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Sunday, 29 August 2010

More From The Show

I had a good show yesterday it was my local Village show and the biggest turnout ever with over 50 ehibitors the tables were packed with good quality ehibits. I tabled 48 exhibits and ended up with 30 cards 10 firsts 10 seconds and 10 thirds it was a bit hectic getting ready as I had been working all week and had little time to prepair.
the cards were awarded as follows
First                                   Second             

Blanched Leek                  Potatoes                                    
Onions from Sets dressed    Lettuice               
Carrots                               Beans dwarf Kidney
Dwarf Beans                       Cabbage as Grown
Runner Beans                      Plate Parsley        
Any other veg Celery          Tomatoes             
White Potatoes                   Cabbage White      
Swedes                              Collection 4 veg     
Shallots                               Carrots                   
Thornton Ross Top Tray     Blanched Leek        
Dwarf Beans,Tomatoes,Potatoes White,Sweedes,Cabbage White,Parsley Plate,One Flower One Veg,Marrow,Cabbage as Grown,and Turnips.
I won 5 Trophy's
Top Tray , best exhibit in onion Class,most prize money in veg class,best exhibit in veg class for Onions from setts Dressed and Garden News Shield for most prize money in Show
I have also been invited to join the committee that organises the show which I will be doing in due course
My next and final show will be next week this is also at local level. I will be attending Harrogate but not exhibiting to see what i have to aspire to.
I also entered the Smithy Veg stupid grin of the year contest while recieving a couple of trophies we will see what hapens at Christmas when he dishes out the awards.

Friday, 27 August 2010


Been manic this evening preparing for my local show it is now midnight and i have just sat down I pulled all my Carrots to cover all the classes including the selection of veg classes. one of the Carrots when pulled caused quite a stir,not sure what category to enter it in though any suggestions would be welcome. I also pulled my last remaining Onions as they had stopped growing, my new personal best 4.5lb for the largest.more to follow after the show tomorrow I'm off to bed 

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Grow Lights Weeds Japanese Onions

Went to a Hydroponics shop near Manchester on Friday in search of Grow lights for my Onions and Leeks next season. It was full of fellow growers who seemed to be more interested in growing Weeds than veg, why spend all that money when weeds seem to be the easiest thing to grow without any encouragement. (strange people) not one person in the shop seemed to be interested in Giant onions or showing,nor did I get any invites to visit their gardens,it may be a Yorkshire Lancashire thing. I did purchase some Reflectors and some reflective film, I will return later for the Bulbs.
I then went to my workshop to construct some growing boxes one for Onions and one for leeks, each box can take 4 seed trays and will be covered by 2 lights. This should enable me to get better results next year.

I also sowed 60 Japanese overwintering Onions, these are for kitchen use and have done well in the past altough last years were not that brilliant, I put this down to them being covered with snow for half the Winter.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Garlic Spuds Future plans

Spent this afternoon sorting out the Garlic which is now dry. I trimmed it back and took off all the loose skins
I also emptied another bag of Maxine they are a better size now and do not have any signs of scab.While sat sorting the Garlic I hatched a plan to cover all the Raised Beds on the upper level with a 30 foot by 15 foot Polly tunnel this will enable me to grow most things indoors watch this space work should commence in the next couple of weeks.Photo of area to be covered below.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Poppy the Pumpkin

A Quick update on Poppy the Pumpkin named after the late head Gardner. this is the only pumpkin that has fertilised and is growing well the variety is Atlantic giant, just need some more sun. Vital statistic 30" round

Saturday, 14 August 2010


Played out with the big boys today, it was quite a large show with exhibitors from far and wide .
I awoke at 5 am to start prep to find it pis**ing down spent about 2 hours selecting exhibits for the show. I would have done things different given the choice as there was nowhere near enough time to get things ready. I decided to try the 4 types of veg 2 of each and the 3 types of veg 2 of each then picked anything else that looked OK it was a rush lesson learned. My Sweet Candle were huge Parsnips great Celery also good. the results were OK. I would have done things different knowing what I know now, but after all I am

new to this so I am pleased with the results.I got one Red card for my under 8 oz Onions Vento which looked far better than any other entry in the class. Speaking to the judge afterwards he said they would be good enough for Harrogate. I got a second for my Kestrel and 5 thirds for Dwarf Peas ,Swedes,cauli,4Veg, and 3 Veg.

