fast growing vegetables in pots

The Best 10 Fast Growing Vegetables in Pots [Quick Grow Food]

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It’s no secret that we love growing vegetables in pots here at Lets Grow Cook for any number of reasons, but let’s start with the fact that it makes what you’re growing so flexible.  Oh, and the ease of weeding is brilliant too.  And you can put a pot of growing vegetables on just about ANY surface, including, of course, the ground, so you can imagine what our windowsills look like in winter!  We also love the satisfaction that we get from fast growing vegetables in pots.  When you start growing vegetables what you need are some quick results to motivate you to grow more, try to grow different things and to not get too disheartened when something doesn’t work out (I’m looking at YOU, coriander for this one!)

So without further ado, here are our top 10 fast growing vegetables in containers – they’re all easy to grow vegetables, they’re the types of vegetables that we eat on a regular, if not daily basis and we think you’re likely to as well.

Why Fast Growing Vegetables in Containers Are a Great Idea

Many of the fast growing vegetables that you can easily grow in pots and containers are ones that you’ll spend LOT of money on at the supermarket.  So growing your own vegetables FAST can save you a lot of money.  Then there’s the taste.  There is nothing quite as good as the taste of your own vegetables.  And the knowledge that you know exactly how they’ve been treated and how you’ve grown them.  We love the idea that gardens are productive too.  Don’t get me wrong flowers and greenery looks great in a garden, but give me a herb garden or a vegetable plot and that to me looks amazing – and it’s helping the environment too.

Many of the vegetables that we perceive to be in season in the UK that you buy in the supermarket aren’t actually grown locally.  In recent months we’ve eaten vegetables from Guatemala, from Peru, from Romania, we’ve had fruit from Costa Rica and Panama.  That’s a whole heap of carbon emissions!  The carbon emissions of my garden peas or beets from 10 metres away are, believe me, very low!

Sow Fast Growing Lettuce and Salad Leaves

Lettuce and salad leaves grow directly from seeds – and some, once you’ve harvested them will regrow so they’re a cost-effective vegetable to grow as well (they’re WAY cheaper than buying from the supermarket).  Salad leaves are one of the fastest vegetables to grow and growing them in pots and containers is seriously easy.  Some of the salad leaves seeds that you can buy will be ready to harvest in just 21 days!

  • Salad Leaf time from sowing to harvest: 21-28 days
  • Size of Pot Needed for Salad Leaf: 25 centimetres deep
  • Care Needed for Salad Leaves: Grow in Full Sun, Well Drained
  • When to Sow Salad Leaf Seeds: March to September (indoors from Feb)
  • When to Harvest Salad Leaves and Lettuce: May to November

> Buy the Best Salad Leaves and Lettuce Seeds to Grow Quickly

Plant Quick Growing Spinach

Whether you’re growing spinach to supplement salads, add as one of your green vegetables or to include in some Moorish Indian or Italian dishes, it definitely tastes better when you grow your own!  Spinach seeds will start to germinate after 45 days and you can harvest after just 30 days.  It’s also great to use the leaves before they are fully mature too.

fast growing vegetable in container spinach

Spinach is an awesome fast growing vegetable for containers and it grows really well in pots.  If you’re planning on letting your spinach grow to full maturity, then you’ll want one 20 centimetre pot per plant and as spinach doesn’t like too much heat you’ll want to keep it in the shade – but luckily with growing spinach in pots you can move your containers around!  You can even grow spinach during the winter indoors.  At all times though you’ll need to make sure it’s well watered.

  • Spinach time from sowing to harvest: 60-90 days
  • Size of Pot Needed for Spinach: 20 centimetres deep
  • Care Needed for Spinach: Water well, do not waterlog, likes sun but take out of the heat of midday
  • When to Sow Spinach: March to September
  • When to Harvest Spinach: Year-Round

> Get our favourite fast growing Spinach seeds here

Grow Mushrooms For a Quick Result

How many times do you buy a bag of mushrooms and 3 days later find that they’ve gone a bit, well, mushy?  So why not grow your own?  Mushrooms are a seriously quick-growing vegetable.  You can grow smaller mushrooms in just one of two days!  Bigger ones may take as much as 6 days.  Yep, that’s right fresh veggies in less than a week and it’s NOT difficult at all.   Mushrooms are one of the EASIEST vegetables to grow – read more about growing mushrooms here!

