ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fastest Growing Vegetables for Short Season Gardens

Updated on August 10, 2018
csherwood profile image

Chris Sherwood is a project manager by day and avid home and garden scholar by night who loves to share his trials and success with others.

Not everyone is lucky enough to live in a mild enough climate where temperatures rarely drop below freezing, allowing for year-round gardening. Even if you do experience all four seasons, the difference between a 90-day average growing period in a zone 2 growing area and 125 growing days in zone 3 can make a substantial impact on what types of crops you can successfully grow before frost inevitably hits. However, even in Zone 1 there are crops with a fast enough sprout to harvest time where you can experience a bountiful garden before the cold inevitably returns. Even if you live in an area with a longer planting window, you can still use the following information to grow more food by utilizing succession planting or planting a fall garden to enjoy fresh produce right up to your first frost, possibly even longer!

Snap Beans

Many snap beans are ready to harvest within 50 days, allowing plenty of time for most gardeners to even succession plant over a few weeks to extend their harvest. However, as long as you continue to pick your beans regularly once they start to produce, you'll be swimming in beans often right up until frost depending on how long your season is. If you live in zone 4 and above, you may even be able to get away with planting a second crop mid summer to spread out your harvest even further. Like lettuce, snap beans come in a variety of sizes and colors, though many will turn green once cooked. However, used in salads and other raw applications, colorful snap beans varieties like Dragon Tongue, Golden Butterwax, and Purple Teepee can really add a pop of color and amazing flavor to your favorite summer dishes. Look for bush beans if you're growing season is shorter, as in most cases they will start producing sooner than pole varieties.

Lettuce and Other Leafy Greens

Lettuce is one of the most over-priced items you can buy in the grocery store when you look at the price per weight in relation to other produce. Let's look at bananas for an easy example. Taking into account that most bananas are shipped from tropical areas outside the United States, even organic bananas rarely get above $1.00 per pound. However, greens like spinach or even basic lettuce varieties, which can be grown in most any backyard, it's not uncommon to see 5-8 ounce containers of greens going for as much as $3 to $6 a container. That's as much as $12 a pound! While growing lettuce may not seem as glamorous as tomatoes, the Internet opens the door to ordering all kinds of different varieties of lettuces and other greens to make your own unique salad mixes. Instead of focusing on growing a full head of lettuce, increase your season yields even further by using a cut and come again method. Remove just the outer leaves over and over again and allow them to grow back for continuous harvest. Try heirloom gardener favorites like Black-Seeded Simpson, Oak Leaf Lettuce, or the deep-colored Red Besson lettuce.

Radishes

Radishes are not typically the first vegetable you want to eat straight out of the garden like carrots or cherry tomatoes. However, you don't have to plant boring, bland radishes to get fast turnarounds on your harvest. While short season gardeners may not have the length of season to grow large show-stopper varieties like the often-pictured watermelon radish, you don't have to plant standard radishes either. Look for bright and colorful radish mixes that can turn around in as little as 30-40 days like Easter radishes, or heirloom varieties like bright yellow Helios, or sweeter, less spicy varieties like the Pink Beauty.

Beets

If you live in a short-season climate, you may also benefit from the cooler temperatures that fast-growing vegetables like beets crave. While carrots can often take a full season to get to a large size, beets often mature starting within 50 days of planting your seeds. While beets don't typically like to be moved around a lot, many gardeners have experimented with early starting beet seeds in soil blocks to shorten the outside time to harvest even further. Beets also count as a double vegetable in that you can start harvesting the tender and healthy beet greens in as little as 30 days from when you first plant. Like most of the other items on our list, experiment with different types and varieties of beets outside of the traditional red. Beets come in different shapes and colors ranging from sweet golden beets to the candy cane target striped Chioggia beet.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)