Episode 008: 60 Days To Harvest: 10 Flowers And Vegetables To Plant Now


episode highlights

  • Learn how to grow a beautiful garden in just two months with these fast-growing plants
  • Dig into tips for growing cucumbers, bush beans, basil, and more, all of which will mature in just 60 days or less
  • Get first-hand tips on how to grow each crop from planting to harvest successfully

10 Fast-growing plants for 60-day summer garden

Are you hoping to transform your outdoor space into a beautiful and productive garden in just 60 days? If so, you’re in luck!

In this blog post, I’ll be sharing ten fast-growing plants that you can start right away. These plants are perfect for those of you who want a thriving and sustainable garden that produces fresh food and beautiful flowers in record time. Let’s dive in!

1. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are fast growers and can be started directly in the garden. Compact and dwarf varieties may produce slightly earlier than climbing varieties, but overall, you can expect to harvest cucumbers within 60 days

2. Bush beans

Bush beans tend to produce earlier than pole beans and are perfect for a quick harvest. They mature in about 60 days and can be harvested for around a month.

3. Basil

Basil is an essential summer crop that can be started from seed directly in the garden or indoors and transplanted later. It loves the summer heat and will produce for the entire season.

4. Summer Squash

Summer squash, such as zucchini and patty pan, is incredibly easy to grow and very productive. You can expect to harvest them within 50 days of planting.

5. Radishes

As one of the fastest-growing crops, radishes can be harvested in just 30 days. However, they prefer cooler soil, so try planting them in a shady area or a pot that can be moved to a cooler spot.

6. Kale

Kale is a versatile and easy-to-grow plant that can be harvested within 60 days. Keep the seedbed well-watered, and you’ll have a bountiful harvest in no time.

7. Arugula

Arugula is a heat-tolerant salad green that can be grown in shady spots during the summer months. It’s easy to start from seed and will provide fresh greens within 60 days.

8. Single Stem Sunflowers

These sunflowers produce one stem and one flower, making them perfect for a quick burst of color in your garden. They can be harvested within 60 days.

9. Zinnias

Zinnias are versatile and come in many sizes, colors, and shapes. Choose a variety that matures quickly (around 70 days) to enjoy their beauty in your garden.

10. Calendula

Calendula, also known as pot marigolds, is an easy-to-grow flower that produces blooms within 50 days. They can be used as edible decorations for salads, pizzas, and cakes, or in skincare products like salves and balms.

It’s never too late to start a garden, and with these fast-growing plants, you can enjoy a beautiful and productive outdoor space in just 60 days.

Episode Transcript

Hello, hello, and welcome back to Organic Gardening for Beginners. I am your host, Jessica, from the blog Homegrown Food and Flowers, and this is the show that helps new and beginning gardeners like you turn your backyard and outdoor space into a beautiful and productive area. 

Whether you’re starting with a collection of pots or raised beds or a traditional in-ground garden, I am here to share tips and my 20-plus years of experience to help you build your own thriving and sustainable garden that produces fresh food and beautiful flowers for you, your home and your family. 

In today’s episode, I am giving you a list of plants to get started right now. These plants are all very fast-growing, with an average maturity date of 60 days, so just about two months from planting to harvest. I’ve done the research for you, so I’ve got the links to these plants, well, to the seeds, in the show notes so that the process is as easy as possible. You can throw them all in your cart, check out and get your garden going by next weekend. 

Okay, as I mentioned, these crops all mature in around 60 days. Of course, this is give or take. Might be 50, might be 70, but around 60 days. It’s going to depend somewhat on your local conditions on exactly when you’re planting them, say it’s the end of May versus the beginning of July, and what the weather is doing your soil all those things, but two months give or take. 

The first one up on the list are cucumbers. Usually, gardeners say you don’t want to start cucumbers indoors and transplant them. They perform best when you put them straight in the garden. I actually disagree. I have always started my cucumbers indoors and transplanted them. But this habit is actually beneficial for you because it means that you can just put your seeds straight in the garden and let them grow and do their thing. They don’t need special treatment like tomato seedlings getting started early with those. Cucumbers super fast growers, compact and dwarf varieties will sometimes produce just a little bit earlier than the climbing varieties because they have less growing to do before they start to produce flowers. But all in all, we’re talking about a difference of a week, maximum two weeks difference in maturity. So choose whatever suits your space best, whether that’s a climber or a dwarf plant variety. 

Next up on the list are bush beans. These are just your standard green beans, but bush beans tend to produce earlier than pole beans. But the trade-off is that they produce for a shorter amount of time. For example, bush beans will produce beans in about two months and you can harvest off of those plants for, say, one month, whereas pole beans will take about three months to mature, but they’ll produce for maybe two months give or take. So there’s a little bit of flexibility here with what type of beans you want to grow. Choose depending on when the season is going for you and how much time you have, whether you go for the fast-maturing bush beans or the slower but longer-producing pole beans. 

Basil is another awesome summer crop. I never have a garden without it. Easy to start from seed straight in the garden. If you want a little more control over your seed bed and keeping the seeds moist until they germinate, you can start them indoors and then just transplant them after a month or so inside, maybe even last three weeks, and they will take off like a shot in the summer heat. And it will produce for you for the rest of the summer. Once the basil plants start to produce seeds, you’ll see these stalks of flowers going up that will then eventually be pollinated and turn into seeds. You can cut those off, those flower stalks, to prolong your harvest a little bit, but the basil will be determined to make some seeds, so eventually, it’s going to resist all efforts of you extending its life and go to seed, after which I would recommend leaving it in the garden, because the birds love to come and eat the seeds. 

