Hot News

This website is constantly under revision and new pages and updates will be added as circumstances dictate.

The Committee has planned a full programme of events up to January 2019. (See Programme 2017/19)

Please note that this website is now being updated using Mozilla Firefox as the browser.  It is possible that the appearance of each page may look slightly different if viewed with another browser such as Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.

What's Happening ?     Last Updated: Saturday 18th November 2017



The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that I have created a modifed East Yorkshire DA logo on the Home Page to make it more distinctive. The original image was taken from one of my EYDA blue jumpers that we had made many years ago for our group when we were still meeting at St Andrews Club, Anlaby Road, Hull.  Some of you may recall Mr and Mrs Littlewood who use to organise this service.

The Autumn 2017 edition of Simply Vegetables has recently been issued to NVS members and also contains details of the NVS membership fees for 2018. You can join/renew and pay by cheque, postal order, direct debit or via the NVS website, using Paypal. The relevant link can be found at the top right-hand corner of the home page.

I have updated the Programme 2017/19 page to include the events planned for 2018.  Dates and timings are indicative only and are subject to confirmation in due course.

I came across this useful design on Facebook.

Also news of a new world record squash grown in USA.

And closer to home

And how to start an indoor vegetable garden here

More giant pumpkin information here.

An American website but some interesting information on vegetables  and much else.

And another one to visit on a wet evening

And some interesting news on apples that do not turn brown after slicing here

Do you remember Mac Stone's occasional 'What You Are Wondering' newsletter comments from the distant past? Well, the following event is something that would probably resonate well with his shrewd observations.

What you are wondering in November?

How two of the three dishes of 4 Maxine potatoes staged in the Coloured Potato Class at Driffield Late Show magically grew to 5 potatoes at the time of judging!

And why, in one case at least, the extra potato staged had a different skin texture to its companions and, also, to the genuine spare potato still wrapped up and hidden in the bag it was brought to the Show in!

Whether anyone collected the two surplus Maxine potatoes placed underneath the show bench, at the end of the Show!


The long-awaited new NVS Judges' and Exhibitors' Guide is now available to purchase at £8.50 per copy, or £10 including post and packing. Keith Abel has some copies available for purchase.  You will note that the cover design bears a striking similarity to the RHS Show Guide. Please note that, since publication, the Sweet Corn page has been updated to mirror the existing RHS pointing criteria. The correct points awarded for Sweet Corn should be Condition 5 points, Uniformity 4 points, Size 3 points, Set of Grain 3 points, Colour 3 points = Total 18 points.  A self-adhesive paper erratum slip is available to cover and amend the existing page details.






An audience of about 50 persons attended the meeting on Monday 30th October 2017 when Hilary Dodson, Chair of the Northern Fruit Group, gave a presentation on Growing Fruit in the North.  Details of the organisation can be seen here.  Hilary's talk focused mainly on apples and pears enhanced by her use of potted examples to show the effect of pruning. There were also examples of various apple cultivar fruits for people to try.  She grows 150 different varieties of apple, 20 of pears and 20 of plums in her Otley garden.  An interesting Yorkshire Post article about her can be read here.

Commercial apples are all produced by growing desirable varieties on certain rootstock which has the prefix M (for East Malling Research Station) or MM for Merton Malling.  Some numbers are more vigorous than others and the rootstock selected determines the size of the eventual tree. M9 is said to have brittle roots which means it can blow over easily without strong staking supports. Hilary said that rootstocks should be not less than two years old before grafting on the variety desired.  The tree will then require a further three years of growth in order to produce a decent crop of fruit. Branches allowed to remain vertical will grow rapidly upwards whilst branches which are kept horizontal will make little growth.  Shaping a tree by allowing the branches to grow at about 45 degrees will strike a happy medium of containing growth and producing fruit.

Hilary also discussed the merits of summer and winter pruning.  Summer pruning encourages fruiting whilst keeping the same overall tree size, whereas winter pruning allows the tree to grow and opens up the centre to avoid tangling of branches. The trick with summer pruning is to wait until the terminal bud has formed fully. Pruning too early will promote soft new growth which may suffer frost damage and lead to a lack of fruit. Further details of summer pruning can be found here, and winter pruning here.

One thing I had not realised before (although it's obvious when you think about it) is the appearance of the occasional apple tree along road verges in the middle of nowhere.  The answer, of course, is discarded apple cores thrown out of passing cars!

Early fruiting apples will not keep and should be eaten straight away before they turn soft and mushy.  Late maturing apples, on the other hand, should be stored over winter in order to allow the characteristic sweetness and flavour to develop befor eating.  Family trees, featuring two or more varieties growing on the same rootstock, are quite common now but Hilary said to avoid any Bramley variety as it was a very vigorous grower and tended to take over the whole tree.

Pears tend to grow more vertically than apples and, therefore, the side branches need to be shaped to about 45 degrees in order to encourage fruiting.  Some interesting background on the Hessle pear can be read here, although Hilary says it is called Hazel Pear west of the Pennines!

Question time covered a range of subjects related to diseases and pests; lichen growth denotes good clean air and moss is not a problem provided it is not at ground level.  Meths applied with a paint brush is good for killing woolly aphid because it removes the waterproofing layer from the surface of the insect. Winter Tar Oil Wash, in common with other Phenolic compounds used for insect and fungal control, is now banned from use.  Hilary had achieved good success with alternative garlic-based washes as well as soap/washing up liquid sprays.  Hilary does not favour the use of grease bands to protect from caterpillar attack as, in her experience, too many earwigs are caught and she considers these useful predator insects for eating aphids. She prefers Pheromone traps which exist for both Codling and Plum moths.


I have updated Local Shows 2017/18 page as far as I am able. I have started to add 2018 dates where they are known but if anyone wishes their Show dates to be advertised on this website page then please contact me in person, through the webmaster email link shown on the Home Page, the Guestbook link,  phone, or even drop me an old-fashioned note through the post.  Humberside Chrysanthemum Club is a useful link for listing many shows, especially those held towards the end of the season but is not currently updated with any 2017 dates. 

Those of you on Facebook will no doubt be familiar with Giantveg blog postings. They have produced a number of instructional video clips and you can access them all via their website here. They may also be able to supply seeds for purchase.


Morrisons the supermarket is giving away used coffee grounds from its cafes.  You can read all about it here.

Ashridge Nurseries is offering a 10% discount to orders made online.  Just key in HORT10 at the checkout stage.

There are a number of organisations, including Marshalls, DT Brown and Dobies, which offer discount to NVS members. Full details from here.


Pocklington Show will be held at Burnby Hall on Saturday 4th November.  As well as chrysanthemums, there are also classes for vegetables, cookery, wines, handicrafts, floral art and photography.


Our next meeting will be held on Monday 27th November 2017 - 7.30pm - The Conservative Club, Beverley when Adrian Read FNVS, Chairman of the North Yorkshire and South Durham DA, will give a talk on Growing and Showing Onions.


Community Web Kit provided free by BT
Cookie Policy | Charity Number: 1088979