Tissue engineering approaches using growth factor-functionalized acellular scaffolds to support and guide repair driven by endogenous cells are thought to require a careful balance between cell recruitment and growth factor release kinetics. The objective of this study was to identify a growth factor combination that accelerates progenitor cell migration into self-assembling peptide hydrogels in the context of cartilage defect repair. A novel 3D gel-to-gel migration assay enabled quantification of the chemotactic impact of platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB), heparin-binding insulin-like growth factor-1 (HB-IGF-1), and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) on progenitor cells derived from subchondral bovine trabecular bone (bone-marrow progenitor cells, BM-PCs) encapsulated in the peptide hydrogel [KLDL]3. Only the combination of PDGF-BB and TGF-β1 stimulated significant migration of BM-PCs over a 4-day period, measured by confocal microscopy. Both PDGF-BB and TGF-β1 were slowly released from the gel, as measured using their (125)I-labeled forms, and they remained significantly present in the gel at 4 days. In the context of augmenting microfracture surgery for cartilage repair, our strategy of delivering chemotactic and proanabolic growth factors in KLD may provide the necessary local stimulus to help increase defect cellularity, providing more cells to generate repair tissue.