2012 Exhibition Show Veg Growing bit.

Plus the giant Marrow growing attempt.

 

                                                                            

  

This year I'm going to put all the show veg in one section.

The Show Onion section is in another bit.

So this year I'm growing specifically for show:

Long and Stump Carrots,Shallots,Potatoes,Parsnips and French Beans,plus I'm going to attempt to grow a 100lb+ Marrow as I've managed to get hold of some seed from last years 170 pounder that broke the British record,so that should be fun.

-----------------

                

Dec 6th.

Well,it all starts now.

One of the most tedious jobs is to prepare the Carrot & Parsnip Compost mixes ready for next year.

                         

This involves sieving,In my case, 300 litres of multipurpose compost through a 6mm sieve.

This year I knocked up a sifting machine on wheels which made the job so much easier than using a small hand sieve as I've done in the past.

                         

It's really important to sieve the compost or peat,and the topsoil if you use any as you can see how much rubbish is sieved out,and the last thing you want is to leave any of these big lumps in because if the tap root hits any of them it'll veer off and grow a bent carrot or it'll fork.

So,after a few hours I've got around 250 litres of sieved compost and around 100 litres of sieved topsoil.

So,I'll just bag this up and store it away ready for mixing into the final growing medium come April which will involve adding extra sand,vermiculite and other things.More info on that when the time comes.

Dec 28th.

I decided to plant my Shallots into pots today.

I was going to leave this until the 2nd-3rd week in January to try to miss any freezing cold weather which would mean that they would be sat in the pots just freezing as they did last year.

But as this unseasonably warm weather seems set to continue for another 2-3 weeks and also the added warmth has made a few of them sprout prematurely so I thought I may as well just get the job done.

                         

This is the pretty poor selection of Hative de niort shallots that I have to plant.

Mine from last year all went soft bar 5 so I had to buy these from different sources.

The ones on the left were from a seller in Garden News which,although quite small,and a few sprouting seem to be a reasonable shape.

The ones on the right however are utterly abysmal,and these were purchased from a large online Seed Company.

Some of them don't even appear to be the right variety as I've never seen Hative de niort shallots that are such a flat shape.

Anyway I'll grow them and if they're rubbish I'll just eat 'em.

                         

So armed with 63 bulbs of various qualities I just planted a single bulb in a 4" pot of compost,remembering to just basically sit the bulb on the surface in a small hollow rather than burying it half way as this is the way recommended by a certain National Shallot Champ.

This seems to make sense as the smallest amount of the bulb and old skin that's in contact with the soil,the less chance of any botrytis forming which is a big problem for me anyway,and there's no advantage in burying the bulb apart from stopping birds from pulling it out.

                  

So that's 63 potted up,I'll just leave these in the Polytunnel and hopefully plant them out into the ground around late March/Early April.

Still can't believe I paid over 40 for this lot.....never again.

Jan 7th.

Well,after being stuck indoors for far too long over Xmas and due to the hideous weather I decided that today no matter what the weather I needed some fresh air and a bit of exercise.

So today I started to refill the carrot and parsnip barrels and boxes in the bloody rain !.

                         

I've increased my growing capacity this year by making some more boxes and getting some new barrels to give me enough containers to grow 96 stump carrots,30 long carrots and 16 parsnips,so yet again I need to buy more sand to fill the extra barrels.

I've also increased the height of all my stump boxes to 2ft instead of the 18" last year and I've got some collars to fit onto the carrot drums to make them 4ft tall.

But to start off I just filled the containers about 2/3 full with 4 tonnes of last years sand that I'd dug out last Autumn and sterilized.

                         

My thinking is that if there are any old carrot fly pupa lurking in last years sand that weren't killed of by the sterilization, then If I fill the containers to the top with another foot of new sterile stuff then this should stop them from pupating and emerging as adult flies as they'll have at least a foot of sand to crawl through.

So I have another 2 tonnes ordered which needs to be barrowed 200 yards across a muddy field to fill the containers up to the top.

Oh Joy !

Jan 11th.

Sand arrived today so I decided to take a day off and barrow it over the wet field in the rain.

