The Best Ways to Garden in USDA Zones 5-6 With A Vertical Garden Planter
With the new year among us, it’s time to start planning out what you want to grow this year in your garden. When it comes to gardening climates, there are several different “hardiness zones” created by the USDA to help gardeners and farmers alike find the best times and methods to plant their produce. Zones 5 and 6 horizontally stretch across a large majority of the United States, but a lot of their main area covers the Midwest and New England. Once you find your specific hardiness zone, you’ll be able to learn more about what you can and can’t plant, when you should be planting, and many other tips and tricks. That’s why here at Garden Tower Project, we’ve created this informative guide to help those who live in zones 5 and 6 with their gardening needs as a part of our garden prep series based on grow zones.
Raising Thriving Plants in Zone 5
Getting the Best Results in Your Vertical Garden Planner
Zone 5 spreads horizontally across the United States, primarily in Iowa, Nebraska, Vermont, and in parts of Colorado, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, and Maine. A great part about living in these areas is that you can get a head start on planting in the early spring. Some of the best vegetables to plant around early April are broccoli, beets, and carrots. You can start your vertical garden planter early and continue to add plants into it throughout the summer and fall, giving you more produce throughout a larger portion of the year.
If you’re really itching to start your garden early, something that many people do is start their own seeds in preparation for the gardening season. However, due to the primarily cold nature of this zone, many people start their seeds indoors by using a seedling heat mat. These allow your seeds to germinate and grow at a more rapid rate, granting you larger starter plants in less time. This is fantastic for your plants health due to the fact that they can be grown in a controlled environment that you’re able to keep a close eye on. Due to the colder conditions of this zone, something to be cognizant of is that the last frost date in this zone is anywhere from April 1-15. This means that if you plant before these dates, your plants may get frosted by the cold weather.
Once it gets into the summer and fall, there is a lot more freedom with what you can grow in Zone 5 due to the typically warmer climate. Some of the more popular plants that we love to plant are spinach, eggplants, and different types of peppers. There are some plants that you shouldn’t plant in this zone however, as they tend to be difficult to grow in the specific climate and usually won’t thrive. In general, steer clear of vegetables and herbs that are perennials and not cold-hardy in zone-5; a prime example is the artichoke!
Getting the Best Results in Zone 6
Producing the Biggest Harvests for Your Area
Zone 6 is unique because despite there being several states where the majority of the area is Zone 6, it is also sprinkled within many other states. Some of the states that are primarily in USDA Zone 6 include Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, and Missouri. Zones 5 and 6 are right next to each other, so a lot of their agricultural and gardening information is fairly similar, including when you can plant certain plants as well as which plants you should stay away from.
Similarly to Zone 5, you can also get a head start on gardening by prepping your vertical garden planter early. Something important to keep in mind when starting seeds indoors is that different seeds have different germination periods—keeping track of this will allow you to have healthier plants that produce bigger yields. One of our favorite alternative ways to start plants indoors is from growing from cuttings. Every plant requires something different, but it’s easy to make new plants out of the produce that you already bought at the grocery store. Similarly to zone 5, this zone also has a last frost date, currently ranging anywhere from March 16-30.
Overall, USDA Zones 5 and 6 are very similar and allow for a wide variety of vegetables to be grown within them. By learning more about seed germination and our helpful tools, you can be on your way to a beautiful, bountiful garden during the growing seasons. If you’re interested in helpful gardening tools or learning more about vertical garden planters, visit Garden Tower Project for an array of products for gardeners of all ages, abilities, and experience levels.