Plant These Speedy Fall Vegetables for a Last Hurrah!
Yes! You can still plant fall vegetables to harvest and eat this year! There is still time in the late summer and early fall to plant fast-growing edible plants in your vegetable garden and have them on your plate in just 15-30 days. No, not just sprouts (but those are good too). These super nutritious garden growers are speedy enough to make something healthy and delicious for dinner in just a few weeks, even when planted from seed.
Flavorful greens like spinach, arugula, Swiss chard, and mustards grow so fast that you can have the baby greens ready for harvest in just three to four weeks. Root veggies like radishes are known for their zip in spice as well as in growing speed, but baby carrots, turnips, and beets also make it from soil to table pretty fast. Tender young turnip and beet greens are delightful in salads as well.
Speedy Fall Vegetables
Baby Carrots: 30 Days
For fall baby carrots, plant the seeds more densely than the instructions on the seed packet say. Harvest when the root is no more than three to four inches long, which is when baby carrots are at their sweetest and most tender.
Beets: 45 Days for Baby Greens, 60 Days for Baby Roots
Pick baby beet greens when they are about four inches long (you can go smaller if you want to eat them fresh in salads, or pick larger leaves for cooking). If you want to grow baby beet roots as well, only harvest one leaf from each plant as you wait for the roots to plump up underground. When the beets reach one inch in diameter, they are ready to eat. Pickle or roast them whole, or slice them small and add to salads fresh.
Radishes: 21 Days
Radishes are fabulously fast-growing root vegetables. Just three weeks in the ground and they are ready to harvest and eat. Try them raw in salads and thinly-sliced in sandwiches, pickle them, or roast them in butter for a real treat.
Turnips: 40 Days for Baby Greens, 80 Days for Baby Roots
Harvest baby greens when they are young and tender. The roots are ready to eat when they reach a one-inch diameter. Turnip baby greens are delicious in salads or pesto. Eat the roots fresh, steamed, or roasted.
Swiss Chard: 30 Days
Harvest the leaves when they are three inches long to eat fresh in salads, wraps, and sandwiches, or wait about 60 days until the leaves are ten inches long and steam them in garlic and butter for a delicious side dish.
Spinach: 30 Days
Spinach won’t grow well in the heat of the summer, so it is a flavor that I always look forward to in the fall when temperatures are low enough to produce tasty, tender leaves. Sow densely and harvest the leaves when they fan out. Eat fresh, or steamed with a little butter and salt. Yum!
Kale: 30 Days
Kale can overwinter and becomes sweeter after the frost, so plant it in the fall for winter and harvest the tender baby leaves to eat before the temperature drops. Add kale to salads, wraps, sandwiches, and soups, or sauté it with a squirt of lemon or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Mustard Greens: 20 Days
Mustard greens are as ornamental as they are tasty with their frilly foliage in shades of green and red. Plant densely and harvest the young, tender leaves. These spicy greens will add a punch to fresh dishes.
Lettuce: 20 Days
Sow a mix of lettuce seeds densely for a cut-and-come again salad garden. Snip micro greens as soon as true leaves have formed if you like, and about a week after that you’ll have baby lettuce leaves to eat up.
Arugula: 28 Days
Plant and harvest baby arugula the same way you do lettuce. Its spicy, nutty flavor pairs perfectly with warm roasted veggies topped with Parmesan and olive oil, or add it to a tomato-heavy salad for a fresh kick.
With these fast-growing fall veggies, you can still feast on garden-fresh produce for months to come. Hey, but you can still grow edibles indoors too if you want!