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Tips for Faster Growing of Homegrown Vegetables

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 If you're a gardener, you know that the act of gardening is just as rewarding as the literal fruits of your labor. Monty Don, a TV presenter and garden writer, attributes the well-being of gardeners to the "recharging" you get from sticking your hands in the soil and spending time outdoors in nature.1

Still, interest in gardening is skyrocketing, not only because of its therapeutic nature but also because people are growing increasingly concerned about the quality of their food and where it comes from.

Alas, many are turning back toward the traditional practice of growing their own food right in their own backyards (or in some cases on rooftops, patios, and any other nook and cranny one might find).

In the latter case, when food is your motivating factor for planting a garden, it sure would be nice to be able to plant your seeds one day and harvest ripe vegetables the next. Nature doesn't work that way, of course, but there are some tricks to growing vegetables faster

Tips for Growing Homegrown Veggies, Fast

Horticulturists Ryan Schmitt and Weston Miller recently shared their top strategies for "speedier" vegetables with NPR,2 and these are well worth trying, especially if you live in an area with a short growing season (or if you're just feeling inpatient after a long winter).

Try Microgreens: Microgreens are greens that are harvested at less than 14 days old, giving them a tender texture and a more powerful nutritional punch (I also recommend sprouts, as I'll explain below).

You can grow the seeds (try beet greens, pea shoots, or sunflowers) outdoors (soil temperatures should be 50-65 degrees Fahrenheit) or indoors in a tray filled with potting soil. After about a week or so, you'll have small microgreens that can be harvested with scissors.     

Plant Fast-Growing Salad Fixings: Arugula takes just three weeks from seed to harvest, while radishes are ready in about 25 days. Mustard greens are another quick one, taking only about 30 days to mature. The Yaya carrot (a hybrid) is another option, which cuts the typical time to mature from about 75 days to 56.     

Try a Faster-Growing Tomato: You'll typically have to wait 70 to 90 days before tomatoes are ready to harvest, but the cold-tolerant Glacier tomato variety will have fruit ready to pick in about 55 days. Sun Gold tomatoes are also fast - about 57 days from seedling to harvest.

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