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Planting Calendar for Chicago, IL | Almanac.com

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Planting Calendar for Chicago, IL

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The planting calendar below tells you when to plant in the SPRING and also plant in the FALL, based on your zip code or postal code.

Fall Planting Calendar

When we say "fall," we really mean planting in summer in time for a fall harvest. Think of this as a second summer! It's easy to keep the crops going if you're already prepared the soil! 

Many crops that would be started indoors for a spring crop can just be plunked into the soil directly for a fall crop. Not only is the soil already warm but also there are less pests and it tends to be rainier so you don't need to water as often. Some fall vegetables need to be harvested by the first frost but also many are frost-tolerant—and even taste better after a kiss of fall frost!

See each plant's individual Growing Guide for more specific planting, plant care, and harvesting information.

Spring Planting Calendar

Our spring planting calendar starts with the very first dates that you can plant (based on the last spring frost). But if you've missed these dates, no worries! This is why we've added "last planting dates" to our spring calendar; this is meant to help new gardeners understand that if they missed the first spring planting window, they can still get crops in the ground.

In fact, many crops with short maturity times (such as radishes) can be succession planted all the way through the summer in northern areas. However, note that some cool-seasons crops such as kale and lettuce do not grow well in hot temperatures, which can cause bolting issues.  For some gardeners, especially in the South, a break to avoid summer heat is needed, but they can start once the heat has passed. 

The dates provided are based on the number of weeks before or after frost, so we can provide a unique calendar to every user in the country. Thus several crops (especially similar crops) may appear to have the same date. Kale and lettuce, for example, or dates for starting seeds, like broccoli and cabbage. 

Specifically, on the charts, there are different columns labeled as follows:

  1. Start Seeds Indoors: When to sow seeds indoors to get an early start on the season.
  2. Plant Seedlings Outdoors: When to put small seedlings that you grew indoors (OR starter plants that you bought at a garden nursery) in the outdoor soil.
  3. Start Seeds Outdoors: When to plant seeds directly into the outdoor soil.
  4. Last Date to Plant: You may plant any time from the "start seeds" dates until this "last date." Don't wait any longer, or the crop won't have time to get to harvest before fall/winter frosts.

The "Moon Dates" indicate the best planting dates based on Moon phases. You can learn more about this age-old technique below.

When N/A appears in the chart, that starting method is typically not recommended, although it is likely still possible. 

