ (40 days), ‘Siberian’ (60 days); ‘Verdura’ (60 days).

Kohlrabi. ‘Early White Vienna’ (55); ‘Grand Duke’ (48); ‘Triumph’ (55); ‘Purple Vienna’ (62).

Butterhead lettuce
Butterhead lettuce varieties are ready in about 30 to 40 days.

Lettuce. Heading and semi-heading lettuce: ‘Grand Rapids’ (45); ‘Green Ice’ (45). Butterhead lettuce: ‘Bibb’ (70); ‘Buttercrunch’ (70); ‘Summer Bibb’ (62). Loose-leaf lettuce: ‘Black-Seeded Simpson’ (45 days); ‘Salad Bowl’ (45); ‘Lollo Rossa’ (56 days); ‘Oak Leaf’ (50 days); ‘Red Sails’ (45 days).

Melons. ‘Alaska’ (65 days); ‘Super 45’ (45 days); ‘Sweetie’ (65 days).

Mustard Greens. Curled leaves: ‘Fordhook Fancy’ (40 days); ‘Giant Red’ (23 days); ‘Green Wave’ (45 days); ‘Kyona’ (40 days). Plain leaves: ‘Komatsuna’ (30 days); ‘Tendergreen’ (34 days).

Oriental Mustard or Asian Greens. ‘Bok Choy’ (45 days); ‘Canton Dwarf Chinese Flat Cabbage’ (40 days); ‘Gai Choy’ (45 days); ‘Green-In-Snow’ (45 days); ‘Mitsuba’ (60 days); ‘Mizuna’ (36 days); ‘Pak Choy’ (42 days); ‘Tatsoi’ (45 days).

Okra. ‘Annie Oakley’ (50); ‘Dwarf Green Long Pod’ (52); ‘Emerald’ (55); ‘Clemson Spineless’ (56); ‘Burgundy’ (53).

Onions. Bunching onions: ‘Beltsville Bunching’ (65 days); ‘Southport White Globe’ (65 days); ‘White Buching’ (40 days); ‘White Lisbon’ (60 days).

Peas. Early harvest peas: ‘Daybreak’ (54); ‘Alaska’ (55); ‘Spring’ (57). Main-season peas: ‘Early Snap’ (70); ‘Green Arrow’ (68); ‘Knight’ (61); ‘Little Marvel’ (63); ‘Sugar Ann’ (70); ‘Sugar Snap’ (70); ‘Dwarf Grey Sugar’ (65); ‘Little Sweetie’ (60); ‘Oregon Sugar Pod II’ (65); ‘Snowbird’ (58).

Peppers. Sweet peppers: ‘Bell Boy’ (70); ‘Camelot’ (67); ‘Cardinal’ (70); ‘Early California’ (65 days); ‘Sweet Banana’ (70). Chili peppers: ‘Cayenne’ (70); ‘Hungarian Wax’ (70); ‘Mexibell’ (70).

Radish harvest
Radishes are harvested about 22 days after seed sowing.

Radishes. ‘Burpee White’ (23); ‘Champion’ (28); ‘Cherry Belle’ (22); ‘Comet’ (25 days); ‘Early Scarlet Globe’ (23); ‘Easter Egg’ (25).

Spinach. ‘America’ (45); ‘Bloomsdale Long-Standing’ (45); ‘Winter Bloomsdale’ (45); New Zealand Spinach (65).

Strawberries. Everbearing varieties: ‘Eversweet’; ‘Quinault’; ‘Ozark Beauty’.

Summer Squash. Scallop squashes: ‘Bennings Green Tint’ (54 days); ‘Pattypan’ (55); ‘Peter Pan’ (50 days); ‘Scallopini’ (50 days); ‘Sunburst’ (50 days). Straightneck squashes: ‘Early Prolific Straighneck’ (50); ‘Early Yellow’ (50 days); ‘Seneca Butterbar’ (50). Crookneck squashes: ‘Early Crookneck’ (53);’Giant Crookneck’ (55 days); ‘Yellow Crookneck’ (42 days). Zucchini squashes: ‘Green: Aristocrat’ (53); ‘Chefini’ (48); ‘President’ (50); ‘Spineless Beauty’ (45); ‘Cocozelle’ (51 days); ‘Cousa’ (51 days); ‘Florentino’ (47 days).  ‘Sundrops’ (45 days).

cherry tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are prolific and ready in 55 to 70 days.

Tomatoes. Early harvest tomatoes: ‘Alisa Craig’ (70 days); ‘Celebrity’ (70); ‘Early Girl’ (60); ‘Bush Beefsteak’ (62 days); ‘Champion’ (65); ‘Moneymaker’ (70 days); ‘Stupice’ (52 days). Small fruit tomatoes: ‘Green Grape’ (70 days); ‘Large Red Cherry’ (70); ‘Super Sweet 100’ (70); ‘Sweet 100’ (70 days); ‘Sweet Million’ (65); ‘Yellow Pear’ (70); ‘Husky Gold’ (70); ‘Patio Hybrid’ (65); ‘Tiny Tim’ (45).

Turnips. ‘Golden Ball’ (60); ‘Just Right’ (60);’Market Express’ (38 days); ‘Purple Top White Globe’ (55); ‘Royal Crown’ (52); ‘Tokyo Cross’ (35).

Watermelon. ‘Early Midget’ (65 days); ‘Golden Midget’ (65 days); ‘Sugar Baby’ (68 days).

intercropping
Intercropping–planting two crops one short, one tall side by side: garlic and strawberries

Four Ways to Grow Quick-Maturing Crops

Here are four strategies to get the most out of your garden:

  1. Succession cropping. Rather than sowing or planting the crops you want to eat all at once, space them out over time so that your harvest is continuous, not a glut. Quick-maturing crops planted every two weeks in succession will keep your garden producing through the season. When the first sowing appears above the ground, make the next sowing.
  2. Intercropping matches a quick-maturing crop with a slower maturing crop. At planting time place a quick-maturing crops next to a slower-maturing crop. While you wait for “long stayers” such as leeks, parsnips, salsify, potatoes, and onions from seed to come to harvest, quick-maturing crops will be in and out of the garden and on the table.
  3. Catch cropping fills space and production gaps in the garden. Sometimes–often at midsummer–crops come out of the garden for one unexpected reason or another: pest or disease damage, animal damage or loss. Fill the gap with a quick-maturing crop. Quick-maturing crops can go into the garden late and still come to harvest before the end of the season.
  4. Beat the heat in dry years. Quick-maturing cultivars avoid the competition for water in dry years. Quick-maturing crops can go into the garden early in the season and be replaced later by drought tolerant crops or not at all. You still get the vegetables you want to eat, but the plants’ struggle to find water is avoided.

Get our growing guide–details to grow 80 crops: 

THE KITCHEN GARDEN GROWERS GUIDE

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. The best beets I’ve ever grown were Harrier hybrid. They were the sweetest red beet I ever tasted. They were uniform and dependable. Their only down side was they didn’t have much for greens. It’s been at least 5 years since I’ve seen seeds for sale.

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