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Many vegetable types are ready to harvest within five or six weeks from sowing. A good start for the first time - or seasoned - grower!

So how do you put a value on the vegetables you grow? How then do you decide which was the most profitable of all the vegetables you grew?

One of the problems in this type of analysis is that of seasonal fluctuations in costs.

Add in the aspect of vegetable quantity per square metre and you are really up against it.

Florence FennelA typical example would be the cost relating to potato growing. Early varieties against main crop types are less time consuming over their growing timescale than main crop, but also have a lesser crop yield per square metre. We are all aware that 'new potatoes' cost considerably more in the green grocers than their maincrop counterparts for a short span of time.

So let's concentrate on the easy to grow vegetables that give the good quantity of harvestable crops. We will not include price in the recommendations because prices will vary from week to week and area to area. We are aiming at good cropping reliable easy vegetables in the minimum of space.

Quickest Cropping Vegetables from Seed Sowing time.

  • Loose Leaf LettuceNon hearting Lettuce - or loose leaf Lettuce - from which you can start removing leaves in under 5 weeks in a good season.
  • Radish are a cert for maturity from seed in around 5 weeks.
  • Spinach will allow you to pick leaves from 5 weeks after sowing.
  • Rocket lives up to its name, and really does rocket up for your sharp knife in 4 or 5 weeks.

2nd Choice for Quick Vegetables.

The following will be ready to harvest in 8 to 10 weeks with meaningful crops.

  • Florence Fennel - once tried will, be a regular for most people. Looks good as well.
  • Spring Onions will always taste better than the greengrocer's bunches, and will be ready in 9 or 10 weeks from sowing.
  • Chinese Cabbage is another worthy inclusion for quick results.
  • Baby carrots taste fantastic and will be ready in this time span.
  • Baby Beetroot have to be tasted to be believed. 9 weeks from sowing for me in a good season!
  • Dwarf French beans will outdo the runner types for a 9 or 10 week crop.
  • Chard, with a great colour selection will be good to look at and  just as good to eat in 10 weeks or maybe less.

So for most of the above vegetables, you will be sowing seed in April and eating well before summer sets in proper!

Best return of crops from one plant...

All of the following can be grown in a relatively small space  - containers even - and producce the best 'crop per plant' statistics. 

  • Runner Beans has to be the Number One for cropping quantity and value.
  • French Beans take up a little bit more space, but crop continuously.
  • Courgettes give continuing crops and are very easy to grow.
  • Spinach, loose leaf lettuce and chard, will keep you in leaves.
  • Tomatoes are a win-win, but need good conditions. Try the cherry types...

|  Vertical Takeoff |  Unusual Vegetable Crops | Stir Fry Vegetables.

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