They say the best things in life are worth waiting for. This is certainly true in gardening. One of the big lessons that gardening teaches is patience and the ability to wait.
But what do you do if you need or want crops that grow quickly?
Perhaps you have a very short growing season and literally cannot grow something that takes 120 days to mature?
Maybe you are a school teacher who wants to grow a garden in the summer months but need it to be mostly done by the time school starts in the fall?
Or maybe you are gardening with children who have notoriously short attention spans and who think waiting a week for anything is an eternity.
The answer to any of these problems is to pay close attention to both the type of crops you choose to plant and the variety of each plant you grow. By choosing a broccoli variety that matures in 65 days instead of 100 you will shorten the waiting time significantly.
Something else to consider is that by ordering seeds from an online seed catalog, you will drastically increase your choices on both of these fronts.
Okay, just wanted to make sure you heard me loud and clear.
Buying seeds from a local store is convenient but is limiting on what is available. Plus most seed racks are stocked by very large seed companies who focus on a very narrow window of the most popular and well known varieties.
Not necessarily a bad thing, just personal preference. For some people, this may be the best choice.
Buying online from smaller seed companies also helps protect the pool of genetic material in the plant kingdom. The more genetic diversity we have in our food crops, the safer our food supply will be in the long run.
I encourage you to order at least some of your seeds online from a reputable seed company if you can. Preferably organic and heirloom (although I have been known to buy seeds that are neither one).
Having said all of that, here is an info-graphic I made for you that shows the average days to maturity for various vegetables.
You will notice that most of the vegetables have a range of how many days it could take. This is because within each vegetable type are many different varieties…each with a different days to maturity number.
If you choose your varieties carefully, you can swing this chart toward the smaller end of each number range. Most online catalogs will list days to maturity for each of the individual varieties.
If you are buying seed packets from a store, be sure to check the back of it for the days to maturity.
I hope this info is helpful to those of you who need crops that mature quickly for whatever reason.