TOP 10 TIPS FOR GROWING BIG VEG FOR EXHIBITION

GARETH CAMERON AND IAN STOCKS OFFER NEWCOMERS TOP 10 TIPS

USING D. T. BROWN’S EXHIBITION VEGETABLES

 By Colin Hambridge

Gareth Cameron is a leading vegetable exhibitor and stalwart of the National Vegetable Society, and all his advice is based on his own experience, which began in his 30s when he started growing pot leeks.  He now grows a wide range of vegetables for branch and national show benches, and particularly enjoys growing onions and those large pot leeks which originally fired his enthusiasm.
Gareth Cameron is a leading vegetable exhibitor and stalwart of the National Vegetable Society, and all his advice is based on his own experience, which began in his 30s when he started growing pot leeks. He now grows a wide range of vegetables for branch and national show benches, and particularly enjoys growing onions and those large pot leeks which originally fired his enthusiasm.

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.

Ian Stocks specialises in peas, carrots and parsnips.  A member of the NVS since 1985, he is chairman of the Scottish branch and has won many Scottish championships.  He and Gareth together have a huge amount of experience and knowledge based on many years of growing for showing.
Ian Stocks specialises in peas, carrots and parsnips. A member of the NVS since 1985, he is chairman of the Scottish branch and has won many Scottish championships. He and Gareth together have a huge amount of experience and knowledge based on many years of growing for 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