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Geoff Hodge Web Editor Peterborough

I've been a horticultural journalist for 20 years, a gardener for longer than I want to think about and a veg grower for 25 years.

  • Date Joined: 21 Nov 2006

Things are on the move

Posted by Geoff Hodge on 28 Feb 2008 at 01:25 PM

The broad beans and lettuces in the growing frame seem to be doing really well. They even needed a watering this week, as the conditions in there are so warm that the soil had dried out quite a lot. The slug pellets are holding their own in there too and so far no damage at all.

The garlic plants growing in cell trays in the lean-to frame, which were meant for the allotment are also growing well - too well - and have put on a mad spurt of growth. Sadly, the allotment isn't ready for them yet, so I had a change of heart, made an ‘executive decision', and planted out two rows in the raised beds. There's still a tray of 12 left so these can go out onto the allotment at a later stage. They might need potting up first though as the cells are getting chockablock with roots.

And I also managed to sow some of the chilli peppers in the propagator. So I've got a pot each of ‘Numex Twilight', ‘Hot Portugal' and ‘Georgia Flame'. None of them are really high on the Richter scale of heat - called The Scoville scale: a measure of the hotness or, more correctly, piquancy of a chili pepper - but they'll do for me.

Talking of the Richter scale, did anyone suffer any damage from the earthquake this week? The morning after I rushed out expecting panes of glass to be missing from the greenhouse, but thankfully no damage done.

I've just received some young tomato plants from Suttons. There's ‘Elegance' and ‘Hundreds and Thousands' plus a grafted plant of ‘Elegance'. Suttons is selling grafted plants this year on a rootstock that will give them greater strength to fight off diseases including tomato blight. After last year's problems with this debilitating disease I'm looking forward to seeing how well this one performs - although I'm not looking forward to blight returning as bad as it was last year.

‘Hundreds and Thousands' is perfect for hanging baskets, window boxes or raised patio containers. Apparently, the cascading plants live up to their name, producing literally thousands of sweet, juicy, bite-sized tomatoes in an inexhaustible supply throughout the summer. Oh, roll on summer!