Zone 6

USDA Hardiness Zone 6 encompasses regions with average minimum winter temperatures ranging from -10°F to 0°F (-23°C to -18°C). This zone covers parts of the central and eastern United States, including areas like St. Louis, Missouri, and parts of Kansas and New Jersey. Gardeners in Zone 6 benefit from a relatively long growing season, typically lasting from late April to late October. This climate allows for a diverse range of plants, including many perennials, shrubs, and trees. Successful gardening in Zone 6 involves selecting plants that can thrive in moderate cold and taking advantage of the extended growing period to maximize plant productivity.

What is the climate like in Zone 6?

Zone 6 experiences average minimum winter temperatures between -10°F and 0°F (-23°C to -18°C). While less severe than colder zones, these temperatures can still damage plants that are not sufficiently hardy. Selecting plants that can tolerate these moderate cold conditions is essential​.

Frost dates in Zone 6 can vary, with the last frost typically occurring in late April and the first frost appearing in late October. This provides a relatively long growing season, but gardeners must still be mindful of these frost dates to protect sensitive plants during early spring and late fall​.

Zone 6 regions can experience variable precipitation, including both wet and dry spells. Managing water effectively is crucial to ensure plants receive adequate moisture without becoming waterlogged. Implementing good drainage systems and using mulch can help maintain soil moisture levels​.

Soil types in Zone 6 can vary widely, from sandy soils to clay. Proper soil preparation, including the addition of organic matter, can improve soil structure, fertility, and drainage. Regular soil testing and amendments are recommended to maintain optimal growing conditions.

Warmer temperatures and extended growing seasons in Zone 6 can lead to increased pest and disease pressures. Integrated pest management (IPM) practices, such as crop rotation, proper spacing, and the use of resistant plant varieties, can help mitigate these issues​.

What is the recommended planting schedule?

Below, you can see the recommended planting schedule for vegetables and herbs.


Plant Sow seeds indoor Transplanting to outdoor Harvesting Month Last date
Cucumber N/A N/A N/A N/A
Brussels Sprouts May 7 May 14 August 2 July 7
Tomato June 10 June 15 August 9 July 11
Spinach April 7 April 17 May 22 September 19
Beets May 2nd May 12th July 1st August 16th
Zucchini N/A N/A N/A N/A
Cabbages N/A N/A N/A N/A
Potato May 2 May 12 July 11 August 6
Radish April 29 May 4 June 1 September 7
Broccoli May 2 May 12 July 6 August 17
Carrot March 20 April 3 June 26 August 10
Cauliflower April 22 April 29 June 18 August 22
Onion March 25 April 3 August 1 July 5


Plant Sow seeds indoor Transplanting to outdoor Harvesting Month Last date
Marjoram May 25 June 1 July 6 August 9
Parsley March 14 April 3 May 23 September 11
Dill July 3 July 13 August 10 July 14
Fennel April 7 April 21 July 6 August 18
Sage May 22 June 1 July 31 July 15
Thyme December 28 January 17 March 17 November 1
Oregano April 27 May 4 June 18 August 21
Mustard April 27 May 4 June 3 September 5
Mint June 16 June 26 August 25 June 27
Lavender April 24 May 8 June 17 August 26
Rosemary April 2 April 17 July 6 August 5
Ginger N/A N/A N/A N/A
Basil May 25 June 4 July 24 July 13
Cilantro May 2 May 9 August 30 June 13