When do I plant? Should I plant seeds or transplants? What about seed spacing? Find what works best for backyard vegetable growers in Central Illinois!   

planting dates for common crops in illinois

    

Vegetable  Seed/ Transplant  Spacing
Asparagus  Crowns (roots) Place Crowns 12-18 inches apart, 6 inches deep, spread roots and cover crown bud with 2 inches of soil
Bean (Bush) Seed Plant seeds 2-4 inches apart, 1- inch deep  
Bean (Pole) Seed Plant seeds 4-6 inches apart, 1-inch deep
Beet Seed Plant seeds ½ inch deep, 1- inch apart, soak seeds in water before planting, thin seeds to 2 inches   
Cabbage  Transplant  Plant 12-24 inches apart
Carrot Seed  Plant seeds ½ inch deep, ½ inch apart, mix with sand to spread small seed more evenly, thin to 1 inch, slow to germinate  
Cauliflower  Transplant  Plant 18-24 inches apart 
Chard  Seed or Transplant Plant seed 1” deep, 2-4 inches apart, Plant 4-6” apart  
Corn   Seed  Plant seed 1” deep, 12 inches apart
Cucumber Seed  Plant seeds 1” deep, 12 inches apart
Eggplant  Transplant  Plant 18-24 inches apart
Endive Seed  Broadcast ¼ inch deep, thin to 9 inches
Kale  Seed  ½ inch deep, thin seedlings to 12”
Kohlrabi  Seed  ¼-1/2 inch deep, thin to 4 inches apart
Lettuce  Seed  Broadcast seed ¼ inch deep, thin to 4 inches
Muskmelon  Seed  Plant 1 inch deep, thin to 24 inches
Mustard  Seed Plant ½ inch deep, thin to 4 inches
Okra  Transplants  Plant 12-24 inches apart
Onion  Sets (bulbs) For bulbs, plant 1 inch deep, 4 inches apart. For green onions, plant 1 inch deep 2 inches apart
Peas  Seed 1” deep, 1 inch apart
Pepper  Transplant  Plant 24 inches apart. *Peppers can be planted as late as June 15.
Potato  Whole Potatoes or 2 oz. 'Seed' Pieces with two eyes each Plant 12 inches apart and cover with 2 inches of soil
Pumpkin Seed Plant seed 1 inch deep, 4-5  seeds per hill, 3-6 feet between hills, thin to best 2-3 seedlings 
Radish  Seed  Plant ½ inch deep , 1-4 inches apart
Rhubarb  Roots with crown bud Plant 2 inches below surface, 3-4 feet apart
Rutabaga  Seed  Plant ½ inch deep,  thin to 6 inches apart when plants are 2 inches tall  
Spinach  Seed  Broadcast ½ inch deep, thin to 2-4” apart
Squash summer  Seed  Plant 1 inch deep, 2 seeds every 2-3’, thin the weaker seedling
Squash winter  Seed  Plant 1 inch deep, 4 seeds per hill, 6 feet between hills , thin hill to best two plants
Sweet Potato  Slips (vine transplants) Plant 12 inches apart on raised 8 inch ridge of soil
Tomato  Transplant Plant entire stem up to the top two leaves, 24-36 inches apart 
Turnips  Seed Plant seeds ½ inch deep,  thin to 2-4 inches apart when plants are 4” tall
Watermelon    Seed Plant 3-4 seeds 1 inch deep, 4- 6 feet apart,  thin to two strongest seedlings