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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

Recent Comments

  • Up to date & happy

    Geoff Hodge on 24 Jun 2008 at 12:05 PM

    Despite some other commitments this weekend, I've managed to catch up with my backlog of veg jobs.

    I picked the last crop from the broad beans that had been inhabiting the growing frame at home (that's where they were overwintered) and then cut down and pulled up the plants - stripping off all the nitrogen-rich root nodules and digging them back into the soil. This left space for the melons. I planted out three of these and then had a blinding flash of inspiration; they grow as ground cover so there's plenty of vertical room for more peppers. Eight plants have gone in and the warmth and light should ensure a good crop

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  • Itching has been scratched

    Geoff Hodge on 17 Jun 2008 at 11:06 AM

    My itchy fingers from last Friday were well and truly scratched over the weekend - I had a good catch up at home and at the allotment.

    My main bug bear was the number of tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, cucumbers and squashes that needed to be potted up into their final growing pots. So, armed with a trusty tenner I went to my local independent garden centre and bought three 70-litres bags of compost. This equates to 22 final growing pots, and so now most of the plants have a resting home to grow into. Once potted up they needed some bamboo cane supports and tying in. So now everyone's happy

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  • Itchy fingers

    Geoff Hodge on 13 Jun 2008 at 04:08 PM

    Boy, how they're itching! Last weekend I spent absolutely nil time in the garden and there is lots that needs doing. The recent lot of rain hasn't helped - poor light levels have drawn everything up, only for the weather to bash it down again.

    My non-gardening sins of last weekend were due to extracurricular activities. On Saturday I was putting together some information for the Garden Media Guild, of which I'm a committee member, web editor and newsletter producer

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  • Stenner line

    Geoff Hodge on 04 Jun 2008 at 10:11 AM

    Last night I gave a talk to the Kimble & Ellesborough Horticultural Society. Like most gardening club evenings they had a raffle and, unusually, always give the guest speaker a strip of tickets too. To my delight I won a prize! To my further delight one of the prizes still sitting on the table was a tray with six pots of Stenner runner beans. These are the ultimate showing runner bean - selected by Brython Stenner - or 'Taffy' Stenner as he was known.

    I've never grown these before - and I've certainly never eaten them, so I'm looking forward to planting them out this week. If they don't match my taste expectations I can always put them into a show! 

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  • Back in the saddle

    Geoff Hodge on 02 Jun 2008 at 10:17 AM

    Having spent five long days at Chelsea Flower Show, the Bank Holiday weekend last week was the perfect opportunity to recharge my batteries - but I didn't even have the energy to do much in the garden. Apart from walking the plot checking on things (the best way I think to nip pest and disease problems in the bud before they get out of hand), doing a bit of hand weeding and looking after any watering needs I decided to give actual hands-on gardening a rest.

    This weekend I realised that decision was a mistake! Everything needed doing!! The most urgent task was to look at all the young veg plants growing in cell trays, modules and pots and start planting them into their final growing positions or repotting them. I love this job as I know it means that actual crops are not far behind (hopefully). So I potted up cucumbers, tomatoes, courgettes and peppers

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