                                    

As you can see the distance it all needs to be pushed.And by the end of it I'd ploughed a deep muddy road in the field.

                         

Even the extra 2 tonnes of sand wasn't enough,6 tonnes in all and I still need another tonne to fill the two boxes in the tunnel and the extension collars on the barrels.

Bought myself an automatic wireless rain guage so I can tell how much it's rained even when I've not been up to the plot for several days.

Should come in quite handy to judge watering later on in the year.

                   

So that's one thankless task almost done,I'll leave the sand to settle for a few weeks and then I'll bore out the holes.

Feb 11th.

Well I thought it was about time to weigh out all the ingredients to go into my carrot mixes so that when the time comes to mix it up it'll all be ready.

                         

This year I'm slightly reducing the quantity of fertilizer and other stuff by about 25% and going back to my best year's recipe.

Last year I had the idiotic thought that increasing the fertilizer would increase the size.....It didn't and actually a trial batch I planted with half the fert of the rest actually produced superior specemins hence the change.

So here is this years concoction.

4 parts sieved multipurpose compost.
1 part fine sand.
1 part sieved topsoil.
1 part fine vermiculite.

I use an empty gallon icecream tub as a measure and this gives me a 30 litre batch.

Then to each 30 litres I'll add.

3 oz ground up Vitax Q4
1.5 oz Ground up Calcified seaweed.
1 oz Ground Limestone.
0.5 oz Dolomite.
1.5 oz Seaweed Meal.

One difference this year is that I'm adding a little Dolomite which is Magnesium Calcium Carbonate.

By all accounts a little extra Magnesium increases the orange colour and is a general tonic for carrots but it remains to be seen if it'll make any difference.

                         

So I managed to do 12 lots of the fert mix and bagged them up in grip seal bags ready to just add into the mixer when I get around to mixing the final mix.

So that's another tedious job out of the way.

Feb 13th.

WOW !!!

Well,today I got a package from Holland.

And upon opening it realised that last year I joined the EGVGA....The European Giant Veg Growing Association.

I only did this because I'd heard that a lot of the growers of the biggest record breaking veg were members and that they freely distribute their prize winning seed amongst members.

So after I paid my 15 Euro subs I expected the odd marrow or Pumpkin seed.

                  

This is what they sent me.

Some Highlights are Pumpkin seed from Pumpkins weighing 1581,1335,1308,1329,1284,1146,1085 pounds,plus numerous others down to 600 lb.

Marrow seeds from 159,91,71 68 pounds.

Gourd seeds from the European Record holder at 122" long plus one from a 94 incher.

Tomato seed from 4.5,4 & 3.6 pounders.

Seed from a 75 pound Swede.

World Record Kohl Rhabi seed.

Giant Cucumber,Radish,Pepper,Carrot,Parsnip,Beetroot & Pot Leek seed.

Plus some other stuff.

So not a bad deal for 15 Euros.

Feb 15th.

Decided to mix my Carrot and Parsnip Mixtures this evening.

                         

So with my new mini cement mixer it was an absolute breeze.

And having already sieved all the compost and topsoil previously this made it an easy job.

In 30 litre batches all the ingredients were mixed thoroughly and it was a damn site easier than mixing by hand.

                         

I used a slightly different mix for the parsnips using one part more soil and one part less compost with another ounce of fertilizer.

So,that's 360 litres done and bagged up ready for filling the boreholes up sometime next month.

Feb 18th.

It's been about 5 weeks since I filled all the carrot and parsnip barrels with sand and they've now settled a few inches so need a quick top up.

I'll be boring out the holes in a week or so for the parsnips and about 2 weeks later for all the carrots.

                         

Over on the Shallot front,a few are starting to sprout but most are well rooted which is the most important thing at this stage.

                  

And since the big thaw,the frost has really done a good job in breaking all the big lumps up,and the soil's just starting to be prepared roughly by going through it with a 3 pronged hand cultivator.

Feb 26th.

Well, I decided to core and bore out my Parsnip "Stations" in the sand drums,as these will be sown about a month before the carrots and I need to get them done.

