Pretty vegetables all in a row

Jerry Apps
Jerry Apps' daughter-in-law Natasha mulches tomatoes on the family farm Roshara.

As of this past weekend, the remainder of the Apps vegetable garden at Roshara is planted. Daughter-in-law Natasha and son, Steve, are now the garden managers. I have been relegated to senior consultant. I have a suspicion it means staying out of the way.

Following a practice we began many years ago, we make a map of our garden each year, and try to avoid planting anything in the same space as it was the previous year.  Also following a long-term practice, we mulch all the tomato plants as well as the cabbage, and broccoli plants. 

Last year we had a severe rabbit problem. This year Steve added a third wire to our electric fence that surrounds the garden. This third wire is but a few inches off the ground. We’ll soon learn if it works. If it doesn’t, we’ll have to install some woven wire around the rabbit loving plants.

We have planted a vegetable garden at Roshara, sometimes as large as a half-acre, since 1967. Each year is different, some plants do better than expected. Some don’t do well at all.

Here is what the team planted this year, row by row.

Short row: Sweet Corn

Three rows of Sweet Corn

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Zucchini / Cucumbers

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Red potatoes

Two rows of Kennebec White potatoes

Onions (half row white and half row red)

Lettuce/Kale/Carrots and Radishes/Beets/Radish

Entry to garden: walkway

Broccoli (8 plants) / Cabbage (6) / Pole beans

Bush bean / Pole bean

WI 55 Tomato (12) / Purple beans

Celebrity Tomato (2) / Early Girl (3) / Steak Tomatoes (3) / Purple beans

Magic Mountain Tomato (8)

Better Boy Tomatoes (11)

Better Boy Tomatoes (8)

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Squash - winter varieties

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Squash - winter varieties

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Four rows of flowers including a variety, sunflowers and honey bee attracting flowers.

My dad always said, “Every vegetable garden should include some flowers.”

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Plant a garden. You’ll enjoy fresh vegetables, and be surprised at what happens.

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