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For my vegetable gardening friends, I present my Fourth of July report. In comparison to other gardening years, my Waushara County garden is about two weeks behind. Cool weather has been the culprit up until a week ago when the temperature soared into the 80s and mostly stayed there.

And the rains continued about 4.5 inches in the past two weeks. Even on our sandy soil, that is more rain than we needed. Last fall we had standing water in our garden. Same thing last week—standing water in the southwest corner.

On the positive side, everything seems to have come up, different from some years when the pumpkins and squash seeds only germinated by half, and the occasional potato plant failed to appear. This year progress has been slow. I have rated each vegetable on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being downright awful and 10 is beyond what one would hope for.

Those that rated five and below—Radishes (2); Cabbage (3); Cucumbers and Beans (4); Pumpkins, Zucchini and Sweet Corn (5).

Those that rated six and above—Winter Squash and Late Potatoes (6); Early Potatoes (7); Broccoli, Beets,Carrots and Kale (8); Leaf lettuce and Onions (9).

Weeds continue to flourish—too wet, too dry, too cold, too hot—no problem for the weeds in my garden. Steve and Natasha are mainly in charge of the vegetable garden these days, but even Steve’s new rototiller and Natasha’s diligent weeding are challenged.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Every year a different year for a gardener. 

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 www.jerryapps.com. 

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