River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Stoke Ferry Harvest Fayre - 2003

May 2003

Information for gardeners planning to enter the produce competition this year

After weeks of warm sunny weather in April, gardeners have had to start watering earlier than ever. As the danger of frost diminishes, apply mulch to the soil to help conserve the moisture. Late May frosts are especially likely when April has been drier than usual so we need to keep our fingers firmly crossed that we will escape them this year.

Class A (vegetables)

Clear skies threaten frost so be prepared to cover potatoes if necessary. Towards the end of the month, sow marrow and pumpkin seeds. Prepare planting sites for outdoor tomatoes. Clean our stored canes ready to support the runner beans which should be sown around now. Sow French bean outdoors and set out late summer cauliflowers. If you feel like trying something different, sow seakale beet or salsify.

Under glass, gradually remove cloches from spring cabbages, carrots, lettuces and broad beans.

Class B (fruit)

Water trees and bushes in dry weather while the fruit is developing. If necessary, bark ring apples and pears to encourage fruiting. Tie in new

growth on blackberries and loganberries. Remove surplus shoots from raspberries and mulch. Protect your strawberries from slugs by spreading straw over the bed or putting the jam jars over the newly formed fruit.

Class C (flowers)

Sow hardy and half-hardy annuals now for a brilliant show right through the summer until 6th September. If you are growing sweet peas, hoe round the plants regularly and tie in as they grow. If the weather is dry, mulch. Don't be tempted to plant out young dahlias until the danger of frost is past. If you want your delphiniums to be show-stoppers, stake them (rough winds really do shake the darling buds of May - the Bard must have been a gardener!) and feed them. Even organic gardeners need to spray their roses against blackspot but greenfly can be picked off by hand.

The complete list of categories is shown below:

Class A Vegetables

Class B Fruit

Class C Flowers

Class D Jams and Pickles

Class E Cakes

Class G Bread

Class H Beer and Wine

Class I Novelty veg

Class J Junior

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: 500032) or Chris Hollier (tel: 500872).

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