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Carlton Garden and Allotment Society Show

Hints for Exhibitors


General point

The uniformity of specimens is important!



All vegetables should be washed carefully so that the skin is undamaged.


Potatoes should be of medium size and similar shape. ‘White’ potatoes should be totally white; any splashes of colouration make them a ‘coloured’ variety.

Beetroot should be of an even size and have a good skin colour. Carrots should be of uniform size, avoiding pale ones or ones with green tops. ‘Stump rooted’ carrots should have blunt ends; those defined as ‘long rooted’ should be long with pointed ends. Beets and carrots should have most of their leaf removed, leaving less than 3 inches remaining. Cauliflowers should have their outer leaves trimmed back.

French and runner beans should be uniform in size and suitable for eating i.e. crisp, tender and young (with the exception of the longest runner bean class!).

Onions should be shown dressed with the minimum amount of outer skin removed. They should be of uniform size, and may be displayed on rings of cardboard tube, egg cups or in a dish of sand. ‘Small’ shallots are those of pickling size.

Leeks should be long and straight with white stems and the roots cut short. The minimum amount of outer leaf should be removed.

Marrows ‘fit for the table’ should be young and a maximum of 12 inches long.

Tomatoes should be exhibited with the calyxes attached. The calyxes should appear fresh - crinkly calyxes will reveal to the judge that the tomatoes have been picked too early.


Flowers should be cut in the early morning or late evening. Underdeveloped side shoots, excess leaves, unopened buds and any damaged material should be removed. They should be displayed in an appropriately sized vase.


Pot Plants

The pots should be clean and any staking should be as unobtrusive as possible.



All fruit should be in its natural form - apples and grapes should not be polished. Specimens should be as near perfect as possible; they should be fresh, free from blemish, have a good shape and be uniform in size. Pick more than are necessary so that you have spares in case of an accident. Gather fruit as near to the Show as possible and use scissors rather than fingers to avoid bruising. Top fruit should be exhibited with the stalks intact. Apples should be displayed with the eye uppermost, stalk down.

Berries should be displayed on a bed of sugar, calyx up.



These must be presented in clean, clear glass bottles with new flanged corks so that the bottles can be easily opened. Bottles should be filled to within ½ inch of the base of the cork. Labels should indicate the type of wine, year of manufacture and sweetness. When the cork is drawn the wine should be stable (no sign of fermentation) unless it is specifically a sparkling wine.



Jars must be clean and clear. Labels should clearly show contents and date of manufacture.


For jams, jellies, marmalades and curds the jars should be filled to within ¼ inch of the top. The preserve should be covered with a wax disc and cellophane or a lid. There should be no air bubbles or creases in the disc.


Vinegar should cover pickles by at least ½ inch and there should be at least ½ inch of space between the vinegar and the lid. Vinegar preserves should be at least two months old before showing. Do not use cellophane covers as vinegar evaporates through them.


Chutneys should be smooth textured. They should not contain any cores, skins or stones and there should be no air bubbles.



These should be evenly baked with straight sides and even tops. Lining papers should be removed.

Fruit in fruit cakes should be evenly distributed.