It’s time for a garden report. As all gardeners in Wisconsin know, we started the season with cold and wet and never ending winter-like weather. I usually plant onions, radishes, lettuce, beets, cabbage and especially potatoes by mid-April. As most people remember, we had a major snow storm on April 20 with more than six inches burying my already too wet to work garden.
On May 8th, I finally planted the early vegetables. The last week in May, I planted the late season crops. Two days after I set out my tomato plants, planted green beans, cucumbers, squash, sweet corn and pumpkins—we had a freeze. Cold enough so the grassy areas around the cabin were covered with white frost. But for some unknown reason my little tomato plants survived.
This past week—way late—I replanted green beans, cucumbers, sunflowers, even some lettuce—vegetables that simply didn’t come up or came up with missing areas.
But I have good news. So far, this is one of my best potato seasons. Almost every plant came up and they are already knee high and almost too bushy to rototill. Late planting seemed to make no difference. The tomatoes that miraculously escaped the late May frost are doing quite well, too. I started them from seed and when we set them out the plants were a sorry looking lot, bent stems, scraggly, off color. I set out 45 plants—44 are alive, a few of the early ones are already in blossom.
We have enjoyed radishes for a couple of weeks, the leaf lettuce is ready to cut and the onions are well ahead of most seasons. If the warm weather continues and especially the timely rains, the sweet corn will easily make knee high by the Fourth of July—the standard for all mid-Wisconsin farmers.
One reason I continue gardening—we planted our first garden at our farm in 1967—is the yearly surprises. I never know which vegetables will do well and which will not. I’ve essentially gardened the same way every year, yet the outcomes are always different. May it always be so.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: You can bury a lot of troubles digging in your garden.
CHECK THIS OUT: Central Wisconsin book launch for Campfires and Loon Calls. Fundraiser for Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose, Wisconsin, June 24, 6:30 p.m.
June 28, 5-7 p.m. Fitger’s Bookstore, Duluth, MN. Book signing, Campfires and Loon Calls.
June 29, 2-4 p.m. Cherry St. Books, Alexandria, MN. Book signing, Campfires and Loon Calls.
July 6, 6:00 p.m. Chilton Library, Chilton, WI Campfires and Loon Calls
July 10, 11-2:00 Pickle Station, Saxeville, WI. Booksigning.
July 26, Noon, Wis Historical Society Museum, on the Square, Madison, WI. Ringling Bros. Circus.
July 31-August 6, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County.