Regional Gardening Guide - Zone 5-6

February 1 to February 28-- 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:

February starts to look a little more hopeful for gardeners in the Midwest. Though it is still cold and snowy, we can often find the earliest blooms of crocuses and snowdrops on warm, sunny days. Indoors, it’s time to start sowing seeds for early spring vegetables.


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.) Check garden for winter damage.

1. Weather permitting, check around the garden for winter damage. Though snow is a good insulator, it can also cause problems so look for damage caused by snow and ice. Be alert for rodent and deer damage as well. Check any tender bulbs you are storing for the winter.


2.) Start vegetable seeds indoors.

2. Order seeds, especially for vegetables you plant to start indoors, including tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. To ensure you get the varieties you want, order early and don’t be afraid to try new varieties.

  • Tomato, Damsel Hybrid, , large
  • Pepper, Sweet, Confetti Hybrid, , large
  • Eggplant, Listada de Gandia , , large

3.) Prune fruit trees.

3. Prune fruit trees when temperatures are above freezing. Growing fruit trees like apples, pears, and peaches in your garden can be rewarding when the trees are properly cared for.

4.) Set up an area for starting seeds indoors.

4. Even without brightly lit windows, you can successfully start seeds indoors and have healthy plants ready for spring planting if you use supplemental lighting.

  • Tabletop Glow ‘n Grow Light, , large
  • Burpee Two Tier Lighting Cart, , large
  •  Deluxe LED Glow N Grow Light Garden Cart, , large

5.) Start seeds indoors for early flowers & veggies.

5. Start seeds indoors for the earliest flowers and vegetables including pansies, cabbage, and broccoli. These plants can be planted in the garden well before the last frost so are some of the earliest to start indoors.

  • Pansy, Moulin Rouge, , large
  • Cabbage, Early Jersey Wakefield, , large
  • Broccoli, Gypsy Hybrid, , large