Hello! I'm Kathy Gallanis and I'm Starting My Gardening Journey in Chicago, IL

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Hello everyone,
I'm excited to be a part of this group! I recently have found myself having more time to dedicate to my gardening passion. I live in the greater Chicago area and have recently tried to challenge myself by diving more into the world of gardening and blogging. I'm excited to learn more about the good and the bad about gardening in such a cold and windy area like Chicago.
Thanks for letting me introduce myself, and I look forward to chatting and interacting with all of you here.
 
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Welcome to the forum. I have heard Chicago is not the easiest place to garden, but I guess it depends what you try to grow.
 
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Hello everyone,
I'm excited to be a part of this group! I recently have found myself having more time to dedicate to my gardening passion. I live in the greater Chicago area and have recently tried to challenge myself by diving more into the world of gardening and blogging. I'm excited to learn more about the good and the bad about gardening in such a cold and windy area like Chicago.
Thanks for letting me introduce myself, and I look forward to chatting and interacting with all of you here.
Welcome.

Chicago area won't pose too much problem for you but you may have to translate what a few on this board are doing into a calendar that fits our area. I was in Rockford, The People's Republic of Illinois for about 15 years and am now back on the right side of the lake in West Michigan.

Look up your local last frost and first frost dates. I expect you'll be around May 15 for last frost date and October 15 for typical first frost date. I usually use Mother's Day as my date to plant out tomatoes and peppers.
 
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Welcome to the forum. I have heard Chicago is not the easiest place to garden, but I guess it depends what you try to grow.
Welcome. I'm about 75 miles south from downtown Chicago. I believe the Chicago zone recently changed to from 5b to 6a. I grew veggies in the small backyard there in my early days. Never had any fungus or disease issues but only grew veggies. I now live in a forest where I fight just about everything. In Chicago, no deer, few wild animals, less insects. Only problem which is everywhere are the squirrels. Peaches seem to grow there better than where I am at. Few friends grow them with no spray for fungus, bacteria or insects.

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Look up your local last frost and first frost dates. I expect you'll be around May 15 for last frost date and October 15 for typical first frost date. I usually use Mother's Day as my date to plant out tomatoes and peppers.
Mothers day is usually the last frost date. Its easy to remember but I got burned a couple times. New plants go outside late may. Seeds I sow outside on morhers day.

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Mother's day is a movable feast, but not only that; in the UK it is in March not May.
I definitely see your point but for Chicago it should be around Mothers day. We all need to keep into account our zone. Not only for survival of our perennials but also for the long term veggies that wont ripen in time or produce in time for a specific zone. An example would be something new I tried last year. Jicama has a long growing season. I stared them indoors. By the time I put them out side the bulb was golf ball size. When I pulled them in october they were fully grown. This year I will do the same but also plan to seed some outdoors just to see if It will work. Sometimes we just need to experiment and see for ourselves what happens. The information we get can sometimes be adjusted. I do believe all the information we get about a specific plant are the conditions of were it was grown. You just need to try and see what happens. Look at failures as a learning lesson. If I fail I wont do it the same way. Try a different approach. Same with my fruit trees. I was told nectarines and cherries are hard to grow for my zone. I didnt listen and yes I failed year after year but I didnt give up. I never gave up and finally had 2 nectarines trees produce last year. Unfortunately, rain exploded all the nectarines on one tree just before they ripened. Yes I was upset but I learned from that. Next time it rains when the fruit is just about ripe. I now know to pick them.

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Yup, I said Mother's Day but I did so in the context of typing toward someone about 80 miles from my house and assuming the same language. While we all have info to share with others here we have to translate it. Like I can't blindly listen to the Texans and I need a dictionary to understand the (messed up) English that you Englishmen use.

@MiniOrchardDude I had tart cherry in Rockford and it worked. The minimum cold wasn't much of a problem but the common "late" frosts damaging the flowers is what got me. Now I have the lake providing me perfect conditions for my mini orchard. That same lake is currently acting as a snow making machine. 18 inches of snow in my driveway in less than 48 hours.
 
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Yes I hear you. I lived in the east side of Pilsen for 10 years. A couple miles from the lake.

Sour cherries do very well for me. A late blooming varity might be needed closer to the lake. I have
2 nanking sour cherries. A bit small but good enough for fresh eating. 2 Juliet cherries which are horrible. It's gone in the spring since it sending suckers everywhere. 2 Carmine Jewel they are ok but they are naturally a dwarf and look pretty. Keeping that. 1 Surecrop taste bad. 1 more forgot the name but also taste bad. I prefer for fresh eating bit I'll try and make some jam this year.

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