Is June really the magical month for gardening?

Jerry Apps
Jerry Apps' father often said June was the magical month for vegetable gardening.

How does your garden grow? My dad often said June was the magical month for vegetable gardening. It is the month with the most daylight hours, with the longest day of the year on June 21.

What Dad meant was you’d better have finished replanting any vegetable seeds that hadn’t come up. And, perhaps most importantly you’ve got to get rid of the weeds. 

It seems that weeds have a nasty habit of growing faster than vegetables. If not removed, and removed often, weeds will kill vegetables faster than any bug or disease. How? By cutting off the much-needed light that all vegetables need to grow and thrive, and stealing nutrients from the soil that all plants need to grow.

In mid-June, with four inches of rain falling within a ten-day period, our garden is thriving. So far, we have harvested lettuce. Nothing tastes better than leaf lettuce cut from the garden and eaten an hour later. The potato crop looks especially good, as do the tomatoes. The sweet corn seems a little sluggish in getting going this year. I doubt it will be knee high by the Fourth of July — the goal for all corn growers in Wisconsin.

I want to commend my son, Steve, and daughter-in-law, Natasha, as they are the primary caretakers of our big Roshara Garden. I call them “Weed Warriors.” Roto-tilling, hoeing, and “down on your knees weed pulling” are what’s necessary to be a “Weed Warrior.” A weed doesn’t have a chance in our garden.

Those reading my previous garden reports will recall the bunny problem we had last year. They ate almost everything green and growing — save for sweet corn, tomatoes, potatoes and vine crops. 

This year, Steve added a third wire to our electric fence that surrounds our garden. The new wire is about four inches from the ground, and so far, fingers crossed, no bunny has tried to crawl over or under it — as best we can tell. We’ll see what the following months have to offer.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Vegetable gardening — each year the same, each year different.

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