The best way to grow food faster and save time is to choose quick growing vegetables like microgreens, mulch to save time on weeding and choose low maintenance plants like artichoke. Using a no-dig garden is a great way to save time in setting up your edible food garden and grow food faster.
Top 8 easy tips to grow food faster
- Choose quick growing vegetables like microgreens and lettuce
- Use grow bags for an instant garden bed or make a quick no-dig garden
- Use mulch on soil to save time weeding
- Choose plants that are hardy and low maintenance
- Fill any spaces in your vegetable garden with seedlings for quick results
- Choose easy to grow crops that you can plant and forget
- Make a no-dig garden bed
- Use organic fertilizers like liquid fish emulsion
Top ways to grow food faster
1. Choose fast growing vegetables
Plant fast growing vegetables to grow food quickly for your family. Here are some of the quickest growing vegetables to give you food fast.
|Vegetable||Time to grow|
|Microgreens – mustard seeds, lettuce, chia, kale||2-3 weeks|
|Pea shoots||2-3 weeks|
|Pak Choy||5-7 weeks|
2. Choose easy to grow crops
The best way to save time when growing food is to choose plants that grow with little effort. Here are some easy to grow crops to grow at home.
Onions and Shallots
Onions can be planted as a bulb and left to grow on their own without any attention. Onions won’t need any extra fertilizer to grow, just keep the weeds away. These easy plants for kids to grow as they are a large bulb and easy to handle.
Zucchini or Courgette
Courgettes are easy to grow from seedling and will give you lots of food over the summer months. Dig a small amount of compost into the ground first and they will happily grow for months without any other fertilizer. Cook and eat the courgette flowers as well as the vegetable.
Beans and peas
Beans and peas are easy to plant and grow. Kids love to plant the large seeds and they need little fertilizer or attention while they grow. Plant the seeds into the ground around 1 inch deep and don’t water until you see the sprout growing through. Pick beans and peas for months without any effort.
Loose leaf lettuce varieties can be easily grown from seed. Simply rake over an area in your garden, sprinkle the seed in and cover lightly with garden soil or seed raising mix. In a few short weeks you will have lettuce leaves that you can pick and they will re-grow from the same plant.
Pak Choy is one of my favorite vegetables to grow because it is easy to sow and grows without any effort. Sprinkle the seed on flat soil and cover lightly with seed raising mix. You can remove leaves to add to stir fry or cut whole stems to add to curries.
Kale is a simple plant to grow and will keep producing leaves month after month. Pick young leaves and the plant will continue to re-grow new leaves. Kale is a hardy plant and is quick and easy to grow.
3. Plant in Pots
Use eco friendly pots to plant your vegetables in for a quick and easy way to set up your garden even in a small space. Fill the pots with good quality potting mix and add herbs and vegetables that you can pick over and over again.
Herbs that work well in pots include basil, chives, parsley and coriander. These herbs will grow back when you pick the leaves. They are easy and quick to grow and even available from most local supermarkets.
To keep the moisture in the soil remember to add mulch like straw or sugar cane and you need to water and weed less often.
4. Fill the space in your garden with seedlings
Use seedlings to quickly fill any space in your garden and keep vegetables growing all year round. Buying seedlings from a garden center will save time compared to growing from seed. My favorite vegetables to buy as seedlings to save time are:
Mulch around your seedlings to keep the moisture in the soil and to help them to grow quickly. Mulch will keep weeds away giving the plant giving them more space to grow and produce food.
Keep the seedlings well-watered for the first week as they will be used to getting daily water. For tender seedlings you can harden them off by moving them gradually into direct light before planting them out.
5. Save time by using no-dig garden beds
To make a new garden bed in your backyard the easiest way is to create a no-dig garden bed. Layer the ground with newspaper or cardboard and top with compost. Add a thick layer of straw mulch over the top of the compost and you can plant straight away.
Make sure the compost layer is at least 4 inches thick and the seedling is planted into the compost layer.
You can also wait 2-4 weeks as setting up the garden bed for the cardboard or newspaper to smother the weeds and then plant into the compost. Move the mulch back so you can reach the compost layer and it will be the perfect weed-free place to grow your vegetables with very little effort and time.
6. Make an instant garden in grow bags
Buy a bag of ready made potting soil and you can plant straight into it. These bags have been specially designed to contain soil that will easily grow vegetables. This is the quickest way to set up a nutrient rich garden to grow your vegetables.
You simply put some holes in the bottom of the bag for drainage, place it in a sunny spot in your garden and cut holes in the top of the bag to fit your plants. The bag will quickly make a new, weedless garden bed for you to grow vegetables in.
For deeper growing vegetables like tomatoes and peppers, layer two grow bags on top of each other to add extra soil depth. Check out this video below for a great way to use grow bags.
7. Weed less with mulch
Keep any soil area well covered with mulch to prevent weeds from growing and add nutrients to the soil. Save time on weeding by covering garden paths and open garden areas with a mixed tree or bark mulch.
For garden beds that you will grow vegetables in, use a light mulch like straw, hay or sugar cane to cover the soil and stop weeds from growing through. Make sure the mulch is at least 2-3 inches thick to prevent weeds from growing.
8. Use organic fertilizers
The best way to boost your plant’s growth is to use organic fertilizers like fish emulsion and pelleted chicken manure. This improves soil, add nutrients to your soil for your plants and increases leaf and stem growth.
Grow food faster and save time – Summary
Growing food fast is the best way to build confidence when gardening and be motivating. Growing your own food is a great way to live an eco-friendly life and involve kids in learning about sustainability. Start with easy vegetables like lettuce and radish to get a quick harvest and food on the table.