War Memorial Gary Trouton

Stoke Ferry Harvest Fayre 2003

March 2003

Get digging now!

You don't have to be first cousin to Alan Titchmarsh to enter your flowers, veg or fruit in this year's Harvest Fayre horticultural show. Entries are just as welcome from those people who don't know a rake from a hoe as from the green-fingered fraternity. Your parsnips may not rival those of Mr L Short who won Best of Show at the millennium Harvest Fayre but they might well stand a good chance of winning the Novelty Veg category. In fact, there is a category for everyone, including a Junior section for youngsters under the age of 18.

Whether you are old or young, a seasoned gardener or an enthusiastic novice, now is the time to start preparing for the best results. The days are getting longer and the soil is warming up so get out and get digging. And watch this space for monthly tips on what you need to be doing to ensure that your crops are at their prime when 6th September (the date of this year's Fayre) comes around.

If your skills are in the kitchen rather than the greenhouse, then why not see how your speciality fares against the offerings of all the other budding Delias and Jamies in Stoke Ferry, Whittington and Wereham. Please note that this year all entries will be judged on taste as well as appearance. And this also applies to the beer and wine category which local expert Chris Hollier has very kindly volunteered to judge. Word has it that he has already embarked on a serious training regime to prepare his palate for the big day.

The complete list of categories is shown below:

The entrance fee is 50p per person and 25p for those under 18; this entitles you to enter as many of the above classes as you wish. The winner of each class wins a certificate and a silver cup to keep for one year. For more information contact either Marion Clarke (tel: 500 032) or Chris Hollier (tel: 500 872).

If you didn't get round to digging your ground during the winter, it is not too late to do it now. When the weather is dry, spread fertiliser on the newly dug ground and rake it in.

Sow parsnips, leeks, summer spinach. Sow seeds of late summer cabbages. spring onions and radishes.

Prepare a bed in a cool greenhouse for planting tomatoes in April.

Firm trees and bushes lifted by frost.

Complete pruning of trees and bushes and feed.

Spray apples, pears, cherries, peaches and plums. Protect flowers on wall-trained peaches.

Plant raspberries and strawberries.

Fork over ground to be planted with hardy annual and dress with fertiliser.

Sow half-hardy annuals under glass.

Spraying the ground around your roses with a dilution of one eggcup of Jeyes fluid to a gallon of water helps to prevent bugs and diseases. You can also spray supporting trellis or wall but only if the plants are still dormant and have not started to put out leaves.

If the weather is wet, trap snails and slugs under a piece of old carpet placed in the garden then dispose of them by drowning in beer or (if you are hard-hearted enough) by sprinkling with salt. If you do use slug pellets, place them under a tile or stone so that the birds can't eat them by mistake.

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