Garden makes the grade in mid-summer report

Jerry Apps
Daughter, Sue, and daughter-in-law Natasha, hoeing in family garden.

Time for my Fourth of July garden report. Here is an appraisal of our family garden, located in western Waushara County sand country. I am always interested in how other vegetable gardens are doing this year with all the heat and a fair amount of rain as well. Send me a note.

Red potatoes "A", White Potatoes "B" (Potatoes really don’t like high temperatures)

Onions "A". Tomatoes "B" (My tomato plants are uneven, several in blossom, some with small tomatoes, some plants merely surviving. String Beans "A", Lettuce "A+" (Best lettuce we’ve grown in years).

Sweet corn "B" (Some waist-high, some less than knee-high). Kohlrabi "A" (Have harvested some of it—so good raw). Radishes "F" (Nothing, worst crop ever. Not one decent radish). Beets and Carrots "A". Zucchini "B+". Winter squash, pumpkins and cucumbers "B".

Peas "B" (Harvested last of them, pulled the pea vines and planted the row to sweet corn, if we’re lucky we’ll have some sweet corn in September).

Cabbage "B". Broccoli "C" (Struggling, mostly because a bunny found the plants).

Sunflowers "C" (Don’t know what their problem is, but they are growing oh so slowly).

Overall comments: About an average vegetable gardening year. I was most disappointed in the zero radish crop—I like radishes. I like to eat them fresh out of the ground.

I hope the rabbit problem doesn’t increase. Over 50 years of gardening, I’ve had few problems with rabbits at this location—jeez, they’ve got 120 acres with lots of lush stuff to eat, why my broccoli? Deer and wild turkey—well, that’s another story.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Every year is a good garden year; but some years are better than others.

Jerry Apps

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