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The Impatient Gardener: These Veggies Will Grow In A Hurry

The Impatient Gardener: These Veggies Will Grow In A Hurry
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With snow in the Northeast in April and flooding, sinkholes and tornadoes nearly everywhere that there isn’t a drought, growing season for us gardeners is getting shorter than ever.

So what vegetables can you plant right now if you want to make sure to get some of the good stuff before Autumn shows up again?

Here are some suggestions for gardeners who have a need for speed:

Spinach: Plant seeds right now, even in parts of your garden that are partially shaded (the seeds should get at least 3 hours of sunlight a day) and in 40 days or so, you can be adding leaves to a salad.

Mesclun: You can choose from Asian, spicy or even mixes chosen for color that will be ready to harvest in between 21-40 days, but sprinkling some seeds every three weeks will have you eating salads all season long. You can even grow this inside in the winter so you will always have an echo of Spring.

Leaf Lettuce: Speaking of salads, try you hands at leaf lettuce. As opposed to head lettuce (the type that forms into a ball around a central core and is much tougher to grow), leaf lettuce is pretty easy and in less than a month, you have a great salad straight from the garden

Arugula: If you are having President Obama over for dinner, this is for you (he’s a big fan.) You can start these easy-to-grow seeds in your garden bed or even in a pot or window box and have a yummy (and impressively fragrant) addition to your salads in a mere three weeks.

Asian Greens: Yes, you can plant your own Bok Choy, Mizuna and Tatsoi from seeds and have enough for stir-fry and all your Asian dishes all summer long. If you are just beginning to experiment with Asian cooking, having these right outside in your garden will be a great encouragement. 21-45 days in the garden will have you breaking out the wok.

Snap Peas: These yummy pods can be eaten hook, line and sinker. You can either shell them and chow down the sweet little peas inside (sauté them with leeks, ramp, spring onions and a some pancetta in butter and you may faint from delight) or eat the pods themselves, even right off the vine. These take 56 days from seed to mouth.

Wheat Grass: Trying to eat more healthfully? Wheat grass is a sure-fire way to ramp up your nutrition. Sow seeds in several places (or even several containers) and cut them as needed for those smoothies. Just cut the tops and the plants will keep growing. You’ll need to soak the seeds first, but once they’ve sprouted and the growing begins, you can be enjoying shots of wheat grass in about 10 days.

Radishes: Check out the small round varieties that are ready in 22 days (disclaimer: I’ll have to take this one on faith as every radish I ever planted in my life died a horrible death.) But I am told these little sweeties are one of the delights of the season

Bush Beans: Here is where you get some real bang for your buck. You can grow string or snap beans either for their pods (what we think of as green beans) or for the seeds inside, like pinto, navy, white and lima beans and dry them for storage. Plant a few varieties (they need a little room to spread out) and 49 days can see you awash in beans.


Kitt Walsh owns a web content company, Behind Blogs (www.behindblogs.com), is a regular contributor to CNN Money, a public speaker on Social Media, a book editor and ghostwriter, and freelances as a feature writer, editor and marketing consultant for magazines, newspapers and private clients around the world.


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