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What To Plant In Zone 6? [Plant Calendar Guide]

Zone 6 experiences winter temperatures around -10 to 0°F, making it impossible for most plants. But, some fruits, perennial flowers, bulbs, and vegetables are winter-hardy and ready to plant in Zone 6.

Some of the crops to plant in Zone 6 are fruits like Apples, Peaches, Pears, Raspberries, and Blackberries, perennials like Asters, Tulips, Bee Balms, Canna, Daffodils, Hostas, Sedum, Salvia, Peonies, and vegetables like Cabbage, Cauliflowers, Corn, Peppers, Tomatoes, Eggplants, and Zucchini.

However, if you are a newbie gardener living in Zone 6, this article will guide you about the plants to grow there. Follow through until the end!

Where and What is Zone 6?

USDA Zone Map is a standard chart for gardeners helping them to grow specific plants based on the average low winter temperature.

Additionally, there are 13 USDA Zones, comprising all the states and some parts of Canada.

Likewise, USDA Zone 6 runs within 36 states, starting from the east in southern New England and stretching south to cover Ohio and northern Texas.

Furthermore, it curves northwest from New Mexico through Utah and Nevada to eastern Oregon and Washington. Toronto, a Canadian state, also falls on Zone 6.

Moreover, Zone 6 encounters winter temperatures of around -10 to 0°F but subdivides into Zone 6a and 6b with a temperature difference of 5°F.

But it experiences true summer and winter, perfect for flowers, fruits, trees, vegetables, bulbs, and perennials.

What to Plant in Zone 6?

To plant in Zone 6, you must wait until mid-March (after the final annual frost).

Gardeners of Zone 6 begin plantation after the winter and continue until mid-November.
Image illustrates suitable plants for Zone 6
Legumes, Brassicas, Berries, and Perennial Flowers can survive the frost of Zone 6.

However, every plant has separate growing seasons and climate demands.

Thus you must look for hardy plant varieties that can withstand the harsh cold climate of Zone 6.

Look and learn about the Zone 6 vegetable and flower planting guide.

MonthsPlant Varieties
January (Mid-Winter)Not available for planting
February (Late Winter)Fruits: Raspberries, Strawberries & Blackberries (Starting Seed Indoors)

Perennials: Snapdragons, Marigolds, Cosmos, Poppies, Lavenders, Lupine, Geraniums, Violas, Penstemons, Impatiens and Begonias (Starting Seed Indoors)

Vegetables & Herbs: Rosemary, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Eggplants, Kale, Brussel Sprouts, Head Lettuce, Kohlrabi, Onions, and Parsley (Starting Seeds Indoors)
March (Early Spring)Fruits: Apples, Plums, Apricots, Pear, Cherries & Peach (Directly Planting Outdoors)

Perennials: Coneflowers, Daylilies, Hosta, Bee Balms, Poppies, Larkspur, Hydrangeas, Roses, Azaleas, Nigella & Rhododendrons (Directly Planting Outdoors)

Vegetables & Herbs: Peas, Potatoes & Parsley (Directly Planting Outdoors)
Tomatoes, Peppers & Eggplants (Starting Seed Indoors)
April (Mid-Spring)Vegetables & Herbs: Cucumbers, Melons, Winter and Summer Squash (Starting Seed Indoors), Broccoli, Cabbage, Kohlrabi & Kale (Transplanting Outdoors), Carrot, Parsnips, Lettuce, Radish, Beets, Turnips, Chards, Leeks, Potatoes & Peas (Directly Planting Outdoors)
May (Late Spring)Vegetables & Herbs: Zucchini Okra & Pumpkin (Starting Seed Indoors)
June (Early Summer)Perennials: Sunflowers, Nasturtiums & Marigolds (Directly Sowing Outdoors)

Vegetables & Herbs: Beets, Potatoes, Carrots & Parsnips (Resowing), Squash, Zucchini, Okra & Pumpkins (Transplanting Outdoors), Beans, Summer Squash Borage & Basil (Directly Sowing Outdoors)
July (Mid-Summer)Fruits: Grapes, Raspberries & Strawberries (Establish New Plantings)

Perennials: Checkered Lilies, Irish Cloud Ballet, Bee Balms, Turkish Delight & Prairie Smoke Flowers (Directly Sowing Outdoors)

