What We’re Planting NOW!

Summer is here in Chicagoland and, if you planted earlier this spring, most of your cool-weather crops have matured and been harvested, leaving open spaces in your plot. Others may be just about ready to pick. Or maybe you are starting your garden for the first time this season and are unsure what to plant. Here’s what we’re planting now.

As seeds, planted directly into the ground:

  • cucumbers, beans, summer squash, zucchini, swiss chard, bush beans (choose seeds that have around 50 days to maturity – this should be listed on the seed packet)
  • leaf lettuce, head lettuce, arugula, beets, radishes and carrots (these need to be kept well-watered; some shade is even better!) Tip: utilize shade created by larger plants in your plot to keep them cool and moist!

As seedlings (young plants): Choose plants that are in a 4″ pot or larger, and greater than 6″ tall (bigger IS better).

  • chile peppers, sweet peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, many herbs including basil (if planted now, these will be ready to harvest around Labor Day).
Zucchini occupies space left by a harvested cauliflower. In the background; cabbage and cauliflower ready to harvest. More zucchini will be seeded in their places.

Zucchini occupies space left by a harvested cauliflower. In the background; cabbage and cauliflower ready to harvest. More zucchini will be seeded in their places.

Looking forward to broccoli, rapini, cauliflower, bok choy, spinach, cabbage and kale? These can be seeded indoors now and through mid-July, then transplanted outdoors around four weeks later.  Be sure to choose seeds that will mature within 80-85 days. These will be ready to harvest just in time for the season’s first frost, around the end of October. Check out our Seed Starting for Fall Crops class HERE!