Sowing Dates for Showing Vegetables

29th Nov 2001

To continue with the sowing dates and best varities to use for showing towards the end of August and the end of September. These dates were picked as the end of August is when the Welsh Championships are going to be held at nmargam park for the next two years. The end of September date is when the NVS Championships are beinh held at Malvern next year. This hopefuly will help all growers to tome their produce better.

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The second contributor is Jim Kirkness who I have known now for a number of years through visting NVS shows up in Scotland and have always been made more than welcome in his home when ever I have visited him. Jim was a late starter into the growing and showing of vegetables and it all came abouit when he took over a bigger house to cater for his eaxpanding family and with it came a garden. Jim immediately turned over the soil and planted vegetables with the intention of feeding his grwoing family.

However, he was persuaded (against his better judgement he says) to have a go at the local Dalkieth show winning in the novice section. This of course set jim thinking as to what he could achieve if he were to apply some more effort into growing for shoing and from that pointbon, as jim says, I became addicted. Jim joined the Dalkieth Horticultural society and was one of the best decisions that he ever made making lots of valuable friends who have stood the test of time. Eventually he became a committee member, secretary and president.

Shortly after joing the above Society the Scottish Branch of the NVS was formed and Jim once again was an active member, he is also quite unique in that he is the only member to have held all three positions of Secretary, Treasurer and Chairman. Jim is very pleased with his successes at NVS shows, both at branch and National level and particularly because he has achieved it without as he says ‘volume growing, poly tunnels and over head covers etc'

Jim made his name first with shallots and won the this particular class on two occasions, 1981 and 1982 as well as winning with Celery and Peas. Interesting to note that jim has had his success when growing no more than 30 shallots, cauliflower or peas, quite an achievement.  So good was Jim considered to be with his shallots that he and Bill Rodger were the stars in a book by Daniel A Calderbank called Growing Onions and Shallots. In the book Jim tells how he grew them right through to staging them at shows. Sadly, to my knowledge, this book is no longer in print.

Jim is very modest and doesn't rate himself as much of a showman, although I and many others know better, particularly when he is on song. Jim has a saying that to be a successful‘showman' one has to have three essential attributes -  a stout heart, a broad back  and a thick head (just think of trying to pull long carrots in the teeming rain)'

Here are Jim's varieties and their sowing dates for those on the list that he grows:-

 

Kind Cultivar 1st Show Date 2nd Show Date Comments
Globe Beet Pablo 11th April 21st May The very best variety
Long Beet Regar Mid March   One Sowing
Broad Bean   15th April   One Sowing
Green Cabbage Winningstadt Early April Mid April An old favourite that does well
Red Cabbage   1st February   One Sowing,
Will hold well in rows
Runner Bean   Early May 20th June  
French Bean   Early May    
Carrots Long New Red Intermediate 7th April   Just the one sowing
Carrots Stump Chantenay & Gringo 7th April 17th April warm up beds pre-sowing, use cloche or old jam jars!
Cauliflower Plana and Nautilus 7th May 21st May Very difficult to time, weather critical. Keep in cold when cut, use cling film
Trench Celery

Ideal

Evening Star

Red Star

1st March

10th March

1st March

15th March

25th March

15th March

The later sowing dates are to allow for slower rate of growth at the back end of the season.
Cucimber        
Lettuce Butterhead        
Table Marrow        
Onions over 250 gram        
Onions under 250 gram        
Parsnips Gladiator Early January   One sowing only
Peas Show Perfection Mid May Late May Usually 14 to 15 weeks prior to show date
Potatoes Winston
Kestrel Amour
Maxine
Harmony
End of April One sowing only Plant only if soil has warmed up. Planting dates not critical as potatoes can be held back if the haulms are cut once size obtained.
Radish        
Tomatoes Solution and Shirley      
Turnips Not Grown      

To continue with the sowing dates and best varities to use for showing towards the end of August and the end of September. These dates were picked as the end of August is when the Welsh Championships are going to be held at nmargam park for the next two years. The end of September date is when the NVS Championships are beinh held at Malvern next year. This hopefuly will help all growers to tome their produce better.
Other 2001 articles of interest

· Best head of Leek Bulbils or...
· Onions - Quantity, Quality and...
· Long Cultivars of Carrots
· Feeling the Pressure - Short...
· Sowing Dates for Showing...
· Enjoying the result of all the...
· Travelling the country and...
· Tomatoes and Onions
· Promising Shallots for Large...
· Growing Potatoes in Poly Bags
· Exhibition Celery - In need of...
· Gladiator and Excalibur...
· Planting Show Potatoes for...
· Sowing Dates Used By Showmen
· Preparing for the Vegetable...

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