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Planting Dates for Spring

On average, your last spring frost occurs on April 17 (at CHICAGO NORTHERLY IS, IL climate station, elevation 583 feet).
CropFrost Based on Frost Dates
Moon Based on Moon Dates
Start Seeds IndoorsPlant Seedlings
or Transplants
Start Seeds OutdoorsLast Date to Plant
ArugulaFrost Feb 20-Mar 5
Moon Feb 20-24
Frost Mar 27-Apr 10
Moon Apr 8-10
Frost Mar 20-27
Moon Mar 20-25
Oct 4
AsparagusN/AN/AFrost Apr 3-17
Moon Apr 3- 7
Apr 17
BasilFrost Mar 5-20
Frost May 1-15
Moon May 7-15
Frost May 1-15
Moon May 7-15
Sep 20
BeetsN/AFrost Apr 3-17
Moon Apr 3- 7
Frost Mar 20-27
Moon Mar 26-27
May 1
Bell PeppersFrost Feb 6-20
Moon Feb 9-20
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
N/AAug 9
Bok ChoyFrost Mar 5-20
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
May 29
BroccoliFrost Feb 20-Mar 5
Moon Feb 20-24
Frost Apr 3-17
Moon Apr 8-17
Frost Mar 20-27
Moon Mar 20-25
Aug 30
Brussels SproutsFrost Mar 5-20
Frost Apr 3-17
Moon Apr 8-17
Frost Mar 20-27
Moon Mar 20-25
Jul 26
CabbageFrost Feb 20-Mar 5
Moon Feb 20-24
Frost Apr 3-17
Moon Apr 8-17
Frost Mar 20-27
Moon Mar 20-25
Jul 19
CantaloupesFrost Mar 27-Apr 10
Moon Apr 8-10
Frost Apr 17-May 1
Moon Apr 17-23
Frost Apr 24-May 1
Jul 26
CarrotsN/AN/AFrost Mar 20-Apr 3
Moon Mar 26-Apr 3
Aug 23
CauliflowerFrost Mar 5-20
Frost Apr 10-24
Moon Apr 10-23
N/AAug 23
CeleryFrost Jan 23-Feb 6
Moon Jan 23-25
Frost Apr 24-May 8
Moon May 7- 8
Frost Apr 17
Moon Apr 17
Aug 23
ChivesFrost Feb 20-Mar 5
Moon Feb 20-24
Frost Mar 27-Apr 3
Frost Mar 27-Apr 3
Sep 6
Cilantro (Coriander)N/AN/AFrost Apr 17-May 1
Moon Apr 17-23
May 8
CollardsFrost Mar 5-20
Frost Apr 3-17
Moon Apr 8-17
Frost Mar 27-Apr 3
Aug 23
CornN/AN/AFrost May 1-15
Moon May 7-15
Aug 16
CucumbersFrost Mar 27-Apr 3
Frost Apr 24-May 8
Moon May 7- 8
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
Aug 23
DillN/AN/AFrost Apr 10-May 1
Moon Apr 10-23
Sep 6
Dry BeansN/AN/AFrost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
Jul 26
EggplantsFrost Feb 20-Mar 5
Moon Feb 20-24
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
N/AAug 23
Fava Beans (Broad Beans)N/AN/AFrost Mar 20-27
Moon Mar 20-25
May 1
FennelFrost Mar 5-20
Frost Apr 24-May 1
Frost Apr 17-May 1
Moon Apr 17-23
Aug 16
GarlicN/AN/AN/A
Green BeansN/AN/AFrost Apr 24-May 15
Moon May 7-15
Aug 23
Honeydew MelonsFrost Mar 27-Apr 3
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
Aug 2
Jalapeño PeppersFrost Feb 6-20
Moon Feb 9-20
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
N/A
KaleFrost Feb 20-Mar 5
Moon Feb 20-24
Frost Apr 3-17
Moon Apr 8-17
Frost Mar 20-27
Moon Mar 20-25
May 1
KohlrabiFrost Mar 5-20
Frost Mar 27-Apr 3
Frost Mar 20-27
Moon Mar 20-25
May 1
LeeksFrost Feb 6-20
Moon Feb 9-20
Frost Mar 27-Apr 10
Moon Apr 8-10
N/AJul 19
LettuceFrost Mar 5-20
Frost Mar 27-Apr 3
Frost Mar 20-27
Moon Mar 20-25
May 1
Mustard GreensN/AN/AN/A
OkraFrost Mar 20-Apr 3
Moon Mar 20-25
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
Frost May 1-15
Moon May 7-15
Aug 23
Onion SetsN/AFrost Mar 20-Apr 3
Moon Mar 26-Apr 3
N/AJul 26
OreganoFrost Feb 6-Mar 5
Moon Feb 9-24
Frost Apr 24-May 8
Moon May 7- 8
N/AAug 23
ParsleyFrost Feb 6-20
Moon Feb 9-20
Frost Apr 24-May 8
Moon May 7- 8
Frost Mar 20-Apr 24
Moon Mar 20-25, Apr 8-23
Aug 16
ParsnipsN/AN/AFrost Mar 20-27
Moon Mar 26-27
Jul 26
PeasN/AN/AFrost Mar 20-27
Moon Mar 20-25
May 1
PotatoesN/AN/AFrost Mar 20-Apr 3
Moon Mar 26-Apr 3
Aug 23
PumpkinsFrost Mar 27-Apr 10
Moon Apr 8-10
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
Jul 19
RadishesN/AN/AFrost Mar 20-27
Moon Mar 26-27
Sep 6
RosemaryFrost Jan 23-Feb 6
Moon Jan 23-25
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
N/ASep 6
SageFrost Feb 20-Mar 5
Moon Feb 20-24
Frost Apr 24-May 8
Moon May 7- 8
N/AAug 16
SalsifyN/AN/AFrost Mar 20-Apr 3
Moon Mar 26-Apr 3
Jul 26
SpinachFrost Mar 5-20
Frost Mar 27-Apr 3
Frost Mar 20-27
Moon Mar 20-25
May 1
Sweet PotatoesN/AN/AFrost May 1-15
Moon May 1- 6
Jul 19
Swiss ChardFrost Mar 5-20
Frost Apr 3-17
Moon Apr 8-17
Frost Mar 27-Apr 17
Moon Apr 8-17
May 1
ThymeFrost Feb 6-20
Moon Feb 9-20
Frost Apr 24-May 1
N/AAug 9
TomatillosFrost Mar 5-20
Frost May 1-15
Moon May 7-15
N/AAug 16
TomatoesFrost Feb 20-Mar 5
Moon Feb 20-24
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
N/AAug 2
TurnipsN/AN/AFrost Mar 20-27
Moon Mar 26-27
Oct 4
WatermelonsFrost Mar 27-Apr 10
Moon Apr 8-10
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
Frost Apr 24-May 1
Aug 2
Winter SquashFrost Mar 27-Apr 3
Frost Apr 24-May 8
Moon May 7- 8
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
Jul 12
Zucchini and Summer SquashFrost Mar 27-Apr 3
Frost Apr 24-May 8
Moon May 7- 8
Frost May 1- 8
Moon May 7- 8
Aug 30