                         

The first thing I do,using a long length of 3" drainpipe is to remove a core of sand by plunging the pipe down and removing it and hopefully if you've watered the sand it should stick to the inside of the pipe and you can remove it.

This isn't really wide enough so the neext step is to do a bit of boring.

                         

Then I use a thick wooden pole and plunge this down to get another foot of depth to the hole and then rotate it to widen the hole into a conical shape about 4" wide at the top.

                         

Then using a funnel I trickle the compost mixture (ingredients above) through a funnel into the hole and slightly tamp it down with a cane every foot or so.

I decided to do 5 holes per barrel this time instead of the 7 last year to try to get bigger specemins.

Ideally you'd have just 3 or 4 but I'll leave that up to the top growers.

                   

I also started the procedure of "Chitting" the parsnip seed today.

This is just to make sure that you plant viable seed by sprouting it in between sheets of wet kitchen towel until a tiny little shoot appears out of the end called a "Radicle"

Then these seeds are planted in the prepared boreholes at about 3 per hole.

The reason this is done is because parsnips can be pretty unreliable germinators so if you plant a sprouted seed you know you're up and running.

Anyhoooo I did a video of the procedure so click below to see it.

March 3rd.

Managed to get out and core and fill nearly all the carrot barrels and boxes this week.

                         

These are for the stump carrots,a 2.75" pipe and centres about 6" in 2ft deep boxes.

Then just using the funnel the holes are filled,then I'll cover them all up until sowing in April.

So I've now done 80 Stump holes,31 long carrot holes and 14 parsnip holes.

Just another 20 stumps to do in the tunnel.

Job done !

March 5th.

Well,about a week after starting to chit my Parsnip seeds a dozen have sprouted so It's time to plant them in the boreholes.

                   

Ideally,or so I'm told you want to catch them as soon as the sprout or "Radicle" emerges from the case,any longer and there's a risk of snapping the delicate 1st root and getting forking.

Easier said than done,as in just a few hours the shoot will get quite a bit longer.

                         

Anyway,I planted the 1st 12 out at 3 per station,but given that there's a hard frost forecast tonight we'll see what happens.

March 10th.

My Shallots are really starting to grow now that the weather's warmed up a bit.

                 

I'll plant these outside at the end of the month and hopefully get a few decent ones for a change.

This is my last go at shallots as they cost me getting on for 1 a bulb !!!  toooooo expensive are Hative Di Niort.

                         

Finally got all my Carrot stations cored and filled,so I've just got to sow the seed in about 3 weeks time.

                         

So everythings covered up and just waiting until April.

All the Parsnips have now been sown as the seeds chitted over 3 days so I sowed them once they'd sprouted.

Covered them with clear plastic with an upturned plant pot in the center to keep the moisture in,add a little heat and keep the rain out.

March 17th.

Decided to plant the Shallots out today.

                   

I planted 22 in this new raised bed with 6oz of Vitax Q4 added.

I spaced them roughly a foot apart eachway and hopefully this year I can get a half decent crop.

I planted another 24 in another bed,so It'll be interesting to see if there's any difference in how they grow in different parts of the plot.

And now onto this years daft mission...Giant Pumpkins !!

                           

I've temporarrily fenced of even more of the field and dug myself 3 monster Pumpkin holes.

              

After digging out the soil to a depth of 18" I then added a shit load of horse muck,then broke all the soil up and riddled all 200 litres+ through a 10mm sieve.

Then mixed another full bag of compost and a full jar of slow release fertilizer pellets together and refilled the holes.

                      

So I now have 3x2ft6 wide 2ft deep planting holes and about 600 square feet of space for them to trail about in.I'm going to put a giant weed membrane over the whole plot to keep the grass down.

So we'll see how they get on later,I'm sowing seeds from pumpkins ranging in weight from 1581 to 1351 pounds.

A 150 pounder would do me !.

March 22nd.

Well,17 days after planting my chitted Parsnip seeds,all 14 stations have germinated overnight,literally.

                         

On tuesday night not a single one was through and I was starting to get a bit concerned,but after today's red hot sunshine every single one is through.

I've now taken all the polythene off so that when the sun comes out they don't cook in the heat.

