When the temperature drops in the fall or it is slightly warming up in the early spring, it’s an ideal time to grow some of my favorite veggies, especially for beginner gardeners or those aiming to enhance their meals with organic goodness. Cool weather provides the perfect conditions for a fast-growing kitchen garden. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or a home-grow enthusiast seeking a quick harvest, let’s roll up our sleeves and explore the green goodness of vegetables that thrive in chillier climates – ready to pick in under 30 days!

Here in Central Texas (where I live), we’re currently experiencing our Cool (Winter) Season, but we’ll soon be moving into the Warm Season for spring. The cool season is when your city’s average high temperature is 65°F (18°C) or below and there is a chance of frost or freezing temperatures. This season offers the opportunity to harvest some of the most delicious produce from your garden, and I have picked five plants you can grow in just one month to make the most of this cool season.

5 Quick Veggies to Grow in the Cool Season

  • radishes

  • green onions

  • lettuce

  • spinach

  • pea shoots

Central Texas Monthly Planting Guide

Take all the guesswork out of your seasonal planting.

$10

1. Radishes: The Speedy Sprouters

Radishes are like that friend who’s always first to arrive at the party – they sprout up faster than you can say “salad crunch”! With a variety as wide as the sky is blue, radishes can add peppery pops of color to your meals. From the fiery ‘Cherry Belle‘ to the milder ‘French Breakfast‘, there’s a radish for each day of the week.

To get these little rockets racing, choose a spot with decent sun and loose soil so their roots don’t have to wrestle their way down. Sow radish seeds 2-4 inches apart and cover with 1/4 -1/2 inch of soil. Keep them moist (not drowned!), and in no time, you’ll be tugging out radishes faster than you can toss them in your salad bowl. And don’t toss those leafy tops – they’re totally edible and great for a zesty pesto.

Don’t forget that radish greens are also edible and can be harvested while you’re waiting on a nice root to form. Try roasting your greens or making a radish greens pesto.

Learn more about growing radishes HERE.

radish harvest

2. Green Onions: The Flavorful Firecrackers

Need to add a sprinkle of zing to your dishes? Green onions leap from the ground, eager to join the flavor party. These guys aren’t just quick – they’re practically sprinters in the plant world.

Jam those bulbs into some fertile ground, and as long as they can chill in the sun, they’ll rocket up before you’ve had a chance to sharpen your kitchen knives. Snip them at the base when you need a burst of taste. The tops will grow back – it’s like getting endless encores at your favorite gig.

You can grow them from simply chopping off the green part of the green onions you buy from the grocery store and replanting the bottom white portion with roots in your garden. Plant the white bulb of the green onions 1 inch deep into the garden soil. Space 1 to 2 inches apart. The green tops will grow back quickly and give you continuous harvests.

3. Lettuce: The Chilled-out Leaf

In the leafy family, lettuce is the cool cousin that prefers to hang out in lower temps. It’s the base of any solid salad and, lucky for us, it comes in a tapestry of types. Oakleaf, romaine, butterhead – choose your fighter and let’s get planting.

Sprinkle those seeds lightly on top of the soil 4 to 6 inches apart and pat them in like you’re tucking in a wee babe. Lettuce is a surface sprouter that loves a light blanket over its shoulders. Water them with a gentle hand – think morning dew, not a tsunami. Before your next grocery trip, you’ll be harvesting young leaves for a salad fresher than a morning breeze.

A homegrown lettuce bar from your backyard just can’t be beat. Lettuce grows quickly and doesn’t require a lot of space in your garden, so you can play around with growing different varieties.

Some varieties are ready for you to harvest their outer leaves in just 30 days.

Learn more about starting your own salad garden HERE.

4. Spinach: The Nutrient Ninja

Beloved by cartoon sailors and health buffs alike, spinach is a superfood that’s a cinch to grow when the sun takes a hike. These leafy greens dream of cool days and soil rich in organic matter. Think Popeye chugging a can of iron – that’s your spinach gobbling up nutrients and bulking up in tender, tasty leaves.

Sow those seeds shallow and give them space; overcrowding is a no-go, 4 to 6 inches apart is perfect! Spinach is all about personal space and needs at least 4hrs of sunlight. Keep the soil consistently damp and watch for leaf miners. If they invite themselves over, pluck off the affected leaves. One month later, you’ll be flexing your culinary muscles with homegrown greens that pack a punch.

Spinach leaves can be harvested when they are small and will be ready in 30 to 60 days. Take a few outer leaves from several plants as needed and leave the plant to keep on growing and producing for you.

Learn more about growing spinach HERE.

5. Peas: The Cool Pods

Peas love to clamber up when the air is nippy. Whether you fancy snow peas, snap peas, or shelling peas, they’re all game for a speedy grow. Just give them something to cling to – trellises, supports, even a fence if they’re feeling adventurous.

Before planting, soak the peas overnight (but no longer than that) to soften the hard seed coat. Plant immediately after soaking. Plant the seeds about an inch deep and, if you can, keep the birds from thinking you’ve laid out a buffet. Did you know the entire pea plant is edible? Pea shoots will sprout in just a couple of days, and you’ll be able to harvest shoots, which are an immature version of the plant, in just 2 to 3 weeks. These pea shoots are perfect to add to salads or sandwiches.

Learn more about growing sugar snap peas HERE.

when plant sugar snap peas

Wrapping Up the Harvest

So there you have it, garden gang, a quintet of veggies faster than a New York minute and perfect for those of us with more enthusiasm than patience. Starting a cool weather veggie patch is like knitting a snug sweater for your garden – it might sound a bit daunting, but once you get the hang of it, you’re swaddled in success.

Remember, gardening isn’t just about the destination; it’s about basking in the sun, talking to your seedlings (they love a good pep talk), and celebrating the tiny triumphs. So dig in, have fun with it, and keep an eye on the prize: a parade of fresh, homegrown veggies marching straight from your garden onto your plate. Happy planting! 🌱🥕🌿