I now know what to do in the future. and should clean up at my local Show,don't hold your breath I have also included a photo above of what i was up against to give you an idea of the general Quality of the exhibits Onions and Leeks were massive but my carrots were far better as for the Potatoes very small.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Smithyveg 1st Show

I had an enjoyable couple of hours visiting Simon last night I am doing something right as my large Onions and Celery are better than his. The rest of his stuff is on a par with mine lol. I did get answers to all my questions and learnt loads thanks Simon for the info and the Shallots. I do however think that he uses Photo shop when posting pictures of himself on the blog enough said!

Turning now to this weekend, I have my first Show and very little time to prepare. I will be arriving home this evening from the Midlands and have to select my exhibits from the Garden and prepare them ready to stage in the morning before 10.00 am. Simon gave me some pointers so we will see what happens.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Upon my return from Hartlepool I just had time to empty some bags of Potatoes ,mainly the Winston that everyone seems to be having problems with. Mine were cut back 2 weeks ago and left outside. The growing medium was quite wet and some of the tubers were scabby.I will get a decent set hopefully but only just. The bag I emptied 2 weeks ago had Potatoes of much better condition so next year I will not let them stand, as that is when the scabbing seemed to have occurred. My Kestrel on the other hand are really good with loads of good sized unblemished specimens to choose from.

Tall Ships

Had a great weekend at the Tall Ships Races spotted some people obviously from Loughborough
(socks with sandals) some were even camping on Asda car park relatives of Smithy's I expect.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Disastrous day

Yesterday was not a good day, the gearbox on my newly acquired vehicle decided to pack up after only a days ownership. I had really pushed out the boat and spent £700 thinking I would get a decent car still you live and learn. I now know what Fiat stands for (FIX IT AGAIN TOMORROW) On a more serious note one of my giant Red Onions has been attacked and ruined by some kind of Grub any suggestions as to what it is would be welcome.This Onion was one of the 3 that were most equal in size so that has ruined my set of 3.
It weighed 2.5 ib so not a bad size. I am away from the garden this weekend in Hartlepool for the Tall Ships Race,ill post some photos later of the Ships or maybe the inside of the Beer Tent.
I will be visiting Simon Smithy this week and am looking forward to that. altough there may not be much to look at if he has anymore disaters!!!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010


Pulled back the netting on my Cabbages today one bed is infested with Green Cabbage eating Bast***s more Chicken food. The other bed has perfect specimens with no damage at all they are hearting up a treat.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Giant lettuice

I pulled a lettuce today that had been left to grow it turned out to be a monster

Monday, 2 August 2010

Giant Red Onions

Today On the advice of Smithy, I stripped back the damaged leaves on the giant Red Onions in readiness for harvesting in a few days. I also lifted the Giant Onions planted outside, due to lack of space in the Tunnell, they have now also ben dressed and are drying off. I planted some Purple Sprouting Broccoli in there place.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Purple Haze and Parsnip for Tea

As I only Have a few Purple Haze and one seemed a lot bigger than the rest I gave in to temptation and pulled it. Fantastic specimen and taste !! I also pulled a Parsnip from the Kitchen bed these were the leftover chitted seeds planted in a normal raised bed with no protection again a good size but some canker but tasted fine. The ones under Enviromesh should be even better.

Carrots Long Beet & Cauli

Opened up the Enviromesh again today because the Sweet Candle carrots were pushing up out of the Compost so I needed to earth them up to stop the tops going green, the largest ones measure 7 + 3/4" Circumference I am not sure if they are too big or not I will ask Smithy what he thinks as the Show is still 4 weeks away. On inspecting the Purple Haze one has grown several shoots so will be part of Sunday lunch. I also pulled a long beet from the Tubes as the leaves were Yellowing I hope the rest are as good. Also managed a half decent Cauli 4 weeks too early.


Been lifting Kelsae Onions for dressing today, (as you can see from the photos) I have skillfully managed to grow some great Onions which are all different shapes and sizes, making it difficult to get a set of 3. I also lifted some grown from sets these are more uniform but smaller. As I am only showing in local shows they should be good enough. My Giant Onions are growing very slowly and the ones that have not split are now 18" circumference, These are for the 3 Onions as grown with Green Blades category.I may also lift some Ailsa Craig for Dressing as these are more uniform in size (photo with Hand )