12 Quick-Growing Vegetables for Your Survival Garden

In uncertain times, having a reliable source of fresh, nutritious produce is invaluable. That’s where a survival garden filled with quick-growing vegetables can make a world of difference.

Key Takeaways

  • Learn about 12 fast-maturing veggies ideal for survival gardens
  • Discover how to ensure a steady supply of fresh produce in as little as 30-60 days
  • Get tips on growing, harvesting, and storing these nutrient-rich crops for year-round sustenance

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge to cultivate a bountiful survival garden brimming with quick-growing vegetables that can be harvested in under two months.

Leafy Greens

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Leafy greens are nutrient-dense and fast-growing, providing essential vitamins and minerals. They are versatile and can be consumed raw or cooked.

Radishes

Radishes mature in just 25-30 days, making them one of the fastest-growing crops. They thrive in cool weather and can be grown in containers or raised beds. Harvest radishes when the shoulders protrude from the soil.

VegetableDays to MaturityIdeal TemperaturePlanting Depth
Radishes25-30 days50-65°F1/2 inch
  • Sow seeds directly in the garden or containers every 2-3 weeks for a continuous harvest.
  • Thin seedlings to 2 inches apart for proper root development.
  • Harvest radishes when they reach desired size, typically 1-2 inches in diameter.

Lettuce

Lettuce is a cool-weather crop that can be harvested in as little as 30 days. It’s a versatile green that can be used in salads, sandwiches, and wraps.

VegetableDays to MaturityIdeal TemperaturePlanting Depth
Lettuce30-45 days60-65°F1/4 inch
  • Sow seeds directly in the garden or containers every 2-3 weeks for a continuous harvest.
  • Thin seedlings to 6-12 inches apart, depending on the variety.
  • Harvest lettuce by cutting the leaves from the base or removing the entire head.

Spinach

Spinach is a nutrient-rich leafy green that can be harvested in as little as 40 days. It’s an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron and calcium.

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VegetableDays to MaturityIdeal TemperaturePlanting Depth
Spinach40-50 days60-70°F1/2 inch
  • Sow seeds directly in the garden or containers every 2-3 weeks for a continuous harvest.
  • Thin seedlings to 4-6 inches apart for proper growth.
  • Harvest spinach by cutting the outer leaves, allowing the inner leaves to continue growing.

Arugula

Arugula is a fast-growing, peppery green that can be harvested in just 30-40 days. It’s a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and pizza.

VegetableDays to MaturityIdeal TemperaturePlanting Depth
Arugula30-40 days55-65°F1/4 inch
  • Sow seeds directly in the garden or containers every 2-3 weeks for a continuous harvest.
  • Thin seedlings to 4-6 inches apart for proper growth.
  • Harvest arugula by cutting the leaves from the base or removing the entire plant.

Brassicas

Brassicas, also known as cruciferous vegetables, are nutrient-dense and versatile. They can be eaten raw or cooked and are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals.

Mustard Greens

Mustard greens are a fast-growing brassica that can be harvested in as little as 40 days. They have a slightly pungent flavor and are rich in vitamins A, C, and K.

VegetableDays to MaturityIdeal TemperaturePlanting Depth
Mustard Greens40-50 days60-70°F1/4 inch
  • Sow seeds directly in the garden or containers every 2-3 weeks for a continuous harvest.
  • Thin seedlings to 6-8 inches apart for proper growth.
  • Harvest mustard greens by cutting the outer leaves, allowing the inner leaves to continue growing.

Kale

Kale is a nutrient-dense brassica that can be harvested in as little as 50 days. It’s an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium and iron.

VegetableDays to MaturityIdeal TemperaturePlanting Depth
Kale50-60 days60-70°F1/4 inch
  • Sow seeds directly in the garden or containers every 2-3 weeks for a continuous harvest.
  • Thin seedlings to 12-18 inches apart for proper growth.
  • Harvest kale by cutting the outer leaves, allowing the inner leaves to continue growing.

Root Vegetables

Root vegetables are a great source of carbohydrates, fiber, and essential nutrients. They can be eaten raw, cooked, or preserved for later use.

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Beets

Beets are a fast-growing root vegetable that can be harvested in as little as 50 days. They are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as folate and manganese.

VegetableDays to MaturityIdeal TemperaturePlanting Depth
Beets50-60 days60-70°F1/2 inch
  • Sow seeds directly in the garden or containers every 2-3 weeks for a continuous harvest.
  • Thin seedlings to 3-4 inches apart for proper root development.
  • Harvest beets when the shoulders protrude from the soil or when the greens reach 6-8 inches tall.