Next up, number four on the list, are summer squash. Now this counts as zucchini or a patty pan, or there are round zucchinis, like there’s one called eight ball, because it looks kind of like a grapefruit about the same size, really good for stuffing. And then the next one is zucchini, which I mentioned in a previous episode of Easy to Grow Veggies. Zucchinis will produce, whether you want them to or not, typically Very easy to grow, very productive, and fast. You can grow a variety like Black Beauty, which is a very classic variety, and be harvesting zucchini off of that thing in about 50 days. So definitely one for the list for fast-maturing summer crops. 

Perhaps the fastest crop of all are radishes. Radishes will go from seed to harvest in about one month, 30 days. The caveat here is that radishes don’t love hot soil. This is usually the case with all root crops. Like beets, they prefer a cooler soil. So if you are planting radishes this summer, save the space in your sunniest area for a different crop and instead put your radishes in a shadier area where they won’t get so hot. You can try putting them in something like a planter or a large pot if you don’t have a shady area In your raised beds, your in-ground garden, and then just put that pot somewhere a little bit cooler. Just obviously make sure it’s deep enough, i would say at least six inches deep, so that way there’s room for the radishes to grow into the soil. 

Kale…I will always sing the praises of kale. It’s good for everything. Kale will mature in about 60 days, as with everything. Very easy grower. Also on my previous list of easy-to-grow veggies and flowers. At this point in the season you probably won’t find a seedling in the nursery or the stores, so chances are you’re gonna have to start this one yourself If you direct sow it outdoors. Just make sure you keep that seed bed well-watered so that the seed doesn’t start to germinate and then dry out, and you’ll see quick growth on your kale plants and you’ll be able to harvest it in just a couple of months. 

Arugula is number seven on this list, and arugula kind of straddles the seasons. It loves to grow in the spring. Oh, I should say arugula, if you’re not familiar with it, is kind of like a lettuce spinach-type plant. It’s a green like a salad green. It grows as individual leaves, like spinach does, not in a head the way lettuce does, and arugula is a little bit more heat tolerant than lettuce, but just like radish, it will definitely appreciate some shade. So if you have a shady spot or a pot that you can move to a shady spot, put your arugula in there, but it’s a great way to still grow some salad greens, even if the season is a little bit too far along for lettuce or spinach. Easy to start from seed. Keep it very well watered. Don’t let it dry out at all. Chances are you also won’t find a seedling for this in the nurseries at this point in the season. 

Next up cannot forget about my flowers. Actually, these next three are all flowers, are single stem sunflowers. If you haven’t heard of single stem sunflowers, they are exactly what they sound like. They are one stalk and one flower. There are branching sunflowers as well, which produce one main stalk and then a bunch of lateral or side branches that will then produce a bloom. Branching sunflowers are gorgeous. They produce for a really long time. But, just like the difference between pole beans and bush beans, the difference between branching sunflowers and single stem sunflowers is that the single stems produce flowers a lot earlier than a branching sunflower. The downside, of course, is that because it’s one stem, one flower, if you want to harvest that flower, then you’re done. The plant will not bloom again and you’ll have to pull it out or cut it down and plant a new sunflower seed in its place or some other garden plant. So early flowers, but you only get one, as opposed to later flowers, where you get multiple with a branching sunflower. 

Number nine are zinnias, which are probably one of the most versatile garden flowers that you can grow, just for the amount of size, color, shape, that and purpose, for that matter that you can find. With zinnias, you can get low-growing, spreading type varieties that are almost like a ground cover, and then you can get giant ones that will grow literally six feet tall in your garden. There are some varieties that take longer, more like a hundred days to bloom, and then some of those smaller dwarf varieties that take maybe 70 days to bloom. So if you’re time-crunched, make sure that you are choosing a variety that doesn’t need too long to mature, and of course, I will have some of those variety recommendations in the show notes. 

Lastly on the list are calendula. Calendula are a flower that are often called pot marigolds, but they look different than a marigold They’re orange, similar to a marigold, but instead of being a kind of ruffled, ball-shaped flower, calendula are a flat, almost daisy-looking flower that are so, so easy to grow. They start to bloom in about 50 days and they will produce blooms all summer. They might get a little bit tired in the heat so they might slow down production just during the hottest months, but then, once the weather starts to cool off a little bit, they’ll come back strong. So you can put these in the shade with your radish and your arugula if you want, if you have a shady garden and then chances are they will produce without interruption all summer long. And calendulas are edible, so you can try putting the orange petals on your salads, on pizza. I’ve even decorated some cakes with calendula just because they look pretty. Very diverse. And if you are into making skincare products, then calendula is awesome for using the petals in like salves and balms. So very handy herb. So those are my 10 quick maturing flowers, veggies, herbs for you to plant this summer. 

If you are getting a late start in your garden and don’t forget, I am right there with you with my summer garden. Since we are moving this summer and starting over, don’t stress. If it’s late in the season, like you’ll keep hearing me say, there is still time to work in the garden to get some harvest. Give one of these a try. If you want a super easy shopping list, just go to the show notes, and I will have links to all of these different varieties that I recommend to make it super easy for you. As always, if you are getting value out of this show, please don’t forget to subscribe. It really helps to get the show out there so that I can chat with more gardeners just getting started this season. Talk to you next week. Bye!

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