GARETH CAMERON AND IAN STOCKS OFFER NEWCOMERS TOP 10 TIPS
USING D. T. BROWN’S EXHIBITION VEGETABLES
By Colin Hambridge
Leading vegetable growers and exhibitors Gareth Cameron and Ian Stocks have plenty of useful advice for those keen to have a go at growing varieties from D. T. Brown’s specially selected range of exhibition vegetable seeds and plants, but unsure where to begin. Their top 10 tips for those new to showing vegetables are:
1 Start locally at small shows rather than going straight to national ones.
2 Then grow vegetables the household also enjoys eating to deal with any surplus that is produced..
3 Go to as many shows as possible and speak to exhibitors. Don’t be scared to ask for tips and advice on the vegetables you are interested in exhibiting.
4 Buy only varieties recommended for exhibition use.
5 Getting the soil right is more important than feeding plants. This is the most influential factor in growing large, high quality vegetables, whether that means growing root vegetables in containers with an appropriate compost or preparing the soil well in advance with an autumn mulch of well rotted manure”
6 Read the show schedule carefully as disqualification, although rare, is due to a misread schedule.
7 The condition of the vegetables is foremost in the minds of the judges, while uniformity of the vegetables displayed is usually the second most important factor.
8 Good presentation can win a tie-breaker, so check the show schedule and think about how to make the most of the display.
9 On the day, arrive as early as possible, allowing plenty of time to set up. It often helps to walk away and then come back to reassess the display.
10 And finally, do not forget to have fun and enjoy the whole process, from sowing to showing.
To request a free copy of the D. T. Brown Fruit and Vegetables Catalogue 2014, write to D. T. Brown, Western Avenue, Matrix Park, Chorley, Lancashire PR7 7NB, telephone 0845 3710532, fax 0845 3710534 or go online www.dtbrownseeds.co.uk