Regional Gardening Guide

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Regional Gardening Guide - Zone 5-6

October 1 to October 31-- 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:

Fall finally arrives in our gardens but that doesn’t mean it’s time to go inside and ignore it until spring. What we do in the fall actually sets the stage for next year’s garden show.


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's in Carol's Garden Click Here!

1.) Prepare new planting beds in the fall for a quick start in the spring.

1. Get a jump on next year’s garden by preparing garden beds in the fall. Use your own compost to add organic matter or start a compost pile if you don’t have already have one.


2.) Plant spring flowering bulbs like tulips and daffodils.

2. Once the fall chill is in the air and the ground has cooled, we can start planting bulbs for spring flowers. For a big, long lasting display of bright colors, plant a mix of early, mid-season, and late tulips.

  • Tulip, Perennial Tulip, Mix (Darwin), , large
  • Tulip, Early Prince  Mix , , large
  • Tulip, Single Late Mix, , large

3.) Harvest and use the last of the tomatoes, including green tomatoes, before the first frost.

3. Harvest frost sensitive vegetables, including tomatoes, before the first frost. There are several ways to use green tomatoes and even ripen them indoors.

4.) Save some daffodil to force indoors.

4. Save some daffodils to force indoors. Small early to bloom daffodils are easy to force indoors for winter bloom. Save some from your planting to force indoors for color when you really need it.

  • Daffodil, February Gold, , large
  • Tulip, Peach Melba , , large
  • Daffodil, Tete A Tete, , large

5.) Keep watering newly planted trees and shrubs.

5. Keep watering newly planted trees and shrubs in the fall until the ground freezes to help them survive the winter, especially if you don’t get much rain. Having good watering tools makes watering less of a chore.

  • Gatorhyde Coiled Garden Hose, , large
  • Ergonomic 7 Pattern Hand Sprayer, , large
  • Galcon 9001D Hose End LCD Timer, , large