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:

We are well entrenched in winter at the start of February but hopefully we can see a glimpse or two of the beginnings of spring by the time we get to the end of the month. But even with snow and cold outside, there is a lot of gardening we can still do!


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.) Winter damage and repair

1. When weather allows, 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 and gently push back into the soil any perennials that have heaved out with cycles of freeze and thaw. Check any tender bulbs you are storing for signs of decay.

2.) Order seeds for starting vegetables indoors.

2. Order seeds, especially for vegetables you plant to start indoors, including tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Place orders early to avoid your favorite varieties selling out and don’t be afraid to try new varieties.

  • Tomato, Honeycomb Hybrid, , large
  • Pepper, Sweet, Slovana Hybrid, , large
  • Eggplant, White Knight Hybrid, , large

3.) Prune fruit trees when temps are above freezing.

3. Prune fruit trees and grape vines later in the month if temperatures are above freezing. Growing grapes and fruit trees like apples and peaches in your garden can be rewarding when the vines and trees are properly cared for.

4.) Order seeds for starting early flowers & vegetables seeds indoors.

4. 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, Atlas Mix, , large
  • Cabbage, Napa, Red Dragon Hybrid, , large
  • Broccoli, Eastern Magic Hybrid, , large

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

5. Set up an area for starting seeds indoors. Even without brightly lit south-facing windows, you can successfully start seeds indoors and have healthy plants ready for spring planting with good supplemental lighting and growing equipment.

  • Seedlings Heat Mat, , large
  • Burpee Two Tier Lighting Cart, , large
  • 72 Cell Self-Watering Ultimate Growing System, , large