Regional Gardening Guide - Zone 5-6

October 1 to October 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:

September is a transition month between hot and humid summer days and cool fall weather. We still get some hot days but with the day length getting shorter and the nights slowly getting cooler the mornings are perfect for walking in the garden. Your fall veggie garden should already be up and running and ready for its first dose of fertilizer. They need to grow quickly in fall so that they mature before the frosty weather of October arrives. Late September is a good time to plant garlic bulbs.


map for zone 5-6

Your Regional reporter

Kate Cospey regional reporter photo

Kate is an avid veggie gardener and writer.
She is a board member of the Garden Writer's Association. She authored 2 books: The Downsized Veggie Garden (Feb 2016) and New York & New Jersey Month by Month Gardening is due out Aug 2016.

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

1. Fall color in the garden

Fall color comes from both leaf color and fall flowers. Colors are predominantly yellows and reds but shrubs like Callicarpa have vibrant purple berries. Learn how to add few hardy perennials for color this year and into next year. Pansies and many perennials can be planted in fall.

  • All About Pansies

    Recommended for beginning gardeners. Especially when purchased as bedding plants, pansies are very easy to grow and require only a minimum of care to provide a very long flowering season.

    Read more
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  • Perennials for All Season Color
    The focal point of a great perennial bed is the flower color.
    Read more

2. Bulbs for the garden

Bulbs for the garden – October is the perfect time to plants fall bulbs for next spring. Get a mix of long blooming early, mid and late flowering daffodils. Add some bright blue muscari and a few early iris bulbs for contrast early next year.

  • Muscari, Azureum, , large
  • Daffodils, Mixed, , large

3. Plant garlic

Plant Garlic: Growing your own garlic is perhaps the easiest vegetable to grow. It is planted in fall for an early harvest but can also be planted in late winter for a later harvest. Learn about how to grow garlic and all the varieties that you can grow for your spring meals.

4. Buy garlic

Like many bulbs, garlic can be early or late. Get a mix of garlic to last through spring and summer until your spring planted garlic is ready to be harvested.

  • Garlic, Early Italian, , large
  • Garlic, Kettle River Giant, , large
  • Garlic, Spanish Roja, , large

5. Harvesting fall crops

Extend the Fall Vegetables: Fall vegetables are planted in late summer and harvested when the temperatures fall. Brussel sprouts, kales, carrots and late beans are all great examples of great vegetables for fall harvest. Harvest baskets and plastic totes are great when you are harvesting after a rain storm and have muddy vegetables. Protect the plants when a light frost is forecast and you can extend the harvest of lettuce and carrots for several more weeks.

  • TunLcover, , large
  • Floating Row Cover, , large