Crops for a quick harvest

I’ve been planning crops to start now (or as soon as the soil warms up enough!) that will give a harvest in as little time as possible, to make up for any shortfall in the local food shops. Top of my list are salad leaves like lettuce and arugula/rocket, plus spinach and radishes. Carrots can be quick if you don’t mind them small too!

What do you recommend?

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I’ve been doing exactly the same, all sorts of salad leaves are fast, radishes would be great (but I don’t like them), green onions are fast too and I love those. But don’t just sow stuff look around at what is growing now too, wild garlic is up and nearly ready, I have just found that you can eat ground elder so I am harvesting that rather than weeding it out and I have dandelions. Thats not something I would normally boast about but they are great in a salad!

Yes - salad leaves definitely number one for speed. While not super-quick, you can’t beat beans and courgettes/zucchini for sheer quantity and speed of production once they are underway. These two crops will be my cornerstone this summer - so versatile and I never tire of them, no matter how prolific they are!

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I must admit I have made zucchini bread several times and that is a gorgeous way to use up gluts and we have a spiralizer that I bought years ago that I am ashamed to say is still in it’s dusty box. It seemed a brilliant idea but unfortunately I then discovered spaghetti squash and grew that instead as we all loved it!

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You bought a spiralizer years ago? You hipster - you must’ve been way ahead of the curve!

Yes, love zucchini for their versatility. My top tip: Grow a variety (say a yellow one and a cog-wheel type variety) then harvest them YOUNG!!! I aim to pick them just 4in (10cm) long. They are so much firmer and nuttier like that. And that way you are never too overwhelmed by them.

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You mean that way you don’t have to kindly abandon them on doorsteps to “lucky” neighbours!

Look what I found! From Geoff Lawton no less! Very timely too…

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I have to disguise courgettes now so my other half doesn’t cotton on to the fact that I’m trying to use up my glut! Plenty of sauce and he doesn’t notice :laughing:

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Like your cunning there!

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In addition to what was already mentioned - endive, peas.

Also, I had a really good luck with sprouts and microgreens (mung beans, broccoli) this past winter. You can do both in a jar, an you get sprouts in 5-7 days, and microgreens in 10 days.

Finally, to prevent veggie shortages in the future, growing extra and freezing helps. I still have frozen lacinato kale from last season. It’s been a life-saver.

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Unlike you Guys, I live in Western Australia where we can generally get a variety to grow all year round. Exceptions are peas & beans which are summer/winter with a few other vegies thrown in that are only seasonal. But I can grown salad vegies all year round & spuds here aren’t grown as earlies/lates but mainly winter. Can get a bit hot in summer for them but you still get some, just a reduced yield. If I were more organised (and better at growing), I could have veg all year round.
One thing I really like doing is preserving. Not great at it but I’m learning! That also gives us better food biosecurity. Something we’ve learnt lately!
In Oz, although we’ve lost too many beautiful souls, we haven’t been hard hit at all. We went into lockdown early & that helped heaps. Now we just have to make sure as we come out of lockdown, we don’t get a 2nd wave.
But it has shown many of us that our food biosecurity isn’t good enough. So I will learn more about canning this year. I’ve done bottling for many years & dehydrating but you can always learn more.
This week, the supermarket had bananas going out for $2 per kg. That’s cheap. They’re normally around $3.50-4.00. So I bought a bunch (ha ha) & today I’ve got them in the dehydrator. They’re great for bread, muffins, pikelets, fruit curries & our favourite, in salads. Dehydrated sliced strawberries are like a flavour bomb on your tongue, so they’re a favourite too.
Maybe a couple of ideas for you :smiley:
Hooroo!

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If you use pinterest here is a link to a board that I use https://www.pinterest.co.uk/growveg/canning-and-preserving-a-z/

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Thanks for waking us up, Gypsy. It’s not just about growing food but making it stretch through various ways of preserving gluts. If the crops come in as planned, we’ll be doing a lot more freezing, pickling and careful storing this year. Perhaps this dreadful pandemic will teach is to have a different approach altogether towards the food we eat and depend upon. 'Taking it for granted’ makes less and less sense. I envy your broad approach to preserving. Wish we could afford it. ‘Not great at it’ ? You’re streets ahead of me! Best wishes down under.

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I love salad greens, but I use a variety of leaves to throw in a salad that grow fast… I grew Pac Joi this year for the first time and was pleasantly surprised at the speed of growth. Also pea sprouts, beet greens, mustard greens, kohlrabi greens & radish greens you can harvest very quickly. If you only take a couple leaves from the outside of them, then you can harvest some greens now and the roots or larger bunches later. I also love cilantro on everything, including salads. There are a variety of delicious herbs that start relatively fast like chives, garlic chives and mints that add a burst of flavor and bulk up an early spring salad. If you’re in an area where they are perrenials, then bonus, they will be up even earlier next year.

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A bit of a quick result. My Oregon Sugar whotsits mangetout are already giving pods after less than four weeks from being transferred from gutters to ground. I was chuffed! The Mrs., who likes posh grub, was delighted with the news.

Bit of an update - the Oregon Sugar Pods grew like Topsy, produced loads of flowers and virtually zero sustained pods in the end. The original pods fell off! Sadly they are coming out this week and being replaced by some more Kelvedon Wonder. The good news is that my other Mange Tout and Petit Pois are doing OK.

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Swiss Chard is something I always find grows quick and I have had a lot of luck with it at different times of the year too.

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Welcome aboard, Mrs Jones. Hope you enjoy the interchange of info.

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