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Homegrown Food in Less Than 8 Weeks

If you are moving to Baton Rouge and would like to start an edible garden, start with the easiest and fastest growing plants first. Some fruits and vegetables take longer than others to grow and produce food. To not get discouraged, try All My Sons of Baton Rouge’s list of six fast-growing vegetables that will allow you to start organic eating in your new home in no time.

  1. Arugula. This popular, fast-growing green has been increasing in popularity lately. This lettuce replacement has great flavor and can also be used as an alternative to basil.  Arugula is sometimes called “rocket” because of how quickly it grows, making it the perfect first vegetable to plant in your edible garden. Sow the seeds and cut the leaves when they appear large enough. During summer months, you may want to replant your arugula in an area that has more shade so that it does not seed too quickly. 
  2. Asian greens. Another alternative to lettuce are plants that most people do not even think about, Asian greens. Asian greens such as bok choy, yu choy, and choy sum are the most common lettuce replacements and they typically come in an “Asian green mix” of seeds. Plant Asian greens during spring or summer for a fall garden, and either pick the leaves one-by-one or cut the entire plant down to the stem to store entire clumps in your refrigerator.
  3. Broccoli Raab. Broccoli Raab is generally an acquired taste. It resembles traditional broccoli closely in appearance, but is related to turnips and has a more notable flavor. When growing broccoli raab, keep a close eye on how it is blooming. You want to make sure that you cut the flower clusters as soon as they appear and before they start to open to flower. Organic gardeners say to harvest the plant every other day for the best results.
  4. Cress. Cress, like arugula, is growing in popularity due to not only how easy it is to grow, but also for its peppery flavor. This resilient green can even be grown during winter and will last year round. Sow seeds right into the ground and pick the leaves as soon as they reach about 2 inches in length (which will occur as often as once a week). However, be aware of the fact that cress’ flavor increases in intensity with increasing temperature. If it is hot outside the cress may be too peppery for some people.
  5. Kale. Kale is arguably the most popular alternative to lettuce right now and is definitely a major part of the organic eating trend. Kale can also be grown during winter and is very cold-tolerant. If it is grown in the right environment, kale can grow year round as well. If you grow kale, make sure that you water it plenty; dehydration of kale will cause it to taste bitter.
  6. Radishes. Add some color to your green garden by adding one of the fastest growing vegetables available, radishes.  For the most unique colors and flavors, plant heirloom radishes. Radishes tend to have larger roots so you will want to spread the seeds far enough apart so that they can grow without constraint.

For first time gardeners, these are some of the best plants to choose if you are looking for fast results. All My Sons Moving & Storage of Baton Rouge wishes you a safe and easy move to your new home, so that you can enjoy new things such as starting an edible garden.