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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

Back in the saddle

Posted by 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.

Some of these were destined for the greenhouse - which was already bulging with summer-flowering bulbs - so these had to be rushed out and put in a standing area where they can be hardened off before planting out. This left plenty of space for the crops. After staking, supporting, tying in and watering I now have the first 18 tomatoes (both inside and out), three cucumbers (indoors), 15 peppers (chilli and sweet, indoors) and six courgettes (outside) all growing nicely in their final positions.

I also sowed some more rows of salads to keep the succession going and earthed up the potatoes growing in plastic bags.

But the best news of all - I harvested the first crop of broad beans. I know everyone says "you can't beat the taste of the first ... (insert your favourite veg here)" - but you really can't beat the taste of the first crop of broad beans of the year. And, to be honest, you can't beat the taste of the second, third, fourth...

At least I now feel happy that I'm back on track - but there are still loads more fruiting crops to plant into their final positions - but I can do this in my own time throughout the next week or so. Phew! 

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