Wilton is partially in Hardiness Zone 5 and partially in Hardiness Zone 6, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Generally speaking, if you are north of Millstone Road you are in Zone 5; if you are south, you are in Zone 6. Because of this, standard published planting guidelines are uncertain when applied to Wilton.

The summer growing season is generally defined by the last spring frost and the first fall frost. Gardeners are usually safe to assume the last frost will occur by Memorial Day, and they can expect the first fall freezing no later than the first or second week of October. Cold weather crops such as broccoli, cabbage, peas and leaf lettuce may be planted outdoors four to six weeks before the last spring frost. All other crops may be safely planted or sown directly in the soil after the last frost.

Gardeners who want to plant a fall crop need to determine the number of weeks the crop will need to mature and then count back from the date of the first killing frost (about Oct. 10) to determine planting date. But the first and last frosts can be unpredictable in this area, and many “old-timers’’ swear that tomatoes should not be planted until after Memorial Day.