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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

Crazy weekend

Posted by Geoff Hodge on 21 Apr 2008 at 09:10 AM

Yet another forecast for a mixed bag of weather meant that this weekend I needed to get cracking early – just in case, just in case things turned really nasty and put the kybosh on my plans. As a result I was out in the garden by 8o’clock on both days.

The weather wasn’t as bad as I’d expected – Saturday was great until about 5o’clock; Sunday started out dull, damp, dingy and wet, but by 11.15am(having gone indoors for American pancakes and The Archers) it had stopped raining and the rest of the day was fine.

This veg blog only contains a fraction of the work I got up to – all my general gardening can be read on my personal blog.

Before getting on with the new I wanted to check all was well with the crops that were already planted out. The radishes and the salad crops sown last week were quite dry under the polythene, so these needed a good soak; at the same time I gave them a light feed of Growmore and topped up the slug pellets.

The broad beans had reached the top of the frame, so the top panels were removed and the plants needed their final tying in to the canes. There are masses of flowers on them, but I haven’t seen many bees yet, but there are definitely some flowers that have started to produce pods.

The lettuces in pots in the greenhouse also needed a good slosh of water and I also gave them a light liquid feed.

The propagators and the conservatory are now bursting with young seedlings, things germinating and a whole range of things just about to germinate. I think next weekend will be potting on crazy!

The peas and beans in the lean-to frame are growing well, but there were some gaps in the trays, so I decided to fill them with a second sowing. The onions, shallots and leeks are all ready for the allotment – another job for next weekend.

Finally, I remembered there were about 20 seed potatoes left over from planting at the allotment last weekend, and I didn’t want to waste them. Instead, I put some of our lovely, crumbly home-made compost into four old compost sacks and planted five tubers in each, covering them with a few inches of compost. As the shoots grow I’ll continue to cover them up with more compost until they reach the top of the bag; this way you get a really good crop. I know five tubers per bag is probably overkill, but it’s the usual 'can’t bear to throw it out’ syndrome coming into play – I’ll probably regret it later.

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