Regional Gardening Guide - Zone 5-6

September 1 to September 30-- Discover what you should be doing right now. Our experts share gardening advice, techniques, news, and ideas to make your garden the best ever.

Here’s what’s happening in your gardening region:

The tone of the garden changes in September when we begin to see the changes of the season occur more rapidly. But there is still a lot of gardening to do after Labor Day before we have to pick up rakes and start raking away the leaves.


map for zone 5-6

Your Regional reporter

Carol Michel regional reporter photo

Carol Michel is a lifelong gardener and resident of Indiana with a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture Production from Purdue University.
She regularly writes gardening related topics for Indiana Gardening and on her award-winning garden blog, She is the author of the recently released book Potted & Pruned: Living a Gardening Life.

To see what Carol's doing in her garden. Click Here!

1.) Make plans to plant flower bulbs in your garden for early spring flowers, including crocuses.

1. We often think of tulips for spring flowers, but there are several smaller bulbs, including those for crocuses, that are easy to plant and provide a dash of color in the garden as early as February. Now is the time to learn about and purchase those bulbs.


2.) Plant garlic now to harvest next summer.

2. Garlic is easy to plant. Each clove will produce a nice sized bulb ready to harvest in late June/early July the following year. Choose hardneck varieties for Zones 5 & 6 for best results.

  • Garlic, Montana Giant, , large
  • Garlic, Music, , large
  • Garlic, Italian Late, , large

3.) Harvest and enjoy winter squash, pumpkins and other late ripening vegetables.

3. In the kitchen, as the weather starts to cool down, it’s time to start enjoying soups and other dishes that use the last of the harvest.

4.) Sow cover crops and quick ripening crops like radishes to keep the weeds from taking over in the vegetable garden.

4. Cover crops can be cut down and turned over in the spring. Cold tolerant vegetables, such as radishes, can be harvested in as few as 30 days.

  • Cover Crop, Winter Rye, , large
  • Radish, Cherry Belle, , large
  • Radish, French Breakfast Organic, , large

5.) Extend the growing season by using row covers to keep off frost.

5. Use floating row covers if you want to extend the harvest in the fall. Row covers trap heat during the day and then release it at night, keeping those late crops growing just a little bit longer.

  • Floating Row Cover, , large
  • TunLcover, , large
  • Burpee Exclusive Adjustable Frost Protection Kit, , large