Carrots

Carrots are a versatile root vegetable that can be harvested in as little as 50 days. They are an excellent source of vitamin A and fiber.

VegetableDays to MaturityIdeal TemperaturePlanting Depth
Carrots50-70 days60-70°F1/4 inch
  • Sow seeds directly in the garden or containers every 2-3 weeks for a continuous harvest.
  • Thin seedlings to 2-3 inches apart for proper root development.
  • Harvest carrots when the shoulders protrude from the soil or when the tops reach 6-8 inches tall.

Turnips

Turnips are a fast-growing root vegetable that can be harvested in as little as 40 days. Both the roots and greens are edible and nutritious.

VegetableDays to MaturityIdeal TemperaturePlanting Depth
Turnips40-60 days60-70°F1/4 inch
  • Sow seeds directly in the garden or containers every 2-3 weeks for a continuous harvest.
  • Thin seedlings to 4-6 inches apart for proper root development.
  • Harvest turnips when the shoulders protrude from the soil or when the greens reach 6-8 inches tall.

Green Onions

Green onions, also known as scallions or spring onions, are a fast-growing allium that can be harvested in as little as 30 days. They add flavor and nutrients to various dishes.

VegetableDays to MaturityIdeal TemperaturePlanting Depth
Green Onions30-40 days60-70°F1/4 inch
  • Sow seeds directly in the garden or containers every 2-3 weeks for a continuous harvest.
  • Thin seedlings to 2-4 inches apart for proper growth.
  • Harvest green onions by cutting the green tops, leaving the white base to continue growing.
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Legumes and Squash

Legumes and squash are versatile and nutritious additions to a survival garden. They provide protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.

Bush Beans

Bush beans are a fast-growing legume that can be harvested in as little as 50 days. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals.

VegetableDays to MaturityIdeal TemperaturePlanting Depth
Bush Beans50-60 days65-80°F1 inch
  • Sow seeds directly in the garden or containers after the last frost date.
  • Space seeds 2-4 inches apart in rows 18-24 inches apart.
  • Harvest bush beans when the pods are firm and the seeds are well-formed but still tender.
  • Pick regularly to encourage continued production.

For more information on growing bush beans and other legumes, check out our detailed guide.

Summer Squash

Summer squash, such as zucchini and yellow squash, are fast-growing and prolific producers that can be harvested in as little as 50 days. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber.

VegetableDays to MaturityIdeal TemperaturePlanting Depth
Summer Squash50-60 days65-80°F1 inch
  • Sow seeds directly in the garden or containers after the last frost date.
  • Space seeds 12-18 inches apart in rows 3-4 feet apart.
  • Harvest summer squash when they are 6-8 inches long and the skin is still tender.
  • Pick regularly to encourage continued production.

Summer squash is an excellent choice for small-space gardening, as it can be grown vertically or in containers.

Growing Tips

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To ensure a successful survival garden, follow these growing tips:

  • Succession planting: Stagger plantings every 2-3 weeks to ensure a continuous harvest.
  • Companion planting: Grow complementary crops together to deter pests, improve soil health, and maximize space. For example, planting marigolds can help repel nematodes and other pests.
  • Soil preparation: Amend the soil with compost or aged manure to provide essential nutrients for optimal growth.
  • Fertilization: Apply a balanced organic fertilizer every 4-6 weeks to replenish nutrients in the soil.

Storing and Preserving

Proper storage and preservation techniques are essential to extend the shelf life of your harvest and ensure a year-round supply of fresh produce.

  • Refrigeration: Store leafy greens, root vegetables, and summer squash in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks.
  • Canning: Preserve vegetables by canning them in sterilized jars for long-term storage. Check out our guide on canning and preserving techniques.
  • Freezing: Blanch and freeze vegetables for later use.
  • Dehydrating: Dry vegetables to create lightweight and shelf-stable products.

Conclusion

Incorporating quick-growing vegetables into your survival garden is crucial for ensuring a steady supply of fresh, nutritious produce. The 12 vegetables covered in this article – radishes, lettuce, spinach, arugula, mustard greens, kale, beets, carrots, turnips, green onions, bush beans, and summer squash – can all be harvested in 60 days or less.

Having a diverse survival garden not only provides food security but also promotes self-sufficiency and resilience in challenging times. Start growing your own food today and enjoy the benefits of fresh, homegrown produce right from your backyard. For more tips on essential survival crops and urban gardening techniques, check out our other articles.

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