13 Seeds That Grow In 60 Days Or Less
Most people assume that gardening is a long game–and we’re not saying it’s not–but there are quite a few crops that provide that instant gratification we all crave. You don’t have to be impatient to appreciate these fast-growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers.
Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and kale are among the fastest plants to grow from seed, although some root vegetables like radishes, beets, carrots, and turnips produce a harvestable crop in under two months. Many herbs, including green onion, cilantro, and basil are also quick to mature. Some bushy plants like beans and zinnias are harvestable in less than 60 days.
Keep reading to learn which vegetables and herbs to grow for the quickest and most prolific harvests.
13 short-season vegetable and herb seeds
The following vegetables and herbs are some of our favorite varieties for quick, stress-free harvests. With the right growing conditions, you can expect to get a harvestable crop in less than two months from sowing or transplanting. Maximize your quick turnaround by succession planting, or re-seeding, a few rounds of each crop for a continuous supply all season long.
Lettuces, whether head lettuce or salad lettuce, have remarkable growth rates, typically under two months. Alfresco Blend, one of our favorite salad mixes, is ready for harvest 35 days from planting. Mild Mesclun is a mix of cut-and-come again greens that mature in 45 days and are harvestable every two weeks. Simpson Elite is a bolt-resistant loose-leaf type that matures in 46 days.
Succession plant lettuce every three weeks so that you’ll have a continuous supply of young, tasty leaves up until midsummer.
Spinach is yet another leafy green growers love for its quick and prolific harvests. Bloomsdale Long Standing is a reliable, heirloom variety that matures in 45 days. Bloomsdale is slow to bolt, even in regions with hot summers. Green Beret Hybrid is a favorite cultivar for baby spinach, maturing in 30 days.
Make your spinach harvests more manageable by sowing a new round of spinach every three weeks or so. Just as your older plants are beginning to slow down and bolt, you’ll have a fresh new crop coming on.
Kale is a mainstay in most gardens for its frost hardiness and productivity. Kale can be harvested at around a month for baby kale or left closer to two months for larger leaves. Baby spinach is delicious in salads and on sandwiches, and mature kale leaves are excellent sauteed, or even roasted in the oven.
Red Russian, with its gorgeous purple-lobed leaves, can be harvested at 25 days for baby leaves or 50 days for mature leaves. Lacinato is our favorite green kale variety, maturing to its full size in 55 days.
Kale is a cut-and-come-again crop, so the more you pick the more the plants will produce. You can also sow a second round of kale about a month after your first planting.
The humble radish might just be the quickest-growing vegetable from seed to harvest. Radishes prefer to be direct seeded in spring and early summer, and most varieties are harvestable between 25 and 35 days. Our most popular radish, Cherry Belle, matures in 22 days–just three weeks from sowing. Golden Helios, a round yellow variety, matures in 25 days, and the popular, oblong French Breakfast variety grows just as fast.
Sow a planting of radishes every three weeks to enjoy fresh radishes until late summer temps render them inedible. Start sowing radishes again about six weeks before your area’s first fall frost.
Our favorite heirloom beet, Chioggia, matures in just 55 days from sowing. We love the red and white ringed roots (they’re so pretty!) and Chioggia is a lot less likely than other varieties to stain your fingers and cutting board. Avalanche is another quick-growing and award-winning variety, producing sweet, albino roots only 51 days from sowing.
You can succession plant beets by direct sowing a new row in the garden about every two weeks or so. Thin the beets to two inches and enjoy the baby beet greens in your salad! Beets also store well in the fridge or a root cellar, so you’ll never be overwhelmed by too big of a harvest.
While some longer, larger carrots might take upwards of 70 days to mature, smaller varieties like Thumbelina mature in as little as 60 days–and the smaller, round roots are perfectly suited to container gardening. Little Finger is another fine option for a quick-growing carrot, harvestable 62 days from sowing.
Succession plant carrots every three or four weeks, and prepare the tiny tops like you would microgreens.
Turnips don’t get near the attention that they should. A popular root vegetable in Europe, turnips are typically grown for their greens, especially in the South. Purple Top White Globe is a beautiful variety that produces delightful sweet, crisp roots in 53 days. The Japanese heirloom Shogoin is favored for its tasty tops and sweet roots that mature in only 30 days from seeding.
You can direct seed turnips about every two weeks if you want to harvest that many. Turnips are also a fantastic cover crop since their long roots break up compacted soil–then the entire plant, root and all, can be disced and returned to the soil.
You’d be remiss to forgo planting bok choy in your garden this year. The Chinese cabbage produces sweet, crisp leaves that make a quick and easy addition to a weeknight stir fry. Bok choy is easy to grow, and most varieties mature in well under two months.
Succession plant bok choy every two or three weeks to stagger your harvests throughout the season. Bok Choi, a non-heading type, matures in 38 days. Chinese Cabbage, a beautiful heading type, matures about 55 days from sowing.
Green onions are one of the easiest vegetables to grow, and one of the most potent herbs you can use in the kitchen. Both Warrior and Evergreen White are award-winning bunching heirlooms that are harvestable in under two months.
Once you have fresh green onions on hand, you’ll start to go through them quickly–so plant green onions every two weeks or so to have a continuous harvest all summer! Green onions are naturally pest resistant, so they don’t require much maintenance.
Cilantro is an easy-to-grow herb that can elevate any dish from mundane to sublime. Keep a constant supply of cilantro by sowing a new planting every two to four weeks, depending on how much of the herb you use. The more you pick cilantro, the less likely it will be to go to seed–but at some point, the plant does begin to bolt.
Santo, our most prolific and bolt-resistant variety, matures in about 52 days.
Another delicious and aromatic herb, basil is a quick grower that thrives in warmer weather. Basil leaves pair with anything from Italian dishes to Thai cuisine, so it’s a handy herb to have on hand. Harvest the leaves often or cut back the stems periodically to keep the plants from going to seed–although you can sow second planting of basil three weeks after the first to guarantee two harvests.
Newton is our fastest-growing basil, maturing about 25 days from transplant.
Bush beans are one of the fastest-growing and most prolific vegetables you can grow in your summer garden. And once beans start coming on, you’ll be picking at least twice a week with these super-productive varieties! Keep your beans looking fresh by sowing a second planting three weeks after the first.
Contender is our earliest bean, producing tender, stringless seedpods in as little as 40 days. Top Crop is another early heirloom, maturing 40 days from sowing.
These heat-loving annuals are among the quickest to flower–Dreamland Hybrid Mix begins blooming just six weeks after sowing! While we do love that first flower, you’ll get more blooms out of your zinnias if you pinch the plants back to six inches once they start to bud out. This encourages the plant to have a branching habit and produce more flowers throughout the season.
The varieties in this list are the fastest-growing crops on the market today. With proper care, you can expect reliable harvests in under two months from sowing or transplanting. Succession plant some of the quick-bolting crops like leafy greens and herbs, and you’ll have continuous harvests of your favorite herbs and vegetables all season long.