Planting Calendar for Chicago, IL

On average, your last spring frost occurs on April 18 (at CHICAGO UNIV, IL climate station).
Crop Based on Frost Dates   Based on Moon Dates
Start Seeds IndoorsPlant Seedlings
or Transplants
Start Seeds Outdoors
BeansN/AN/A Apr 25-May 16
Apr 25-May 7
BeetsN/AN/A Apr 4-25
Apr 8-21
Bell Peppers Feb 7-21
Feb 7- 9
May 2-23
May 2- 7, May 22-23
N/A
Broccoli Mar 6-21
Mar 6- 9
Mar 28-Apr 18
Mar 28-Apr 7
N/A
Brussels Sprouts Mar 6-21
Mar 6- 9
Mar 21-Apr 11
Mar 24-Apr 7
N/A
Cabbage Feb 21-Mar 6
Feb 23-Mar 6
Mar 21-Apr 4
Mar 24-Apr 4
N/A
Cantaloupes Mar 21-28
Mar 24-28
May 2-23
May 2- 7, May 22-23
N/A
CarrotsN/AN/A Mar 14-28
Mar 14-23
Cauliflower Mar 6-21
Mar 6- 9
Mar 21-Apr 4
Mar 24-Apr 4
N/A
Celery Feb 7-21
Feb 7- 9
Apr 25-May 9
Apr 25-May 7
N/A
Collards Mar 6-21
Mar 6- 9
Mar 21-Apr 11
Mar 24-Apr 7
N/A
CornN/AN/A Apr 18-May 2
Apr 22-May 2
Cucumbers Mar 21-28
Mar 24-28
May 2-23
May 2- 7, May 22-23
N/A
Eggplants Feb 7-21
Feb 7- 9
May 2-23
May 2- 7, May 22-23
N/A
Lettuce Mar 6-21
Mar 6- 9
Apr 4-May 2
Apr 4- 7, Apr 22-May 2
N/A
KohlrabiN/AN/A Mar 21-Apr 11
Mar 24-Apr 7
Leeks Feb 7-21
Feb 7- 9
Mar 21-Apr 11
Mar 24-Apr 7
N/A
OkraN/AN/A May 2-16
May 2- 7
OnionsN/AN/A Mar 21-Apr 11
Mar 21-23, Apr 8-11
ParsnipsN/AN/A Mar 28-Apr 18
Apr 8-18
PeasN/AN/A Mar 6-28
Mar 6- 9, Mar 24-28
PotatoesN/AN/A Apr 11-May 2
Apr 11-21
Pumpkins Mar 21-Apr 4
Mar 24-Apr 4
May 2-23
May 2- 7, May 22-23
N/A
RadishesN/AN/A Feb 21-Mar 14
Feb 21-22, Mar 10-14
SpinachN/AN/A Mar 6-28
Mar 6- 9, Mar 24-28
Squash (Zucchini) Mar 21-Apr 4
Mar 24-Apr 4
May 2-23
May 2- 7, May 22-23
N/A
Sweet Potatoes Mar 21-28
Mar 21-23
May 2-23
May 8-21
N/A
Swiss Chard Mar 6-21
Mar 6- 9
Mar 28-Apr 4
Mar 28-Apr 4
N/A
Tomatoes Feb 21-Mar 6
Feb 23-Mar 6
Apr 25-May 16
Apr 25-May 7
N/A
TurnipsN/AN/A Mar 21-Apr 11
Mar 21-23, Apr 8-11
Watermelons Mar 21-28
Mar 24-28
May 2-23
May 2- 7, May 22-23
N/A

Find the best dates for planting vegetables and fruit in your garden! Our free planting calendar calculates the best time to start seeds indoors and outdoors, as well as when to plant young plants outside.

How to Use the Planting Calendar

Simply put, a planting calendar is a guide that tells you the best time to start planting your garden. Most planting calendars are based on frost dates, which dictate when you should start seeds and when it's safe to plant outdoors in your area. Our planting calendar is customized to your location in order to give you the most accurate information possible.

On the planting calendar below, please note:

  • The Frost Dates indicate the best planting dates based on your local average frost dates. Average frost dates are based on historical weather data and are the planting guideline used by most gardeners.
  • The Moon Dates indicate the best planting dates based on your local frost dates and Moon phases. Planting by the Moon is considered a more traditional technique.
  • The Plant Seedlings or Transplants dates indicate the best time to plant young plants outdoors. This includes plants grown from seed at home and plants bought from a nursery. Although frost dates are a good way to know approximately when to start gardening, always check a local forecast before planting outdoors!
  • When no dates appear in the chart, that starting method is not recommended for that particular plant. Some crops do best when started outdoors rather than indoors, while others prefer the opposite.
  • Click on the name of a plant to see our corresponding Growing Guide.

To plan your garden more accurately in the future, keep a record of your garden's conditions each year, including frost dates and seed-starting dates!