Now is the time tp primethose pumpkins!
Stoke Ferry Harvest Fayre 2003
Only one month to go to the Harvest Fayre and I am pleased to report that two
well-known local gardeners have agreed to judge the horticultural entries.
Graham Donachie, head gardener at Oxburgh Hall, and Ruthe Gray HND, will be
putting their heads together to decide just who will be walking away with those
certificates and silver cups on 6th September.
To remind you - the nine categories are listed below. And there is a new
category for anyone under 16 years of age who'd like to make a miniature garden. T
he only limitation is that the area must be no bigger than a shoebox but,
having said that, let our imagination run riot. Be creative. There is a 50p entry
fee and some free materials are available from the Youth Club.
What to do this month
Class A (vegetables)
Harvest main crop onions, making sure that the outer skins are well ripened
before storing. Under cover, harvest cucumbers and tomatoes regularly. Pick
cobs of sweetcorn when the tassels on the ends have withered. If you are going
away on holiday, make sure that a friend or neighbour will keep everything well
watered (however, take care not to over-water tomatoes this late in the summer
as it causes them to split - they still taste okay but they won't win any
prizes). Talking of prizes, be sure to leave a few courgettes on the plant to
swell and ripen into giant specimens!
Class B (fruit)
Thin fruits, as in June. Protect ripening fruit, especially
September-fruiting raspberries, from the birds. Check for pests, diseases and dieback, and
apply sticky bands and sacking bands to apple and other trees if they suffer from
many pests. Test fruit for near-ripeness by lifting and twisting gently - when
it is ready to pick, it will part easily from the spur.
Class C (flowers)
Pests can still be a problem, especially on dahlias and chrysanthemums, so
continue to spray regularly. Feed dahlias with liquid feed - the liquid from
last month's comfrey recipe would be just the job. If you want large
chrysanthemum blooms for the show, be sure to disbud i.e. remove the side shoots which
appear where each leaf joins the stem. I have read that you can prevent earwigs
going into the flower by smearing the stem with Vaseline - I haven't put it to
the test but it might be worth a try. Keep picking sweet peas to encourage
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
PLUS - Miniature gardens (under 16s only)
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).