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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

Glorious Bank Holiday

Posted by Geoff Hodge on 05 May 2008 at 08:38 PM

There’s only one thing that I like more than the weekends – that’s a three-day weekend, commonly called a Bank Holiday! And what a wonderful one it was too.
Saturday was spent doing general ‘life’ things to get them out of the way, so it freed up the other two days.

I did get time to go down to the allotment. The grass paths were in desperate need of mowing, so I quickly whizzed around and got them looking decent. Next job was to earth up the spuds, which have started to show through. Then finally put up some supports for the peas, which Clare planted out and devise something that Heath Robinson (who’s correct name, apparently, is William Heath Robinson) would be proud of, involving mesh, string and metal pegs to keep off the damn pigeons.
During Sunday morning and early afternoon I was busy in the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire studios on Dougan Does Gardening answering questions. We had a few veggie ones, including: was it too late to sow runner beans – well, no, it’s possibly a bit early; how to stop leeks bolting – it wasn’t really bolting in the true sense of the word, it was how to stop leeks going to seed now, and that’s easy – lift them and eat them!; why were tomatoes and chillies producing brown, shrivelled leaves – it turns out they had been planted outside (already) on a very cold, exposed balcony!
When I returned home there was some general gardening to do, lead by Clare who had been busily hacking back the holly.

I also decided to have the first official harvest of the radishes sown for the RHS radish trial and an official tasting; my favourite was ‘Flamboyant Sabina‘, Clare’s was ‘Chery Belle’.
On Monday I spent most of my time back in the veg patch. There were, believe it or not, lots more seedlings to transplant (I can’t use the proper word for this process as the My Garden software **** it out) including tomatoes, peppers, squashes, cucumbers and courgettes. These are all now safely in the lean-to frame. I even decided to plant out one cucumber and two tomatoes into their final pots in the greenhouse.
As Clare had gone away for the day (to watch Newcastle United (her team) versus Chelsea) I decides I could be really sad and take the radish trial one step further; I lifted a random sample of 10 of each cultivar, photographed them – and then weighed them – me, sad? I’ll be sending my results to the Trials Department at Wisley shortly. As I’d lifted 40 radishes it did mean I had them for lunch, supper and nibbles throughout the day.
I remembered that the potatoes in bags, like those on the allotment, would need earthing up, so they got a couple of scoops of home-made compost.
Finally, I sowed a couple more rows of salads for continuity  - one of lettuce and one of beetroot – I so love roast beetroot. These got a fleece covering to prevent ‘cat damage’.

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

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