If it’s your first time gardening, I’m of the belief that getting a win under your belt is a huge moment. That first harvest is something you never forget. That’s why in this video we’re going to go over five different Fast Growing Veggies crops or families of crops that you can grow in under a month.
Kevin Espiritu here from Epic Gardening where it is my goal to help you grow a greener thumb. All right, my first harvest was so bad. I mean I tried to go from zero to a hundred like boom, like that, and I did hydroponic cucumbers just straight out of the gate.
Which tasted terrible. I didn’t feed them the right nutrients. And so how do we avoid these problems? Well, that’s what this video is for. Easy harvests. So in this video, we’re going through the fastest to the slowest all within a month.
So we’re going to talk about some stuff you can grow in 10 days and we’re going to talk about some stuff that pushes up right against that month mark. And at the end I’m going to take some recommendations from this video, from my garden, and whip it into a simple garden salad just to show you kind of how I actually use this stuff.
So cultivate that Like button if you want 20 years of good harvests. And we’re going to need it these days. And let’s get into the video. Fast crop number one is microgreens. Now the only reason that I’m showing you these seeds that I’m starting is because I don’t have a tray of microgreens right now.
But I’ve done so many videos and it’s one of my favorite crops to grow actually. So I have an entire 45-minute guide on microgreens, but let’s talk about them really quickly. Number one, the fastest crop you’re ever going to get are microgreens.
What are they? In a nutshell, it’s basically just growing plants more or less to this point and then harvesting them. So it’s the same seeds that you would use to grow a plant to its full form, but you just plant way more of them and you plant them very densely along a tray like this.
So you’d usually use like a 10×20 tray, you’d seed it very heavily and then you’d water that in and they’d grow in this big mat. It’s kind of like those chia pets and in fact, you can actually grow chia microgreens if you wish.
Now, the reason I like them, number one, they’re fast. Number two, highly nutritious. Number three, you can cycle grow them. You can keep succession sowing them, tray after tray can come out of the garden, and they’re very easy to work into recipes.
You just harvest them off, chop them up, put them into a salad, a soup, whatever you want to do and they’re good to go. So again, I have massively detailed and in-depth guides on microgreens already on my channel, but I do want to show you some things.
Basically, this is the stage that you would harvest a microgreen at. Seeds have seed leaves – cotyledons, cotyledons – however you pronounce that. But those are the leaves that are actually already structurally within the seed.
When it sprouts, those ones are the first to show up and they don’t look like the typical seed from that plant. So if you’re growing arugula, the seed leaves don’t look like an arugula leaf.
The first set of what we call true leaves is right around the point that you’d want to harvest a microgreen. And so you can see right here we have some true leaves and the reason I know that is because right down below, specifically on this one right here, it’s very easy to see, we have some seed leaves.
Those are like the little baby boys and then these ones come out. Now imagine you have an entire tray of these, then that’s a really nice meal in eight to 12 days. Some crops take longer. Basil, for example, could be 21 days, but that’s still an entire tray of micro basil at three weeks.
So, fantastic first crop in our fast crops guide. Second group of crops, peas and sunflowers. They’re technically still microgreens. A lot of the times they’re sold as microgreens, but they do look quite a bit different and I kind of group them in a different way.
So these are pea shoots, these are pea shoots that are probably going to go into my garden to grow as actual peas, but I could certainly just literally eat these right now. They have a nice fresh vegetal pea flavor, high in nutrition and they’re very easy to sprout.
You know peas, you soak them, the seeds for a little bit if you want to. You don’t even have to do that. And then once these come up, you can literally just eat those right there and that tastes really nice.
Really fresh pea flavor, very easy. Now over here on this side right here, we have some sunflowers. Sunflowers in fact are probably my favorite microgreen of all time to grow because they really retain that nutty flavor, which is really unique.
You wouldn’t expect them to, but they do. They kind of just taste like a greener version of a sunflower seed and it’s a very fresh, refreshing flavor. And I really love doing sunflowers. And the thing about sunflowers when you’re growing the microgreens is you do want to soak them and you do want to make sure you’re watching out for mold and such because it’s just a bigger seed.
More things can go wrong, but still you’re getting these in 12 to 15 days. Okay, our third group of crops. It’s going to be the whole world of baby lettuce, baby lettuce, baby greens. Now what’s great about this example right here, as you can see, I have some loose leaf lettuce here that’s very mature, very adult.
Behind us we have looseleaf lettuce that is, ooh, I don’t know, two, three weeks old. And then this stuff here is just transplanted in about four or five days ago. And so you can see how we talked about microgreens earlier in the video.
