This year's garden failed to get top marks

Jerry Apps

As summer reluctantly moves into autumn, it’s time to report on Roshara’s vegetable garden. We’ve planted a vegetable garden for more than fifty years, and each year, we see failure and success. 

Overall, I’d rate this year’s garden as below average compared to other years. The green beans were an exception. Last year the green beans did nothing. This year they win a solid A. 

I must award our tomato crop a D. I planted seven different varieties, and all of them, every last one of 50 some plants, was taken down with blight, some affected more than others. We managed to harvest a couple bushels, but many of the individual tomatoes were far from the perfection that we expected.

As for the potatoes, they started out well, looked great all through June, then, the heavy rains came and the high humidity. And the blight. Maybe two plus bushels. 

The sweet corn crop ranked a D as well. Poor yield. Same for the squash and pumpkins—a dozen or so squash and only four pumpkins. Pathetic.

On the other hand, an A to the radishes, lettuce, kale, and zucchini. But as the saying goes, if you can’t grow zucchini, best you hang up your hoe.

The weather has a lot to do with a vegetable garden’s success. We started the season with lots of rain, then an extended dry spell, then fifteen inches of rain in ten days, along with 90 degree plus temperatures and equally high humidity.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Remembering his father’s oft said words: Next year will be better.

This year's garden didn't rise to the top of the class in author Jerry Apps' estimation.

Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life. For further information about Jerry's writing and TV work go to