March 24th.

Just to give you an idea of the speed of growth of the tap root of a parsnip.

                  

This is one that I thinned out today that only germinated yesterday and the seed leaves hadn't even opened.

As you can see in such a short time the tap root is almost 4" long,so even if the compost is dry on the surface or even the top 2 inches it'll still search out any moisture it needs lower down.

I never water my roots after germination for a few weeks to encourage this searching out of moisture and hopefully a longer root.

April 7th.

Not much happening at the moment apart from gale force winds that nearly snapped all my little parsnip seedlings off.

I also got all my carrot seed sown last week,but no germination as yet.

So I needed to give a bit of protection for the future.

                   

So in typical Heath Robinson style I've made myself a double skinned windbreak 6ft tall to surround the whole root growing bit.

I can raise it or lower it as necessary or even draw it round like a big curtain,so hopefully this will help with any more gales that might occur.

April 14th.

Germination,at last.

                         

Every single one of my stumps in the polytunnel have germinated now,and all within 3 days of oneanother.

Outside a few are just emerging but the cold weather forecast will no doubt slow the progress down a little.

                         

And another 2 of this year's experiments are a couple of giant Swedes from the seed off a 70+pounder thet Paul sowed from seed I sent him, and he had some spare plants so I thought I'd give it a go.

And I'm chitting a Kondor spud also from Paul which is the same variety that broke the heavyweight potato record last year at over 10 pounds.

Apparently you half bury the spud with the shoots underneath,then as these sprout and take root you can remove them from the spud and grow them.

I also planted a whole potato as normal too,so it'll be interesting to see what happens with these two oddities.

April 29th.

All the carrots are now germinated and the ones under cover in the poytunnel are growing their 1st true leavs now so I thinned them out to 1 per station.

                         

I also got all my exhibition spuds planted out yesterday.

8 bags of 3 different varieties : Kestrel,Amour & Blue Belle.

                  

I did a quick video showing how I do it,click below to play,Cheers.

 

May 5th.

My parsnips suffered with the gale force winds this week and a few were wind rocked to death which was disappointing even through the 2 layers of wind break mesh.

The carrots survived as they only have tiny little leaves and seemed to cope.

                  

Anyway this years daft veg venture is underway.

The giant pumpkin attempt.I managed to get 4 germinated and the weight of the pumpkin the seed came from is on the label....no kidding.

Unfortunately I only managed to get one marrow seed to germinate so It'll have to be a pumpkin fest this year.

May 12th.

The stump carrots in the tunnel are racing away compared with the outside ones.

                   

I've put a few rings over the plants to help watering,mainly to stop the compost getting washed away.

                   

Finally got the giant Marrow and the pumpkins planted outside.

We've had 3 frosts this week but the mini polytunnels I made and the propagator top plonked over on frosty nights has kept them well protected.

May 19th.

The shallots are starting to split but are way behind last year due to the cold weather.

                         

The ones in this bed are doing far better than the other bed,no idea why though ??

                          

The giant pumpkins and the single giant marrow have survived the recent frosts under the little tunnels and have put out a couple of leaves since planting.

On the subject of Giant Marrows and my lack of plants I just managed to get some seed from messrs Fortey,the holders of the british record and the second biggest marrow grown of all time.

They gave me a tip on germinating the seed and hey presto I have another 3 plants to go at.

Trouble is I'm a bit short of space so I'll have to dig myself a few more giant holes somewhere.

                         

Over on the carrot and parsnip section things seem to be in suspended animation.

They just aren't growing with the night time temps below freezing or just above and the day temps struggling to get above 10c.

These have been up for over a month now and still only have their 1st true leaves.

Over in the tunnel though the carrots are about 5" tall now.

I'm glad I decided to grow around 40 in there this year because at this rate they'll be the only ones to make any size.

Anyway a mini heatwave is forecast next week so hopefully things should start to catch up.

June 6th.

A bit of a belated update.

                         

The marrows are growing away well,the left one is from a 90 pounder and was planted out early but is now about 4 ft long and starting to grow quickly.