Well, this is the natural growth cycle of lettuce. It’s growing up. Microgreens harvest at very, very young. But if you let that same exact plant go a little longer then you can harvest right here, you can harvest right here for a micro head of lettuce.
Or you can let it go and harvest around here, although this is longer than a month. Now what I’ll say about this is if you’re planning to specifically harvest at a younger stage of life, then your spacing should be a little different.
So right here I’m spacing around four per square foot and that’s because I’ve planned for them to be about this big. So I’ve spaced them roughly four or five inches apart. But if I know I’m going to be harvesting my lettuce at these sizes back here, then I can plant them much more densely.
So I might plant them at nine per square foot. And then I know that once they kind of start filling up that space clip, clip, clip, clip, take them into the garden and or sorry, the kitchen, and then start cooking up a great meal.
Our fourth group is the greens of root crops. Yes, you can eat the greens of all root crops. And in fact, some of these are my favorite greens to eat. What we’re looking at right here in the foreground are beets.
Beet greens can be eaten and in fact sometimes I actually prefer them. I like these beet greens nice and sauteed in some olive oil, some onions, some garlic. It’s a really nice flavor and sometimes you know the beets aren’t as appetizing to me.
So you can definitely grow beet greens, radish greens and turnip greens and you can just harvest them for their greens before they start to bulb out. There’s nothing wrong with that. They germinate fast and they grow fast.
Now I will say you can get baby radishes. Sometimes the beets take a little longer. Turnips. You can get baby turnips to some degree, but baby radishes can definitely be harvested at that 30-day mark.
You can get a really nice crop of radishes. In fact, let’s just go ahead and show you kind of what you can get here if you wait just a little bit longer. See this. This is a great example of a baby little root crop that you could harvest in a really short amount of time.
Our fifth group of Fast Growing Veggies that you can grow in under a month. is what I’m going to call upgraded greens, some more fancy and cool ones. So we have a whole mess of kale back here. This is certainly older than 30 days, but again, baby kale is oftentimes more tender.
It can be a little bit sweeter, a little bit less fibrous, and it’s very tasty. So sometimes the baby kale is a lot easier to use in a salad if especially if you don’t like kind of crunching through this.
I personally am probably gonna turn this into kale chips, but you can see a different cultivar of kale here. This is dazzling blue kale, which is quite beautiful and the main vein down each leaf has this amazing, amazing color.
But the leaves are also much more tender, much fresher. And so kale is a fantastic elevated green that you can grow in under 30 days. Another elevated green that you can grow in less than 30 days, certainly not one of this size, but it is bok choy or pak choy.
I recommend getting a dwarf or baby bok choy variety. They’re very cute and you can kind of just pluck them out, throw them in a stir fry. They’re very good. Here’s another one right here.
This is Beni Houshi mizuna or it’s basically a mustard, which kind of gives that nice, peppery, spicy flavor to either a salad or a stir fry. So there’s a lot of different, you know, extra greens besides the world of looseleaf lettuce or these more simple greens.
Now that we have our list of quick growing crops, I’ve got my beet that I pulled out for you guys earlier and we’re going to grab a couple more selections here and whip it up into a really quick garden, fresh salad.
So I’m going to take this looseleaf lettuce right here because it’s looking really good. Boom. That’s amazing. This is, maybe it’s a little longer than a month, maybe 35 days or so I would say.
And mizuna, this is the Beni Houshi mizuna, the flowers are edible, so I’m going to take the flowers for a garnish. Just take a couple of those and I’m also going to take some leaves on my kale back here.
Again, this is an older kale but the same rules apply and the same theory applies. So we’re just going to grab from the oldest leaves, getting those oldest leaves first, cut and come again style, which I have a video on my channel.
And look at that. This plant is still rocking and rolling. It’s looking really good but we’ve cleaned it up a little bit. We’ve let some more light in and we have a nice little micro salad here that we’re going to turn into really quick.
Well, I’m certainly not a chef but I have to say it looks pretty good and it’s probably going to taste good. But before we taste this, first of all, thanks for watching. Second of all, if you enjoy urban gardening or you want to learn how to garden in small spaces, then this book Field Guide to Urban Gardening is my book and I wrote it specifically for that purpose.
Take you from nothing to learning how to grow your own food. It’s on Amazon. You can get signed copies for my store. But, Bon Appetit guys, thanks for watching and I’ll see you in another video.
That’s good, that’s fresh. And you know the best part is that at Trader Joe’s, Everything but the Bagel Seasoning, that stuff literally can go on anything.