What Fruits & Vegetables Grow the Fastest?

Written by sienna condy
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What Fruits & Vegetables Grow the Fastest?
Dwarf apple trees produce fruit more quickly than traditional-sized trees. (Apple-tree image by zalisa from Fotolia.com)

Whether you're hoping to create a small garden to feed your family or a large one to grow some produce, selecting vegetables and fruits that grow quickly will put food on your table faster. Fruits typically take a long time to grow, while vegetables tend to grow faster. A fast-growing vegetable can reach maturity in as little as a month.

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Lettuce

Typically grown in cool, damp places, lettuce has a varying growth time depending on the type. Growth times range from as little as month to around 80 days, according to the University of Tennessee. Leaf lettuces tend to grow faster than types of lettuce which grow in heads. Although you don't need to start lettuce inside before you plant, you can start most varieties of lettuce inside as early as two to four weeks before planting lettuce in the ground.

Spinach

Another leafy green, spinach also has a quick growth time. Spinach typically takes approximately 40 to 50 days to produce mature leaves. You can cut individual leaves off as they mature, and the plant will continue to produce. Depending on the climate zone you live in, you can plant spinach as early as February in most areas and have food for your table as early as April.

Radishes

Although many root vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes, take a long time to grow, radishes take little time to reach maturity. Most varieties of radish take as little 25 to 30 days to reach full growth. Like most root vegetables, radishes prefer to be planted directly into the ground instead of starting inside from seed.

Peas

Peas don't grow as quickly as radishes, but they do grow relatively quickly. The typical pea plant will reach full growth in about two months, according to the University of Tennessee, but growing times vary based on plant type. Peas are also highly productive plants, yielding a high quantity of peas from one plant in a small space.

Dwarf Fruit Trees

If you want a quick producing fruit tree, dwarf fruit trees are usually your best bet. Fruit can take a long time to mature. Many fruit trees require you to have at least two trees, a male and female, to pollinate, and getting your fruit tree to bear fruit can take time. Trees that are typically quick to bear fruit, such as apple trees and starfruit trees, take two to three years to bear fruit after planting when they're a traditional size. Dwarf trees bear fruit even more quickly, sometimes in as little as a year.

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