How to Cut the Wait Time to Grow Vegetables

March 07, 2017

How to Cut the Wait Time to Grow Vegetables

Growing vegetables takes time, but you don’t need as much patience as you think. It’s possible to accelerate nature’s course and put your growing season on the fast-track to harvest. Hurry up and try my best tips based on decades of gardening.

Plant zucchini from seed

Estimated wait time: 45-50 days

You’ll be tempted to buy zucchini plants at the garden center, but you may actually harvest fruit faster if you start by planting seed directly in the garden. Zucchini plants struggle with the transplanting process and need a long time to recover; whereas a zucchini plant grown from seed may actually give you fruit before a transplanted seedling will. You’ll be making “zoodles” in no time.

Plant peas in warm soil

Estimated wait time: 50-60 days

Nothing beats the taste of garden-fresh peas. Speed up your harvest by planting them in warm soil. While it’s possible to plant peas in early spring, weeks before the last frost, you’ll actually harvest peas faster if you wait for the soil to warm up to over 60 degrees.

Trench tomato plants

Estimated wait time: 55 to 90 days, depending on variety

Use a set of gardening hand tools to bury the lower part of the seedling’s stem underground. The result is a growth spurt that leads to you savoring sun-ripened tomatoes even sooner. And keep tomatoes fresher longer by using a tomato saver (yes, it really works).

Pre-sprout carrot seeds

Estimated wait time: 50-70 days, depending on variety

This simple trick gives you a head start on germination and can reduce the time to harvest by at least a week.  Wet two paper towels with water, and lay out seeds evenly between them. Place in a covered container. Be sure to keep the paper towels moist. In one or two days, you’ll see sprouts begin to grow. Plant them outdoors, and start thinking about what you can pair your carrots with, like this homemade hummus.

Grow seeds year-round

With an Aerogarden, you don’t need to wait until any particular time of year to harvest veggies or herbs. Grow them indoors all year long at a faster rate than traditional planting. That’s instant–and delicious–gratification!

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