  • Mushrooms time from sowing to harvest: 3-7+ days – depending on the type
  • Size of Pot Needed for Mushrooms: 15 centimetres deep
  • Care Needed for Mushrooms: Keep soil moist
  • When to Sow Mushrooms: Year-Round
  • When to Harvest Mushrooms: Year-Round

> Consider buying a Mushroom Growing Kit to get your mushrooms even faster!

Grow Quick Growing Tomatoes

There is nothing like the smell and taste of a tomato that you’ve just taken off the vine.  Growing tomatoes at home is seriously easy (did I mention in our first year we managed to grow 480 tomatoes? Yes I counted them, no we couldn’t eat them all).  Some varieties of tomatoes will take as little as 40-60 days to go from seed to harvest.  That’s just 1.5 to two months!  You can cut down your growth time by buying a small tomato plant or as we do, buy a mix of seeds, plants and also save seeds from existing tomatoes that you have.

fast growing tomatoes in pots

While tomatoes are easy and fast to grow you do need to take care of them – checking that they’re supported and watered especially when they’re flowering and fruiting.  Tomatoes also like a lot of sun, so growing your tomatoes in a container or a grow bag is an excellent way to make sure you’re able to move them around should you need to!  Here’s 10 tomato growing secrets that will help your harvest!

  • Tomatoes time from sowing to harvest: 40-60 days
  • Size of Pot Needed for Tomatoes: 20 centimetres deep
  • Care Needed for Tomatoes: Sow inside in small pots, transplant outside once frost has gone.  Water well.  Feed every 2 days when fruits have set.
  • When to Sow Tomatoes: January to April
  • When to Harvest Tomatoes: July to September

> Pick up tomato plants here when in season

Grow Beetroot – a vegetable for a fast harvest

Perfect for pots and containers, beetroot is an excellent, easy and fast-growing root vegetable.  Unless you particularly want a glut of beetroot (find out how to preserve beetroot in our guide here) then you’ll want to sow a few seeds every few weeks until the end of July and then you’ll have a harvest about 45-60 days after sowing.  It helps to soak the seeds for a day before sowing.  Make sure the soil is well watered so that the beets grow properly.  Eat the leaves as part of a salad they’re delicious.  We love harvesting beets when they’re babies, so sweet and so much easier to roast or boil.  Our favourite beet seeds are Boltardy, which you can buy here.

  • Beetroot time from sowing to harvest: 45-60 days
  • Size of Pot Needed for Beetroot:20 centimetre deep
  • Care Needed for Beetroot: Needs well-drained soil or compost.  Water well in dry spells.
  • When to Sow Beetroot: March to July
  • When to Harvest Beetroot: June to October

> Our favourite Beetroot is boltardy which you can get here.

Grow Courgettes – one of the fastest growing vegetables

One of our favourites.  Courgettes are seriously easy to grow and they grow very quickly.  Once they have fruited, then you need to keep an eye on them as they can grow as much as 5 centimetres in a single day!  Here’s our guide to growing courgettes in pots.   Courgettes are ready to harvest in as little as 35 days and don’t forget you can also eat the flowers – here’s a great recipe for that.

