Zone Six Gardening: The Perfect Fruits and Vegetables for Your Zone
Are you trying to figure out how to grow a successful garden in Zone 6? You’re fortunate because even though this area can have some cooler temperatures, they also become warm enough to have a productive growing season.
I’m going to share with you a few tips for success when growing in your planting zone. Also, I’m going to share a variety of fruits and vegetables which should thrive in this area too.
If you’re brand-new to gardening, make sure you’ve done your research on how to start a successful garden and understand how watering correctly can impact your crops.
Once your well-versed in gardening basics, you’re ready to get busy planning and planting your own garden.
Here’s what you should know about zone six gardening:
Zone Six Gardening Tips
The typical growing season for zone six is between the middle of March and the middle of November. Obviously, you’ll plant cool weather crops during March and also when the weather cools off again in the fall.
You should start your season with vegetables such as lettuce, radishes, and other root vegetables. You can end your grow season with similar vegetables as well.
If you’re trying to extend your growing season in this area, it’s a good idea to use cold frames or a greenhouse.
You should also start your warmer weather crops indoors approximately eight weeks prior to transplanting outdoors.
I’m originally from this planting zone, and the rule of thumb I remember from growing up is to plant all your warm weather crops on Derby weekend.
Some years the weather was crazy, and we had to adjust the rule, but in most cases, it worked well.
Fruits to Grow in Zone 6
The lower the planting zone number the cooler the temperatures can get. This results in some perennial plants having a harder time surviving over the winter and being grown as annuals instead.
It can also mean you may have to plant certain crops later.
However, the good thing about this planting zone is the weather warms up rather quickly and stays warm long enough to have a great chance at raising a variety of fruits.
Some fruits are perennials. You should protect your perennials as necessary to give them the greatest shot at surviving since the winters can be brutal in certain parts of this zone.
Also, realize some fruits should only be grown as an annual in this planting zone because they can’t survive the harsh winters.
Here are the fruits you should consider growing in planting zone six:
An apple is going to be a perennial plant because it’s a tree. Be sure to mulch the base of the tree at winter and prune properly as well.
Though an apple tree takes three to five years to begin producing (some varieties may take even longer) they’re a beautiful part of your landscape, and they produce an edible fruit. It’s a win/win.
You can grow a variety of berries in planting zone six. They can also be treated as perennials in most cases. Again, be sure you mulch and care for them as necessary when winter approaches.
But you can grow blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. They’ll produce quite the harvest and add beauty to your landscape as well.
Many people associate melons with warm weather. They can grow and do well in planting zone six, but you must be sure to plant them after the weather warms fully.
You can grow cantaloupe and watermelons too. Be sure you give them enough room to grow as they like to sprawl.
I love cherry trees. They return year after year, require only basic care, they look beautiful, and smell wonderful too.
If you love cherries for baking or even for snacking, consider adding one to your orchard or your front yard.
Do you enjoy making grape juice and grape jelly? You may want to consider growing your own grapes.
They take some time to begin producing, but they’re a gorgeous addition to your landscaping while you wait.
Peaches are another desirable fruit to grow on your own property in planting zone six. They’re easy to can and are versatile.
They’re great for snacking and using in baked goods too. If you love the sweet flavor of fresh peach, plant your own tree.
I’ve recently begun to appreciate fruit for more than a snack food or baking. They’re great for decorating and using in savory dishes too.
Pears are especially wonderful for making homemade fruit ornaments and as a part of savory dishes too. If you enjoy pears, plant a tree to be able to produce your own.
Plums don’t get nearly enough credit this day in age. They were once used for a variety of desserts but not much anymore.
If you’re trying to grow a variety of fruits in your yard, don’t discount the plum. It’s full of vitamins and nutrients. Plus, it’s delicious.
When growing strawberries, you should pay attention as to what variety you plant. Some varieties will produce more quickly, but they’re only annuals.
While other varieties may take time to produce a harvest, but they’ll come back bigger and better with each passing year.
Vegetables to Grow in Zone 6
There are a variety of vegetables you can grow in planting zone six. Most are annuals, but there are a few perennials as well.
Remember, perennials will return each year, but they do require care when cool weather sets in to insulate them from the colder temperatures.
If you’re interested in raising vegetables in your garden this year, here’s what you should be growing:
1. Cole Crops
Cole crops are all vegetables which originated from the mustard family. They’re common, and we consume many of them on a regular basis.
They do well in planting zone six and most of them do great during colder weather. You should consider raising:
- Brussels sprouts
As a quick tip, Cole crops aren’t great companions for some nightshade varieties. Therefore, you should give them adequate space between the two varieties.
Nightshades are another variety of vegetables most of us are familiar with. Most nightshades prefer warmer weather and produce large crops if watered adequately. The nightshades you should grow are:
Remember, if you participate in crop rotation, don’t plant nightshades where Cole crops were previously planted as this can damage your plants and ultimately your harvest.
3. Root Vegetables
Root vegetables are great crops to grow, especially in cooler weather. You can start them earlier, grow them later, and potentially grow them year-round if you have a cold frame or greenhouse to protect them from the elements.
The root vegetables you should consider raising in this planting zone are:
- Sweet potatoes
If you’d like to grow something which could add a little extra spice to your basic salad, consider growing arugula.
I grew it one year as an experiment and have grown it every year since. I love the peppery flavor it provides.
Are you looking for a perennial vegetable which will return year after year with proper care? Asparagus could be what you need.
You can grow it alongside a fence line or in a bed. It takes a few years for it to produce an abundant harvest, but once it gets started and is maintained, it will produce for many years.
Whether you have ample space or not, beans are ideal to grow.
They don’t require many plants to produce a large harvest, and certain varieties can even be grown in a container garden.
If you assume you must have a large plot of land to grow corn, you’ve assumed wrong. Corn can be grown in a square in a garden plot, or it can be grown in a container garden.
Either way, you should wait until the weather warms to direct sow it into your garden space. From there, provide proper care, and watch it grow.
I love cucumbers because not only do they make delicious homemade pickles, but they’re easy to grow.
Plus, they work well for people who have plenty of room and those who don’t. You can choose a smaller variety of cucumber and grow it in a container as well.
Lettuce is a cool weather crop. When you begin to plant lettuce, be sure to practice succession planting. If you plant too much at once, you won’t be able to eat it all when it comes in.
However, if you spread it out, you’ll have the right amount to harvest each time. Lettuce is a crop you can grow in a garden plot, raised bed, or a container.
If you live in planting zone six, you should have an impressive experience when raising peas as long as they’re properly cared for.
Peas are a great deal of work when harvest time comes, but the greatest concern is planting and harvesting them before the weather warms up. By growing peas in zone six, you should have plenty of time to reap a large harvest.
Whether you like pumpkin for baking, giving to your animals, consuming yourself, or for decorations, you should consider raising your own.
Not only is it a money saver, but it could also be a potential money-maker if sold at the right time of year. If you have a large enough area to raise pumpkins, you should try it.
The final crop you should consider raising in planting zone six is spinach. It does well in cooler temperatures and could be grown even longer if grown in a greenhouse or cold frame.
Spinach is high in vitamins, goes great in a salad, and does well cooked too. It’s a versatile vegetable you may be glad to have.
If you’re living in planting zone six, you should now have plenty to consider about what you’re going to grow in your garden and when you should start.
Don’t forget to consider what you’ll do with your harvest and how to properly preserve it. Growing a garden can be rewarding, and we hope you enjoy every minute of it!
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