As we transition into an autumn climate, you may feel it is too late to plant in Chicago; however, this time of year can be the perfect time to plant! Chicago is normally still warm, with occasional fall days. There are multiple reasons to plant in September, and a variety of plants that will thrive in Chicago during this time. This article will discuss the reasons to start or continue planting right now and the types of plants you can plant in September that will thrive in Chicago.

Why Should I Be Planting Right Now?

There are multiple reasons why you should consider planting on your property. Firstly, The exterior of your home is the first impression of your property. The exterior sets the stage for your guests’ experience when visiting. Whether you want to convey comfort, character, or fun, your outdoor design can offer a glimpse of what your home has to offer.


Furthermore, curb appeal is important not only as first impressions but also can raise your property value and contribute to the collective beauty of the community. Therefore, it is important to enhance your Chicago curb appeal.


Finally, September can be a perfect time to plant specific plants. The soil still holds a bit of heat while the climate is cooling and providing rain to dampen the soil, thus making the perfect conditions for plants. In September, the suitability for planting in Chicago largely depends on factors such as what you intend to plant and the local climate conditions for that specific year.

Here are some general principles to consider for September planting in Chicago:

What You Can Plant In September:

01. Cool-Season Vegetables 

Is it too late to plant cool season vegetables in chicago? Shows someone in white gloves planting leafy greens in the dirt.

If you are looking to grow your garden, it is not too late to plant cool-season vegetables! Early September presents an opportune moment to sow cool-season vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, kale, radishes, and carrots. These crops flourish in the cooler early fall temperatures and can be harvested prior to the arrival of the first frost, typically later in the season.

02. Bulbs

is it too late to plant bulbs in Chicago? A group of yellow tulips along the bottom-left corner of the image and a bright, blue sky on the rest of the image.

September marks the inception of the fall bulb planting season. You can plant spring-blooming bulbs like tulips, daffodils, and crocuses during this time, giving them ample time to establish roots before winter. Once springtime rolls around again, you should have beautiful bulbs sprouting!

It is important to understand what can cause your bulbs not to bloom in the spring so that you can avoid this issue in the future.


03. Annual Flowers

Is it too late to plant annual flowers in Chicago? A close up of someone near their flower bed and a garden shovel as the focus on the photo.

While it may be somewhat late to start growing annual flowers from seeds in September, it is not too late to plant nursery-grown annuals that will infuse your garden with color until the first frost arrives. The soil is still warm and damp, which can get your plants acclimated to the soil before everything hardens from the frost.


04. Grass Seed

Is it too late to plant grass seeds in Chicago? Someone adding grass seeds to a patch in the grass.

Early September is suitable for overseeding an existing lawn or initiating a new one in Chicago. The warm soil and often more consistent rainfall in early fall create favorable conditions for grass seed germination. This would be the perfect time to aerate your lawn to promote growth and increase water infiltration.

05. Perennials, Shrubs, And Trees

Is it too late to plant a tree in Chicago? Someone watering their just planted tree in the ground.

Fall proves an excellent season for introducing perennials, shrubs, and trees into Chicago’s soil. The residual warmth from the summer months encourages robust root development, and the cooler air temperatures ease the stress on recently planted greenery.

It is not too late to plant trees and shrubs. Early fall generally provides favorable conditions for tree planting in Chicago, especially for deciduous trees. The soil retains warmth, encouraging root development, while the cooler weather minimizes stress on newly planted trees. 

Trees and shrubs that are already balled and burlapped can absolutely be planted in the fall. You can also move and plant trees once their leaves have changed color. This indicates that they have started dormancy. 

End Note:

In conclusion, September is not too late to plant in Chicago. It can make for the perfect planting conditions for specific plants. These plants can establish curb appeal, increase property value, and provide beauty for your community. 

Cool-season vegetables, bulbs, annual flowers, grass seeds, shrubs, and trees are great plants to plant in Chicago during the cooler months before winter starts. Provide your exterior with colorful leaves, flowers, and delicious vegetables that will thrive in Chicago.

If you are looking for help on where to begin, reach out to American Gardens today. We have a wide variety of services to give you the curb appeal you dream of.

Contact American Gardens Today!