  • Courgette time from sowing to harvest: 35 days
  • Size of Pot Needed for Courgette: 45 centimetres wide
  • Care Needed for Courgette: Water well, Courgettes need a lot of water.  Avoid watering leaves – try and get water direct to the roots, especially if growing courgettes in a pot.
  • When to Sow Courgette: April to June
  • When to Harvest Courgette: June to October

Here’s our recommendation for the best courgette seeds for fast growing crops

fast growing vegetable in pot courgette

Grow Quick Growing Swiss Chard

Chard is a particularly productive vegetable and grows very quickly.  You can harvest chard after around 55-60 days.  Start by harvesting the leaves when they’re about 7-8 centimetres – they can grow up to 25 centimetres but they tend to take more energy out of the plant and are a bit tougher.  Swiss chard grows from seed and produces new leaves when you cut, so can last you all season.  Using one plant for each 5-litre pot will give it enough space if you’re growing chard in pots.

  • Chard time from sowing to harvest: 55-60 days
  • Size of Pot Needed for Chard: 25 centimetres deep
  • Care Needed for Chard: Needs sun and well-drained soil.
  • When to Sow Chard: March to August
  • When to Harvest Chard: Year-Round

> These Chard seeds really grow into very tasty vegetables – quickly!

Plant and Eat Turnips for a quick growing vegetable

Turnips for me were a tough old root vegetable in my childhood, today baby turnips are almost as good as beetroots.  Turnips are an easy vegetable to grow in pots, which makes it a bit plus for me.  (find out more easy to grow vegetables here) Grow turnips directly from seed and you can harvest in about 60 days.  Your pots for turnips will need to be about 20 centimetres deep so that the roots can grow properly.  Turnips also grow well indoors and grow well when planted alongside carrots.  Be sure to give your turnips enough drainage as they do not like being waterlogged and will die as a result of overwatering.

  • Turnips time from sowing to harvest: 60 days
  • Size of Pot Needed for Turnips: 20 centimetres deep
  • Care Needed for Turnips: Do not over water.
  • When to Sow Turnips: April to August
  • When to Harvest Turnips: March to December

> These Turnip seeds are a greater performer and a lovely taste

Enhance your Salads with rapidly growing Radishes

Radishes grow seriously quickly – from seed to plate in about 30 days!  They are great for growing in containers as they don’t need much space – pick a container that is about 10-15 centimetres deep for radishes.  You can easily grow radishes on windowsills, but they don’t like too much heat, so be prepared to move your pots of radishes around. Radish leaves are edible so you can add them to your salads or put them into stews or soups too.  The most popular varieties of radish are probably “French Breakfast”, but all varieties will grow quickly and easily.

  • Radish time from sowing to harvest: 30 days
  • Size of Pot Needed for Radish: 10-15 centimetres deep
  • Care Needed for Radish: Take out of the heat of the day, but likes some sun.
  • When to Sow Radish: February to August
  • When to Harvest Radish: May to February

> Our favourite radish seeds can be found here.

Add a bit of zing to your cooking with speedy to grow Spring Onions

Whether you call them Spring Onions or Scallions, they grow really quickly, just 40-55 days and they grow really well in small pots or containers.  Spring Onions are the type of vegetable that you will want to sow in succession so that you have a regular supply of them.  Spring onions are great in salads, and we love them as a garnish on Chinese and Indian foods.   Spring onions grow directly from seeds.  You can grow spring onions in bunches, so a few seeds together.

  • Spring Onions time from sowing to harvest: 40-55 days
  • Size of Pot Needed for Spring Onions: 10-15 centimetre deep
  • Care Needed for Spring Onions: Sow in succession, keep compost well-drained.
  • When to Sow Spring Onions: March to September
  • When to Harvest Spring Onions: June to October

> Pick up these Spring Onion Seeds and make your salad sing!

Final Words on Fast Growing Vegetables in Pots

One of the best ways to get started growing vegetables is to pick a few fast growing vegetables and get some quick success.  Growing vegetables in pots is seriously easy and it makes it a lot more flexible for your garden or space, whether it’s indoors or outdoors.  Fast growing vegetables in pots can also be grown year-round by taking advantage of windowsills or sunny spots on terraces or balconies as well as the great outdoors.  The best news about growing vegetables fast in pots is that they all tend to be very easy to grow as well!  Good luck and let us know how you get on!

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