Garden makes the grade in mid-summer report

Jerry Apps
The rains have come at just the right time, the hot temperatures have helped more than hindered this year's vegetable garden.

For my vegetable garden friends who enjoy comparing notes with my Roshara garden operations, here is my mid-summer garden report.

The rains have come at just the right time, the hot temperatures have helped more than hindered, and the garden, in the overall, is better than it’s been compared to the past couple growing seasons. Thanks to Steve and Natasha, the garden managers, not a weed is in sight.

As you will recall, last summer we had a bunny-wipeout. Those pesky bunnies ate more than I have ever experienced. This year Steve added a third wire to the garden fence. The wire, a couple inches off the ground, has done the trick. Not one bunny has made it inside the garden. Could be they haven’t tried as they have lots to eat outside the garden.

Sue helped with garden harvest the other day. She picked a bunch of green beans, several heads of broccoli, more zucchini than she could carry, some beautiful onions, and the first ripe tomatoes of the season. She also, being a school teacher who knows how to give grade, offered the following grades for the garden at this point in mid-season.

Green Beans: A; Broccoli: A; Cucumbers: A; Zucchini: A; Potatoes: B; Onions: A; Cabbage: B; Radishes: C; Peas, C-; Purple Beans: C; Tomatoes: A; Sunflowers: A; Squash: A; Pumpkins: B; Early Sweet Corn: B+; Late Sweet Corn: C-; Kale: A; Lettuce: B-; Carrots: B.

This year’s garden is a perfect example of what warm weather and sufficient rain will do for a good garden. This year’s garden is also an example of when the weather reaches the 90s too early in the season, the cool weather crops such as peas and lettuce suffer.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Each year gardening is the same. Each year gardening is 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 or contact him at