What makes a prize-winning exhibit?

Judges will evaluate entries on the basis of cleanliness, uniformity, condition, quality, and trueness to variety.

·        Cleanliness. You should enter vegetables that are clean and bright in appearance. Usually you clean vegetables by washing them, while in other cases, wiping them with a soft cloth, or brushing them lightly with a soft brush is sufficient.

·        Uniformity. The word “uniformity” as used in connection with vegetables in competition means that each specimen on a plate or each vegetable within a display is of similar size, colour, stage of maturity, shape, and condition. You should not include extra large or small, odd-coloured or peculiarly shaped specimens, unless you are entering a ‘strange looking vegetable’ category!

·        Condition. Condition is important because it indicates how the crop was grown, harvested, and handled. Vegetables should be free of dirt, cuts, bruises, and defects, as well as insect or disease damage.

·        Quality. This term refers to the prime eating condition of any vegetable but also indicates the best colour development, shape, texture, and size. Select vegetables that have a deep, clear, intense colour. Avoid dull-coloured specimens, or those that are deep-coloured due to over-ripeness.

·        Trueness to variety. Each vegetable variety has its own special characteristics. Therefore, an exhibit should consist entirely of vegetables of the same variety. For example, a plate of four ‘Desiree’ potatoes and one ‘King Edward’, but it would not be true to variety.

Onion seed is traditionally sown on Boxing Day to produce fine specimens for September shows, but remember bulbs will need to be lifted about three weeks ahead of the show to allow skins to ripen. As a very general guide:

February sow cabbage, cauliflower, tomato and celery seed

March sow beetroot, carrot and parsnip seed

April sow beetroot seed, plant onion sets and seed potatoes

May sow sweet corn, marrow, runner bean and French bean seed.

Robinson Seeds & Plants have kindly sent us some photographs to display on our website

Robinson Vegetable Display   King George Cucumber   Brandy Wine Tomato   Long Green Trailing Marrow   Mammoth Improved Onion

Mammoth Red Onion   Show Perfection Pea   Robinson Champion Giant Cabbage

Robinson Seeds & Plants. Vegetable seeds and plants including the Mammoth range of exhibition vegetables. Range extends from Artichokes and Asparagus to Squashes and Tomatoes. Many unusual and heritage varieties.

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