10 Fast Growing Salad Vegetables

Would you like to grow your own healthy salad vegetables at home?

There are many salad greens and sprouts that you can grow in containers on your kitchen windowsill or bench top, that will be ready to harvest in a few days or weeks.

Here are 10 easy and fast growing salad vegetables to plant at home.

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fast growing salad plants

1. Lettuce

Oakleaf and butter lettuce are quick growing varieties of lettuce that mature in 45 to 55 days. [1]

You don’t have to wait for the lettuces to grow to full size though; you can pick off a few of the outside leaves as you need them.

There’s nothing like fresh, crispy lettuce leaves straight from the garden.

You can plant a few seeds every couple of weeks to have a steady supply of lettuce for salads and sandwiches.

salad plants

2. Microgreens

Microgreens are leafy greens that are harvested when they have about four leaves.

Some of the quickest growing microgreens are broccoli, radish and cress.

To grow your own microgreens at home, fill a small tray with potting mix and sprinkle the seeds on the surface. Place the tray on a sunny windowsill and keep the soil moist.

You could also use a self-watering microgreens kit to make it easier.

The microgreens will be ready to harvest in about a week and you can snip them off with a pair of scissors as you need them.


3. Alfalfa Sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts are fast growing salad sprouts that will be ready to eat in about 5 to 7 days.

To grow your own alfalfa sprouts, add a tablespoon of alfalfa seeds to a sprouting jar or a glass jar covered with gauze or cheesecloth.

Fill the jar with water and then let the water drain out. Do this every day until the sprouts are ready to eat.

This is a great project to get kids interested in gardening.

salad sprouts

4. Arugula

Arugula, also known as rocket or roquette, is a fast growing, slightly bitter salad green from the same family as broccoli and kale.

It’s ready to harvest in about 40 days, so you can plant it in the garden in spring and harvest it in summer or plant it in late summer for a fall harvest.

If you live in a warm climate, you can also grow arugula in winter or you can grow it indoors in a container.


5. Cress

Cress is another fast growing salad plant that is ready to harvest in about 5 to 7 days after planting.

You can sprinkle the seeds onto moist paper towel and after a couple of days when the seeds have sprouted, move it to a bright windowsill.

The stalks can be snipped off at the base with a pair of scissors as needed and used in salads.

Cress can also be planted in a pot and grown for a bit longer for larger seedlings.

garden cress

6. Kale

Kale can be eaten raw in salads if it’s picked early while it’s still tender.

You can try purple kale or curly blue kale and harvest them at about 25 days for crisp salad leaves. [2]

Kale plants grow best in cool weather and they’re frost hardy.

RELATED: How To Grow Kale Indoors


7. Beet Greens

Most people grow beets for the roots, but the leaves are also edible and make a nice addition to salads.

Beet roots are ready to harvest in 45 to 60 days but you can start harvesting the greens when they get to about 6 inches (15 cm) tall.

The leaves can be snipped off as you need them but you’ll need to leave a few leaves on the plant if you’re planning to harvest the root as well.

beet greens

8. Baby Spinach

Baby spinach is a cold hardy salad vegetable that ideal for providing some greenery to your meals over the winter months.

The seeds can be planted directly in the garden and they’ll be ready to harvest in 4 to 6 weeks.

Individual leaves can be harvested as needed or you can pick the whole plant at once.

RELATED: How To Grow Baby Spinach

Salad vegetables

9. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is related to beets and has a slightly bitter taste, similar to spinach, and the leaves and stalks are both edible.

It takes about 50 to 65 days for the plants to mature but you can begin harvesting a few of the outside leaves well before that.

swiss chard

10. Chicory

Chicory is a cool season plant that is ideal for adding some freshness to your winter meals.

The plants produce a rosette of green leaves that have a bitter, spicy taste.

When you’re ready to harvest your chicory, cut it just above the soil level and it will quickly re-sprout.


So there are 10 fast growing salad greens that are easy to grow at home.

Having your own fresh greens on hand is a great way to get more healthy vegetables into your diet and they taste much better than store bought salad vegies too!

Here’s a quick video that shows how to grow an endless supply of lettuce and salad greens in containers.


Have you tried growing any of these salad vegetables? Let me know in the comments below.

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Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener and designer with over 10 years experience. I have a passion for small space gardening and I love designing and creating beautiful outdoor spaces that maximize the potential of small urban gardens. Read more

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. I couldn’t have come across this post at a better time. We have just created a garden bed with a lovely stone feature around it. Initially, we were thinking to grow flowers and perhaps have a water feature but I’m going to suggest we try growing some great salad items on this list. Hopefully, it will all work out well and if so, I look forward to seeing how our own vegetables taste when compared to the store. Fingers crossed that it turns out well.

    1. Kelly Martin

      That sounds great Nicole. It’s always nice to be able to pick your own home-grown vegies. I hope your new garden goes well!

  2. Aryanne Padilha

    Yum. I love salad and will eat the crap out of kale, arugula, and spinach. My mouth was actually watering while I was reading it haha. I have enough space in my backyard, I should totally plant these salad vegetables.

  3. Scott DeNicola

    I am a salad eater and have eaten just about all of these except for beet greens. I never realized that the leaves were useable in salad. Each year we grow lettuces of different varieties like romaine, and Bibb. It is great that you can just pick off leaves as you need them.

  4. Subhashish Roy

    These are such lovely plants for salads at home. Some of these sound new though to me as we do not see it here in our stores. Thanks for all the happy green.

  5. Despite Pain

    Fantastic post. There’s nothing like freshly picked veges from your own garden, and your post shows just how easy it can be to grow them. When I was a young girl, I grew cress. It was fascinating because it was so fast-growing. It encouraged me to enjoy growing plants and to eat healthy food.

  6. Lindsay Brown

    I love microgreens! They are so easy to grow and add so much to sandwiches and salads. Great article, this makes me want to start up a little indoor container garden in my kitchen this winter!

  7. Luna S

    Alfalfa Sprouts are really good in grilled chicken sandwiches and I love them in my egg rolls as well. This post has a lot of helpful information, thanks for putting this together! We love eating salads in our house.

  8. Lene

    I have seen growing kits that you can use in apartments, even small ones. Might be worth looking into — the idea of harvesting your own salad, right there, it’s wonderful

  9. Smita

    I love sprouts and grow them often at home! Didn’t realize there were so many other greens that I can have fresh at home!

  10. Melanie williams

    I love fresh salad and fruits. For me baby spinach is something I need to use much more.

  11. Live Learn Better

    This information is so timely! I am thinking of growing salad vegetables and Kale is one of my favorites. Thank you for sharing.

  12. LuLu B - Calabrisella Mia

    I wish I had space for a garden to grow some salad vegetables! I’m lucky to have a fruit market nearby so I can get these things fresh daily, but I have always loved the satisfaction of growing vegetables myself. I may have to try growing some sprouts in my kitchen!

  13. Daphne takahashi

    Yum! Loved this list! I’ll definitely give it a try and plant some of them. Eating healthier is one of my goals this year!

  14. Lyosha

    Awesome list! I think I will try to grow some for myself this summer! eating healthy for less is a great idea

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