The one on the right is from one of the Fortey seeds I got from a huge British record marrow but only sowed later,but this too is now established and should start to fly soon.

                         

The giant pumpkins are growing well now and some of the leaves are a good 18" across.

One has outgrown it's house so I've just got a mesh wind break cloche over it to stop it blowing away.

I have another in the main bed and this will grow much better in cultivated soil rather than in just a giant hole as these 3 are.

                         

In the polytunnel the 2 boxes of stump carrots are really flying along.

I did a bit of a trial with a new simple mix in one box which was simply Levingtons F2+S and a bit of calcified seaweed,not riddled as it was so fine.

So far they both seem to be growing identically,and if they produce similar carrots then this will be an end to all the messing about riddling compost,adding,fertilizer,vermiculite,lime etc which is quite a time consuming faff of a job.

                         

Outside the carrots are way behind the tunnel ones but starting to move a little quicker.

The parsnips are behind last years but should be OK.

                         

The shallots are starting to bulb up a little but aren't as big as I would have liked.

I'm not going to push my luck and just let them grow for much longer as they will start to split again and make a distorted shaped bulb.

I'll start to measure them and 40mm is my aim,not big by any stretch of the imagination but big enough for my local shows.

The show potatoes are all through now and growing away,I planted 2 weeks later this year as I was way too early last year and ended up storing them for too long before my shows and they didn't do too well.

                         

And finally onto the giant onion.

I got a few plants off Paul in late March which were from the Peter Glazebrook strain.

They looked really sickly and unhappy for a few weeks but lately they have perked up and seem to be growing pretty well.

I have 2 in big 60 litre pots and 2 in the bed,so it's just a matter of growing these as big as possible and for as long as I can.

If I get an 8 pounder I'll be happy,if I break my PB of 9lb 2oz i'll be really happy and if I manage 10lb I'll be over the moon.

June 22nd.

Had a single casualty on the long carrot front,don't know what caused it but the middle died and it wilted.

                                        

I pulled it up to find any culprits but still am no wiser.

As you can see they're growing really slowly this year and are pretty disappointing.

On the other hand in the tunnel the stumps are absolutely flying along.

I had a scrat about to reveal the top of one and it was about three quarters of an inch across already.

So by show time they'll be brilliant...or way too big.

                         

I harvested all the shallots last week as the odd one was starting to produce some secondary growth which renders them misshapen and no good for showing.

They were a little on the small show with the biggest being about 40mm but I'm only entering them at my local show and have a selection of bulbs for the 3 different size classes.

The potatoes are growing well now but the gales might do them a bit of harm this weekend.

July 6th.

Over on the exhibition onion front the big Kelsaes are still ticking over despite the lack of sun and are around the 15-15.5" circ.

Similarly the Giant Peter Glazebrook ones are now catching up after a very slow start and are the same size.

Over on this years giant pumpkin front I couldn't be happier especially given the late frosts and lack of warmth things seem to have flown along.

All 3 are about 10 feet long now and have outgrown the protective mesh and polythene wind breaks so they'll have to fend for themselves now.

I've been burying the main stem and side shoots at each leaf axil which promotes secondary rooting at that point providing more energy to the plant and also helps anchor it down.

All that's needed now is for some fruit to appear and hopefully try to get one pollenated.

Tha same thing with the giant marrow,this is about 12 feet long and actually has a small embryonic fruit appearing so hopefully when the flower opens I can do the dirty deed and fertilize it with a male flower.

July 28th.

I got Blight on the show potatoes this week so I decided that I had to harvest them even though it was 2-3 weeks earlier than I'd hoped.

                   

The trouble is with lifting the spuds before the skins have set is that you inevitably waste loads by scuffing the skin no matter how careful you are.

I managed to get a few reasonable sets of 3,4 and some for top trays etc.

A new variety to me this year NVS Amour seemed by far the best shape and size being a lovely oval shape.

Blue belle were tiny and elongated so I'll not try those again.

                                  

Thought I'd have a scrat about to see how big the stump carrots were in the tunnel.

The first one i found a split in the top,lifted it and aaaaaaarrrrggghhhhh!!! this monstrosity.