Planting Dates for Fall

On average, your first fall frost occurs on November 1 (at CHICAGO NORTHERLY IS, IL climate station).
CropFrost Based on Frost Dates
Moon Based on Moon Dates
Start Seeds OutdoorsTransplantAverage Days to MaturityFrost Tolerance
ArugulaFrost Sep 13-Oct 18
Moon Sep 13-17, Oct 2-17
N/A40Frost-hardy
BeetsFrost Aug 9-Sep 6
Moon Aug 20-Sep 1
N/A50Frost-tolerant
Bok ChoyFrost Aug 23-Sep 13
Moon Sep 2-13
N/A50Frost-tolerant
BroccoliFrost Aug 2- 9
Moon Aug 4- 9
Frost Aug 23-Sep 6
Moon Sep 2- 6
60Frost-tolerant
Brussels SproutsFrost Jul 12-26
Moon Jul 12-21
N/A100Frost-hardy
CabbageFrost Aug 2- 9
Moon Aug 4- 9
Frost Aug 23-30
90Frost-tolerant
CarrotsFrost Aug 16-23
Moon Aug 20-23
N/A70Frost-tolerant
CauliflowerFrost Jul 26-Aug 2
Frost Aug 9-16
Moon Aug 9-16
75Frost-tolerant
ChivesFrost Aug 9-Sep 6
Moon Aug 9-19, Sep 2- 6
N/A70Frost-tolerant
FennelFrost Aug 2-16
Moon Aug 4-16
N/A80Tender
GarlicFrost Nov 14-28
Moon Nov 16-28
N/A120Frost-hardy
Green BeansFrost Aug 16-30
Moon Aug 16-19
N/A55Tender
KaleFrost Aug 23-Sep 6
Moon Sep 2- 6
N/A60Frost-hardy
KohlrabiFrost Aug 30-Sep 20
Moon Sep 2-17
N/A45Frost-tolerant
LettuceFrost Aug 23-Sep 6
Moon Sep 2- 6
N/A60Frost-tolerant
Mustard GreensFrost Aug 30-Sep 20
Moon Sep 2-17
N/A45Tender
PeasFrost Aug 23-Sep 6
Moon Sep 2- 6
N/A55Tender
RadishesFrost Sep 20-Oct 4
Moon Sep 20-Oct 1
N/A25Frost-tolerant
SpinachFrost Sep 13-Oct 4
Moon Sep 13-17, Oct 2- 4
N/A30Frost-hardy
Swiss ChardFrost Aug 23-Sep 6
Moon Sep 2- 6
N/A60Frost-tolerant
TurnipsFrost Aug 30-Sep 13
Moon Aug 30-Sep 1
N/A50Frost-tolerant
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