Sowing Some Quick to Harvest Vegetable Seeds [List of 9 Easy Veggies that Grow Fast]

Sowing Some Quick to Harvest Vegetable Seeds [List of 9 Easy Veggies that Grow Fast]

I am thankful the garden centers and nurseries are considered essential businesses in L.A. County and are staying open because gardening is essential to my mental health. Spending time working in the yard always makes me feel better, even when I end up with aches and pains at the end of the day. With all the light rain we were expecting to continue, I sowed some veggie seeds last weekend. I needed a project to be hopeful about and look forward to the outcome of.

Since I don’t have as near much room for a vegetable garden as I used to, as can be see by the photo at the top of the post, many of the seeds also got tucked into odd empty sunny places around the yard. A few flowers, like nasturtium, have been yanked out to make room for a few of them. Don’t worry, it is such a rampant self sower that I still have plenty of nasturtium around the yard, including in the shadier parts where not much else grows well.

Gold Nugget mandarin in crowded bed with new seedlings
One of the areas that seeds got tucked into. This is where the cilantro ended up

Back in the late 1990s and early 2000’s, I used to grow much more of our vegetables when organic produce was a little harder to find locally and much more expensive. I had to drive to Whole Foods in Torrance for most of my organic Groceries. But once organic became popular, I converted a lot of my vegetable garden to fruit trees and an iris flower bed. I do continue to grow a lot of my own herbs, and I usually have at least one or two tomatoes somewhere in the yard each summer. Other than tomatoes, I think farmers grow excellent quality vegetables and often enjoy shopping there. Now fruit is a totally different story. Since it looks like we will be home bound this coming season, I am going to try growing a small portion of our veggies again.

Digging around in the garden supply cabinet, I noticed we had some of the leftover inexpensive seeds from the Dollar Tree that my daughter bought for a high school garden club project. I also had a few other seeds leftover from last summer. All together, I found seeds of radish, buttercrunch lettuce, bibb lettuce, salad bowl mixed baby lettuces, beets, dill, cilantro, zuchini, cucumber, parsley, basil and swiss chard. There were also snap and snow peas, but they are cool season crops in SoCal so I am holding off on those til fall. I am hoping I remember to sow additional lettuce seed every two weeks or so, to stager the harvest over a longer period. There already is parsley, chives, mint, sage, and basil available in the back garden, but we can never have too many herbs. Once the weather is a little warmer, probably near the end of April, I will sow the seeds of the zuchinni, cucumber, and basil. Everything else went in last Saturday. The radishes and baby lettuce should be ready the earliest.

what vegetable grow the fastest radish
While out in the garden early this morning, I noticed the radish seeds had already come up. They took 7 days to sprout. No signs yet of anything else coming up.

Some of my personal favorite, fast to harvest vegetables are:

  • Arugula
  • Bush Beans (pole beans take longer)
  • Beets
  • Cucumber*
  • Lettuce
  • Radish
  • Swiss Chard
  • Summer Squash*
  • Zuchinni* (* I try to stick to varieties that are some what resistant to or tolerant of powdery mildew which is a problem here near the coast in summer.)
emerald delight zuchinni disease resistant powdery mildew tolerant
Last summer’s Emerald Delight zuchinni planted in a pot because there is so little room left in the area that was originally created to be my vegetable garden. A pepper plant got prime real estate in the ground next to it.

Most major online seed sellers have helpful comprehensive lists of fast to harvest vegetables that they carry. My favorite online seed retailer is Fedco Seeds out of Maine, but I have also picked up Burpee, Ferry Morse, Botanical Interests, Renee’s seeds, and Kitazawa seeds at places like Laguna Hills Nursery, Berkley Horticulture, Walter Anderson Nursery, San Gabriel Nursery, Sprouts grocery, Dollar Tree, OSH (I am sad that its gone), Lowes, Target, and Winco.

Cooperative Extension programs have month by month lists of what to plant when for each growing area. Here is a link where the Los Angeles County Cooperative Extension check lists can be found. In general, here in Socal, we sow seeds for cool season crops between August to October or Novemebr and warm season crops March to June. Since this is a mild climate, there is a lot of flexibity in that planting timing, especially if starting indoors. Transplants are also a great choice right now, but I am pretty frugal and prefer seeds for most vegetables. I get dozens of plants for the same price as a 4 inch or six pack at the nursery. In addition, there are far more varieties available in seeds and I like to select for disease resistence whenever possible.

In regards to tomatoes, I don’t grow them from seed because I consider my mother to be a tomato growing expert. She doesn’t ever seem to get diseases on her plants, always has huge crops, and she makes amazing salsa with the bounty throughout the summer. She ususally starts her tomatoes from seed in January and grows enough plants to have plenty left over to share with family and friends. I typically grow what ever she recommends or propagated that year. Her favorite is a tomato called First Prize. Off the top of my head, she also likes AAS winner Big Beef, Juliet, Kellogs Breakfast, Sweet Million, Super Marzano, and Big Zac, although she tries a few new ones every year. When my mom doesn’t grow them from seed, to me it makes the most sense to just buy the one or two different plants that I need at my local independant nursery.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy time in the garden today.

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