Anyway I had further scrats and found no more split so hopefully this is just the odd one.

They are a bit on the large size and with another 5 weeks to my 1st show they may just be way too big.

Outside the same carrots are pitiful by comparison due to being flooded all year and I don't think I'll get a single long one this year as they are aven smaller.

                    

Anyway one thing that does seem to like no sunshine and bucketfuls of rain is the giant marrow.

Just 10 days after setting the 1st fruit it's almost 18" long and looks to be about 10 pounds already.

August 10th.

Exhibition Show Veg side things are a mixed bag.

The parsnips are way behind last years and the long carrots are quite pathetic but the Stump carrots don't seem too bad.

I'm definately putting the poor long ones down to the seed as I used a different type this year.

In the polytunnel though the carrots are a different story,2ft tall leaves and massive roots,so the poor showing outside is purely down to the cold and wet.

One thing that I'm really happy with is the Giant onions I put down for seed.

As you can see the heads are huge and fully pollenated by the insects and have literally thousands of seeds forming per head.

On the Giant Pumpkin front I have managed,at last to set 2 pumpkins.

They both seem a bit mutated though so we'll have to see what happens.

The plant's getting on for 30 feet long and 10ft wide so it should have enough energy to grow big if it doesn't mess up.

Whatever happens this is definately my final pumpkin growing attempt as I have to admit that you just can't grow a whopper outside this far north with horrible cold weather.

On the other hand,marrows seem to love the wet cool weather.

This one is just 24 days old and weighs approx 40 pounds so next year I'm gonna grow a load of these.

August 25th.

Although the shallots look a mess I'm happy with the way they've dried and once they're stripped down and tied they should make a few reasonable sets.

                         

And given the really slow start to the chilli plants which there's a class for at one of the shows finally they are producing fruit and hopefully in the next 3 weeks they may ripen.

                         

I'm fairly happy with the onions and these are the two pairs that I'll be putting into next weeks show once the necks have been tied.

                                     

Over on the carrot front,outside the constant rain has really affected them.

The stumps are ok but the long ones are absolutely tiny and the parsnips don't look to be too big either.

In the tunnel however I pulled this as a random test and It's the best carrot I've ever grown.

If the other 30 are anything like this then I should do pretty well.

So from now on it's going to be inside growing only.

                   

And the giant Marrow is still growing albeit slowly now.

Did a quick video of the marrow and pumpkin.

Click to play below,cheers.

September 3rd.

Yesterday was my Local Village Show and one I always support with as many entries as possible.

I entered into 25 different classes and put a total of 40 exhibits in the night before.

I felt pretty confident but then early Sunday morning I decided to pop up and remove the wet towels from my carrots and parsnips and saw an almighty pair of parsnips being entered at which point i thought that any chance of best veg was gone.

My pair above which I managed to snap the last foot of tap root off were well beaten.

Anyway this is how I fared in some of my other exhibits.

I was happy with my shallots this year despite them being a bit on the small size and thankfully our show has a class for under 1.5" and over 1.5" so you don't need monsters to enter.

I managed to win the under 1.5,the picklers at under 1" which is ridiculously small and 5 round ones any size.

My blight hit potatoes although slightly smaller than I'd have hoped didn't have a single speck of scab this year and cleaned up really easily with just a bit of a spongeing under the cold tap.

I got 1st and 2nd in the open spuds with Kestrel and Blue Belle which were a new type for me this year with really dark purple eyes,but they were a longer shape and not the biggest variety.

Managed 1st in the local spuds with NVS Amour which are a pink eyed spud which grow quite large quite fast and also seem to be a really nice even shaped spud,the only trouble is that they aren't a great eater.

Managed 1st and 2nd with my french beans Cobra which are a bog standard eating variety but will grow to a good 8"+ without showing any bean bulge in the pods.

If I'd have spent a bit longer straightening them then they'd have looked a bit better.

Somehow managed to get 1st in the peas with the Hurst Greenshaft which is a miracle in itself as we always get mildew in early Sept but for some reason not yet.

To be honest I couldnt tell the peas apart but I noticed that most of the others had 8 or 9 peas in the pods where Hurst Greenshaft have 10 so that must have tipped it my way.

