Planting crops that give quick results is a great way to get started in the garden. Try the following 'quick win' options - crops that you will see results from in a matter of weeks.
They can all be planted in containers so you can move them around to get some sunshine and also protect them from the elements if you live in a cooler spot.
Crunchy colourful and ready to harvest a month or so after sowing - this easy peasy crop flourishes with only the simplest of care (simply sow, cover, water and walk away):
- They do best directly sown. Sow seeds in rows, or try making a pattern for something more interesting, perhaps a koru or a smiley face.
- Thin them out at two weeks if you have sown them too closely together.
- The leaves can be eaten too and used in salads and sandwiches.
- They come in an endless assortment of shapes and colours. Look for the “Easter Egg” blend, of red, white, pink, and purple radishes, “Ping Pong” which is a pure white one and Red and Blue Moon for something different.
Rocket is a very quick-growing crop that is commonly used as a salad ingredient or blended into egg and cheese dishes. It also makes a great addition to pizzas!
- Rocket has a distinctive sharp, peppery flavour and is ready in a matter of weeks from planting.
- Ideal in pots and containers, it is also very easy to grow, making it an ideal crop for beginner gardeners.
- Varieties include Annual Rocket and Perennial Rocket.
A vegetable that can be eaten straight from the plant (the kids will love this!), snow peas flourish in the cooler months.
- For quick results plant seedlings, rather than seeds.
- Plant loads, as they are so yummy a few plants is never enough for the whole family to enjoy.
- Provide some sort of staking or support for the plants to grow up, like a tepee made from bamboo stakes. This keeps the pods clean and away from any hungry slugs and snails.
Lettuce is the quintessential salad crop that can be grown by anyone!
- Even if you don’t have a garden, a kitchen bucket is big enough to produce a plant or two.
- Lettuces come in a wide range of colours, shapes, sizes and types, and sometimes the most challenging part of growing them is deciding which ones to plant.
- The best advice on what variety of lettuce to grow is what you normally like to eat. There are two main types of lettuce; hearting lettuces, which have a dense centre, and loose-leaf lettuces, which have open leaves and no heart.
- Cos and Little Gem lettuce can be planted all year round.
- Lettuces require full sun, plant them in soil that is rich in compost and make sure the soil drains quickly as they hate having wet feet for any length of time.
A powerhouse of vegetable packed with nutrients and vitamins.
- It’s a fast-growing that is very easy to grow and is equally happy in garden beds or containers.
- A reasonably short-lived crop. Plant regularly for a continuous supply across the seasons.
- Spinach enjoys full sun and a soil that is rich in compost or other organic matter. It requires good drainage and hates having wet feet.
- Spinach thrives in tubs and containers, and the smaller varieties are even suitable for hanging baskets.
Spring onions (also called scallions, bunching onions and salad onions) are quick growing onion cultivars that are harvested when small.
- The mild, sweet flavour of spring onion is quite something, and the vegetable is a good source of vitamins A, B and C. Both the leafy green tops and bulbs are used in the kitchen and can be eaten raw or cooked. Perfect for soups, salads and stir fries.
- Spring onions are relatively easy to grow, and just take a few months to mature, compared with twice this for bulb onions. Plant every month in rows for a continuous supply.
- Spring onions require full sun and well-cultivated fertile soil.
Herbs add a fragrant and sensory element to the garden, along with a flavour punch to an endless variety of meals.
- Herbs can be planted in garden beds or in pots and containers.
- Coriander, chives, thyme, parsley, oregano, sage and rosemary can all be planted now.
- Most herbs in pots can be grown indoors and outdoors – choose a sunny windowsill when growing indoors.
- Take care not to overwater your herbs as they don’t like to sit in soggy soil.
- For more information check out the Tui Herb Guide.
- Harvest in 30-40 days