GUIDE TO SHOWING
The following section has been compiled to help both experienced exhibitors and new exhibitors. The Royal Horticultural Society gives recommendations for what to look for as signs of quality for different types of fruit & vegetables.
Broad Beans Large well-filled pods, with tender seeds; stalks left on.
Dwarf French Beans Straight tender pods with no outward sign of seeds; stalks left on.
Runner Beans Long slender straight pods with no outward sign of seeds; stalks left on.
Beetroot Medium sized; smooth clear skins and flesh of a uniform dark colour. Leave the top on for the Summer Show but trim to 3" for the Annual Show and leave the small tap root intact.
Brussels Sprouts Small, solid, tightly closed sprouts with heels left on.
Cabbage Shapely solid hearts, with surrounding leaves perfect and stalks cut off below lowest leaf. Do not over strip leaves.
Carrot Good shape and free from side roots. Skin and colour clear and bright. Leave the top on for the Summer Show but trim to 3" for the Annual Show.
Cauliflower Close solid white curds free from stain. Trim the stalk and the largest leaves to leave a ring of green leaves around the curd. Sunlight discolours, so cover with a leaf.
Celery Well-blanched solid sticks with roots trimmed and damaged outer leafstalks removed.
Cucumbers Young, green, tender and straight fruit with short handles with bloom (grey sheen on skin) intact, and with the flower still attached.
Leeks Solid, thick, long shafted well-blanched without bulbous bottoms. Damaged outer skin should be removed taking care, not to over skin. Roots left on but tidy. Leaves intact and tied upright.
Lettuce Firm, tender, unbroken hearts of good colour. Take off damaged or yellow leaves and cut off surplus stalk.
Marrow Young, tender shapely fruits with stalk intact. To test for tenderness use fingernail to puncture skin.
Onion Firm, thin-necked bulbs, well ripened, with unbroken skin. When fully dried cut off tops not less than four inches above the bulb, fold over once or twice and tie down; remove enough root fibres to leave base intact. Never over skin.
Parsnips Large, well-shouldered, shapely, evenly tapered, smooth skins, white roots, free from side roots. Trim the top to 6" and leave the thin tap root unbroken.
Peas Fresh pods of deep green with bloom (grey sheen on pod) intact. Well filled with tender peas; when picking, leave on small stalk; never polish pod. Try to handle as little as possible.
Potatoes Medium sized, shapely, clean clear skinned tubers, eyes few.
Shallots Same preparation as for onions but as they are harvested earlier, very little skinning is needed. Skins should be unbroken.
Tomatoes Medium sized, round, ripe but firm, richly coloured fruits with calyxes (stalks) attached that should be fresh and green.
Turnips & Swedes Turnips - about the size of a cricket ball;
Swedes - medium-sized, clear skinned, solid, shapely.
Leave the top on and the small tap root intact. The flesh may be white or yellow.
Apples: Culinary & Dessert Large, shapely, solid fruits with eyes and stalks intact, and clear unblemished skins.
Blackberries Large, ripe fruits of good colour, free from blemishes; good condition and having stalks
Cherries Large ripe fruits of brilliant colour, with unshrivelled stalks.
Currants: Red, Black, & White Bunches with full complement of berries. Berries large, ripe and of a uniform, bright colour, stalks fresh.
Damsons Large, ripe but firm fruits of good colour, carrying perfect bloom (grey sheen on skin) with stalks left on.
Figs Large, fully ripe fruits of good colour with bloom intact.
Gooseberries Large, fresh fruits of good colour. Stage as picked.
Melon Fully ripe and well finished. Test ripeness by smell and pressing around the eye for softness.
Peaches Fully ripe with the colour natural to the variety; well developed, free from bruises and other blemishes.
Pears Large, shapely fruits with eyes and stalks intact and clear unblemished skins of the natural colour of the variety.
Plums Large, firm, ripe fruits, of good colour, carrying perfect bloom (grey sheen on skin) with stalks left on.
Raspberries Large ripe fruits of good colour, free from blemishes, in good condition and having stalks.
Strawberries Large ripe fruits of good colour, free from blemishes, in good condition and having stalks.