Vegetables & Herbs: Cole Crops (Starting Seed Indoors), Radish, Carrots, Beets, Cucumbers, Bush Beans, Chard, Corns, Turnips & Kale (Directly Planting Outdoors)
August (Late Summer)Vegetables & Herbs: Peas (Directly Sowing Outdoors), Brassicas (Starting Seed Indoors), Fall Cover Crops (Directly Sowing Outdoors)
September (Early Fall)Perennials: Spring Flowers & Bulbs (Divide & Transplant)

Vegetables & Herbs: Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Brussel Sprouts & Kale (Starting Seed Indoors), Lettuce, Chards, Spinach & Radishes (Directly Sowing Outdoors)
October (Mid-Fall)Perennials: Crocus, Tulip, Daffodils & Hyacinths (Directly Sowing Outdoors)

Vegetables & Herbs: Garlics, Shallots & Onions (Directly Sowing Outdoors)
November (Late Fall)Perennials: Spring Flowering Bulbs (Directly Sowing Outdoors)
December (Early Winter)Not available for planting

Tips to Plant in Zone 6

You can follow a seasonal routine before planting the crops in Zone 6.

1. Spring (March-May)

  • Head for the early spring (March) by pruning raspberry bushes and woody ornamentals to trigger new growth.
  • Prepare or turn compost piles and groom your yard using a lawn mower to reduce invasive weeds.
  • Clean the fallen debris, leaves, twigs, or stems from the garden.
  • Likewise, set up birdhouses to invite pollinators for ornamental perennials.
  • Remove winter protection from the plants to prepare them for sunny spring.
  • Discard the mulch from low-growing vine plants, creepers, or runners to encourage regrowth.
  • Furthermore, plan new landscaping and garden bed projects firsthand to prevent overcrowding in the later seasons.
  • Fertilize berries and perennials to evoke their regrowth and harden the frost-delicate plants.
  • Moreover, put organic matter in the soil to improve drainage and cover the Brassicas to protect them from pests and pathogens. 

Watch the following video to learn more about planting crops in Zone 6.

2. Summer (June-August)

  • Firstly, monitor for pests and other diseases.
  • Take softwood cuttings of shrubs, berry bushes, and fruit trees for propagation. 
  • Additionally, avoid walking on a wet garden bed after watering to prevent the extent of diseases.
  • Keep trellises for creepers like Honeydews and Cantaloupe.
  • Further, use fresh mulch for the vegetables, woody plants, and perennials.
  • Deadhead perennials like Zinnias, Daises, and Peonies for new growth.
  • Weed the garden regularly to keep unwanted grasses out of the garden.
  • Likewise, avoid the use of high-nitrogen fertilizers for fruiting crops.
  • Check the soil moisture regularly for container-growing plants and hanging baskets.
  • Divide the rhizomatous plants like Irises and cut the aerial parts.
  • Remove the old plants that have stopped producing fruits and new foliage to space the garden beds.

3. Fall (September-November)

  • Inspect for pests like beetles in legume crops.
  • Likewise, wash the summer vegetable plants to keep them safe from pests.
  • You can also divide and transplant Bunching Onions or other fibrous vegetables. 
  • Prepare DIY or commercial mulch for winter fruits, vegetables, and bulbs.
  • Mix the soil with dry leaves, compost, manure, wood ashes, etc.
  • Refrain from heavy fertilizer application for summer crops.
  • Keep out weeds from the low-growing plants and herbs.
  • Similarly, save seeds from the self-pollinating and non-hybrid plants to plant in the following spring.
  • Again, apply mulch over the frozen soil to protect it in winter.
Image represents chicken wire fence around the base of young trees
To prevent attacks from squirrels and rabbits, consider wrapping the basal trunks of young trees in winter.

4. Winter (December-February)

  • Protect the trunks of young trees from squirrels and rabbits by wrapping chicken wires or thick clothing.
  • Also, maintain gardening tools and mechanical equipment in shape by oiling and sharpening.
  • Furthermore, cover perennial bulbs, rooted vegetables, and tubers with mulch to protect them from frost until harvest.
  • Stratify Apple seeds and other similar fruits like Peaches and Pears to replant them in spring.
  • Additionally, avoid rock salt to defrost the ice on garden beds as it is made from sodium chloride, which increases soil salinity.

From Editorial Team

Keep a planting calendar!

If you are a newbie gardener, try keeping tabs on the seasonal growth of fruits, vegetables, and perennial ornamentals.

Hence, you can prepare for new gardening chores the following year!