Gardening Tasks by Month for Hardiness Zones 5b-6a

Gardening Tasks by Month for Hardiness Zones 5b-6a

Each USDA planting zone has its own seed sowing program. If you are new to the vegetable garden, here is a gardening checklist by Month for Hardiness Zones 5b-6a that the everyday gardener from zone 5 to zone 6 can do. Of course, the time of outdoor tasks depends on.


  • Check out garden catalogs and stores for seeds. Start seeds indoors for summer flowers.
  • Prune fruit trees and late flowering deciduous shrubs. Snip back lateral and side branches of wisteria to within two or three buds.
  • Knock heavy snowfall from bushes, hedges, and evergreens to prevent damage.
  • Keep bulbs in containers, lightly watered to maintain proper development.
  • Spray deciduous trees and shrubs with dormant oil and lime sulphur.
  • Check that dahlia tubers are not drying out and keep an eye on overwintered fuchsias and pelargoniums for whitefly and signs or rot.


  • Prune deciduous trees (maples, birch, and walnut), before sap rises, but not spring-flowering shrubs.
  • Prune clematis and buddleja (if you haven’t already) that blooms after June.
  • Sow hardy annuals (bachelor buttons, sweet peas, California poppies) where they are to bloom. Start tender and half-hardy annuals indoors.
  • Plant lily bulbs.
  • Clean and sharpen tools. Tune-up your lawn mower so it is ready for spring.
  • Spray roses, fruit trees, and some shrubs with dormant oil on a mild day.
  • Lime lawns to counteract acidity and achieve a desirable pH balance.


  • Sow radish, spinach, fennel, parsley, cauliflower, cabbage, potatoes, broccoli, and carrots.
  • Plant bare-root roses. You’ll find a good selection at your garden center.
  • When forsythia blooms, do final pruning of hybrid tea and floribunda roses.
  • Excellent time to plant new trees and shrubs.
  • Divide large clumps of perennials.
  • Eliminate weeds and hunt for slugs, two chores that will pay major dividends, later
  • Aerate lawns to revitalize grass. Overseed bare spots. Eliminate moss by liming, improving drainage, and creating more light.


  • Prune early blooming shrubs such as Ribes sanguineum and forsythia, after blooming.
  • Continue the process of dividing and planting perennials.
  • Get dahlia tubers started indoors in milk cartons or pots.
  • Deadhead grape hyacinths, tulips, and daffodils. Feed bulbs after flowering with 6-8-6 fertilizer.
  • Sow hardy vegetables such as beets, peas, celery, lettuce, swiss chard, cauliflower, cucumbers, cabbage, and onions.
  • Clip and tidy up winter-flowering heathers, as they finish blooming.
  • Plant up hanging baskets, but keep in a protected environment until next month.


  • Plant out dahlia tubers with a stake to support the mature plant.
  • Put out hanging baskets. Water daily and feed with half-strength 20-20-20 twice a week.
  • Plant summer color bedding plants after mid-month.Transplant seedlings started indoors after the risk of frost has passed.
  • Empty spring-bulb containers and refill with summer color plants.
  • Move out tender exotics (brugmansia, fuchsias, tibouchina) from greenhouse.
  • Clean up rhododendrons and azaleas after flowering.
  • Plant out tomatoes, brussels sprouts, bush beans, pole beans, pumpkin, squash, and corn.
  • Mulch to suppress weeds, reduce evaporation and maintain soil moisture.


  • Plant out zucchini and cucumber.
  • Sow seeds for sunflowers and other tender annuals.
  • Deadhead roses, annuals, and perennials to promote more blooms.
  • Practise deep watering. Water lawns and flower beds to get moisture deep into the soil, then don’t water again for a week.
  • Sow heat-loving vegetables such a melon, peppers, and eggplant.
  • Remove excess fruit on peach and apple trees.


  • Continue to deadhead roses, annuals, and perennials to get maximum blooms.
  • Start to harvest raspberries and strawberries.
  • Water hanging baskets and patio container plants at least once a day.
  • Pinch prune chrysanthemums to promote bushiness.
  • Prune wisteria (now two months after flowering) by cutting side shoots back to five or six buds, about six inches from main branch.
  • Collect seed from foxgloves for sowing in pots and seed trays. The new plants can be transplanted where you want them to bloom.
  • Cut bouquets of flowers to bring indoors.


  • Shallow-rooted rhodos and azaleas are especially vulnerable this month to drought. Don’t allow them to go thirsty.
  • Hill potatoes with soil or mulch.
  • Cut back raspberry canes that produced fruit. Leave younger canes which will be slightly green. They will bear next year’s fruit.
  • Check out ornamental grasses. See them at their peak this month.
  • Take pelargonium cuttings. They will easily root in four-inch pots.
  • Plant fall rye.
  • Sow lettuce and radish for fall use. Sow cabbage, broccoli, spinach, and brussels sprouts for winter and spring use.
  • Keep an eye on newly planted trees and shrubs. They need to be watered regularly during the first year.


  • Begin planting spring-flowering bulbs.
  • Divide perennials and buy new ones. You’ll find excellent buys at garden centers this month.
  • Plant garlic and shallots.
  • Apply aluminum suphate to the base of hydrangeas if you want bright blue blooms in spring. Add dolomite lime if you want them pink.
  • Good time to plant new peonies.
  • New evergreens and perennials planted this month will have time to develop new roots before winter.
  • Fertize lawns with a low nitrogen, high phosphorus, potash content. Look for 1-3-2 ratio on the bag.


  • Dig up dahlias. cannas and gladioli bulbs for storage.
  • Wrap bananna trees and move tender tropical plants (fuchia, tibouchina, brugmansia) indoors.
  • Empty flower beds of annuals once they have been exposed to frost.
  • Load up the garden with a variety of spring-flowering bulbs. Don’t overlook the value of naturalizing and perennializing bulbs.
  • Harvest the last of the tender vegetable (zucchini, squash) before frost. Brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage and turnips can be left until later.
  • Fill containers with triple-decker planting of bulbs to create sequence of blooms in spring. Store out of the rain.
  • Apply Tanglefoot to trees to deter winter moth.
  • Clean and sharpen tools for next season and store them in a dry location.


  • Prune back summer-flowering clematis and pull away dead mass of stems. Don’t prune clematis that flower on old wood. Do this after they have bloomed.
  • Prune hedges.
  • In cooler areas, mound the bases of roses and less hardy plants with peat moss or other mulch.
  • Deadhead roses for the last time and prune lightly for winter.
  • Apply dolomite lime to lawns.
  • Start amaryllis bulbs indoors. Early varieties will bloom in time for Christmas.
  • Rake up dead leaves. Use disease-free ones around shrubs as a natural mulch. Shred others with your lawnmower and add to the compost.
  • Sow green manure crops of fall rye, winter wheat or crimson clover in empty spaces.
  • Plant new trees or shrubs, or move existing trees and shrubs to a new location.


  • Put out bird feeders and keep them filled.
  • Lightly prune hollies and evergreens.
  • Plant paperwhite bulbs indoors for a fragrant display.

Read More: Plant Hardiness Zone Map For US, UK, Canada and Australia