Managed a full house in the tomatoes with a 1st for the truss,2nd for 5 toms and a 3rd for cherry toms.

Again these are no specific show variety but just Shirley which aren't bad for showing but are the best tasting toms out there in my opinion.

Won the best local exhibit for the tray of 3 veg.

Won 1st in the 2 stumps with some of the best carrots I've ever grown and I got 3rd with the reject scooby-doo legged pair grown a la Smithyveg.

My long ones however were pitifully small but still won due to lack of entries.

My giant Marrow only got 2nd out of 2 but as it wasn't a weight competition it's not surprising as beautiful it isn't.

But it was a bit of a talking point at the show and that's the whole reason for bringing it.

Finally I risked entering my hopefully Harrogate Show bound onions hoping they wouldn't get damaged but they didn't even though someone had decided to lay them on their backs ???

Anyway they were deemed good enough to win Best Veg in Show and also given the Blue Ribbon for best exhibit in the entire show.

That's one thing I've never won before so was absolutely chuffed to bits.

Even if I do say so myself they were a cracking pair,getting on for 5lb each,pretty identical and nicely ripened,without doubt the best onions I've ever grown and more satisfying as they were grown from seed by me last November so they've had over 9 months for something to go wrong.

So it was my most successful show ever,15 firsts, 6 cups,an NVS Medal,most points in the veg,most points in the entire show and a first for me, a blue ribbon for best exhibit in the whole hort show.

So all the hard work is worth it in the end and now it's on to my next show which is tougher to win at, and finally Harrogate Autumn Show which is almost impossible to win at for the likes of me, and a card of any colour is a massive achievement.

But you never know.

September 12th.

Westmorland Horticultural Show was my next show of the year,a much higher standard than my local one.

I didn't enter as many classes as my local one but I always try to put my best stuff in.

I won the Cup for the 6 onion class with some that I was hoping to enter at Harrogate but were just a bit on the small size only being just over the 2 pound mark.

Managed to win a coloured potato class with some Kestrels which thanks to the wet weather all year didn't suffer from any scab this year.

The Tray Class was the best collection of veg I've ever entered anywhere and I was really chuffed when legendary National Grower and the Veg Judge Dave Metcalf wrote a comment of "Outstanding" on the score card.

Harrogate was only 2 days away and I was hoping to enter the 3 onions here into the large exhibition class so it was a bit of a risk.

But it was a really succesful show and some how I got the cup for most firsts in the open classses too with a few more wins in other classes.

September 15th.

Now onto the biggee Harrogate Show.

Like last year I entered with only a feint hope of a prize and not a chance of a first.

One class I entered was the 3x2 veg class which attracts some nice displays and was the class for our BBC Competition this year.

This stands for Bullshitter Bloggers Competition where 3 of us veg bloggers enter a difficult class which is scored and the winner takes all.

Mine is nearest,Pauls is next up and Simons is 4th from the bottom.

Some how Simon managed to win as the judge must have had a fetish for small celery,but in all seriousness and as much as this pains me he did deserve it.

Both I and Paul managed 42/60 which equates to 70% so that'll do for me a relative novice in this company.

Somehow I managed to get the 3rd Heaviest Marrow at the show but this was dwarfed by Peter Glazebrooks monster at the back being attended by Carol Vorderman no less.

I managed a couple more thirds in the Chilli Plant class and also the Garlic.

Finally I entered into the big boys class of 3 Large Exhibition Onions,mine are front left.

Given that the Godfather of Onions Vin Throup was entering and also last years winner I didn't expect much after staging.

But....

I was over the moon to pick up 3rd place which realistically that's the best I could have hoped for in this company.

So,well chuffed.

 

 

I've got myself a Facebook Page click the link if you're interested,Cheers.

 


 

    HOME     Giant Onions     BigCarrots     Show Veg    Links

Archives        Veg Videos       Contact/Guestbook


Follow AllotmentDiary on TwitterFollow AllotmentDiary on TwitterFollow AllotmentDiary on Twitter

 

allotment-diary  2008 Privacy Policy Terms Of Use