Baby vegetables are commonly vegetables harvested before they reach full size and served whole while they are small, delicate, succulent, and tasty. Other baby vegetables have been especially bred to be flavorful while still small.
Because baby vegetables are harvested small they can be planted very close together. This makes baby vegetables well suited for small gardens or container growing.
For standard vegetables harvested at baby size, a succession of the same crop is possible: first young plants are harvested as baby vegetables then the remaining plants are left to grow on to harvest at maturity--as fully developed vegetables.
Some baby vegetables are formed after the main crop has been harvested. For example, after full size artichokes are harvested smaller artichokes will form lower down the plant. The same is true for Brussels sprouts and broccoli spears.
Baby vegetables bred for harvest small are dwarf varieties. Dwarf varieties include 'Little Finger' carrots which grow to just 3 inches long at maturity and 'Parmex' carrots that grow to 1½ inches long and 2 inches wide when mature. 'Red Currant' and 'Yellow Currant' are cherry-type tomatoes that are full-flavored at just ½ inch across.