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 February 2019. (See Programme 2018-19)

Please note that this website is now being updated on a desktop device with a 20" screen using Mozilla Firefox as the browser.  It is possible that the appearance of each page may look slightly different on devices with smaller screens, or if viewed with another browser such as Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.

What's Happening ?     Last Updated: Wednesday 9th May 2018



GDPR: Data Protection

The UK’s first Data Protection Act was passed in 1984 and the second Act was passed in 1998, coming into force on 1 March 2000. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was passed in 2016 and comes into force after a two-year preparation period on 25 May 2018. GDPR originated in the European Parliament but will be fully absorbed into UK law regardless of the UK exiting the European Union. The regulation will apply across all EU member states including the Republic of Ireland, where it replaces the Acts of 1988 and 2003. In view of these imminent changes in data protection laws, I have removed all personal contact details for Committee members and Judges in the interim until we have established how best to comply with the new requirements as some officers and officials may also have their details on the national website  I have  disabled access to the Guestbook and Contact Us pages of this website so, In the meantime, please channel all judging requests and enquiries through the generic email address.  Your email details will not be passed on to a third party and will be held only long enough to provide a suitable response to your enquiry.  Anyone has the right to have their personal data, including photographs, removed from this website and we will seek to comply with all such requests.

The Winter edition of Simply Vegetables has now been published and issued to NVS paid-up members.  This edition 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.  You can also join/renew via the NVS Facebook Page by clicking on the Sign Up link which will take you to the same subscription page. 

I have updated the Programme 2018-19 page to include the events planned for 2018.  Dates and timings for a few of the events are indicative only and subject to confirmation in due course. However, the annual Show date and venue have now been confirmed as Sunday 30th September 2018 at Cherry Lane Garden Centre, Beverley. 

I have archived all events from 2013 through 2017 in a new page hereIn future, Less Hot News will only cover those events held earlier in the current year (2018).

NVS has just launched a 76 page new booklet entitled Getting Started With Cut Flowers covering Chrysanthemums, Dahlias, Roses, Carnations and Pinks, Sweet Peas, Annuals, Perennials and Biennials, Bulbs and Shrub. Further details from here.  Keith Abel has a few copies for sale.


What you are wondering in April 

What plants, flower and vegetable seedlings can I bring to our Plant Sales to be held at the April and May Meetings?  Where can I obtain or how do I make insecticidal soap to spray against greenfly, rather than continuing to use my household detergent? Am I breaking the law by using or holding on to old stocks of now-banned chemicals? Do I wish to purchase a digital microscope to look at my creepy crawlies for about £15 delivered via Ebay? Do I wish to start using an eco-friendly paper binder/stapler of the type used by Geoff Wilson that does away with those annoying metal staples and is very cheap to buy from China!

The 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. 

Please note that, since publication, the Sweet Corn Page 94 has been updated to mirror the existing RHS pointing criteria. There is an erratum slip available showing the correct points awarded for Sweet Corn as 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 also available to cover and amend the existing Page 126 entitled - NOTES which provides no details of the definitions of Salading and Root Vegetables.  There is also an error for Page 57 - Loose Leaf Lettuce. However, all you need to do is to delete the three points currently assigned to firmness and texture and reduce the total points awarded from 15 to 12. The final line on Page 8 should read  - Remember a dish must consist of only one cultivar. 

The Winter edition of Simply Vegetables says that all members who have bought an existing Guide will be issued a free replacement as soon as the new print run becomes available.


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 normally a very useful link for listing many shows, especially those held towards the end of the season, but, unfortunately, it does not appear to have been updated since 2016. 


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. 

There is also a new Facebook Group Show Vegetables and Flowers for the Dedicated Exhibitor which has been set up for serious vegetable and flower exhibitors. 

Advice on growing seed potatoes courtesy of JBA Seed Potatoes can be seen here.

For those of you interested in finding out more about chrysanthemums this book from Ivor Mace may be of interest to you.

Wyevale Garden Centres have sent me details of how to create and print off your own growing calendar for the specific fruit, vegetables and herbs that you wish to grow using a tool that they have developed. More details from here.


Morrisons the supermarket is giving away used coffee grounds from its cafes. You can read all about it here. According to Geoff Wilson's presentation, coffee spray is effective against whitefly, caterpillars, slugs and snails.

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.


Although billed as Slugs and Snails, Geoff Wilson's talk entitled Leaf Nibblers and Sap Suckers on Monday 26th March 2018 actually covered a wide range of both nasty and friendly invertebrate beasties.  

Geoff was a chemical engineer for some 40 years and firmly believes that, rather than spraying synthetic chemicals around indiscriminately, you first need to identify your enemies correctly and know how they live before you can effectively overcome them. Often, alternative strategies such as crop rotation, pruning, general cleanliness and the use of natural occurring botanical compounds are just as effective and less harmful to the environment.

We learned that only four of the many types of slugs and snails found in the UK present any kind of problem and remain largely inactive below a temperature of 7°C. Metaldehyde, the common slug pellet ingredient but which started off life as a camp fire fuel, is toxic to all sorts of wildlife and is even entering public water supplies. Nemaslug is a safer alternative which contains nematode worms which act as a natural predator.

We learned about the life cycle of various types of aphids and related insects and that sprays based on coffee, neem extract and soapy water (horticultural or insecticidal soap and NOT household detergent) can be very effective.  Simply using a hosepipe can also work well by washing off the aphids on to the ground where they can be eaten by ground beetles and similar natural predators.  You can read about insecticidal soap here.

There are many beneficial insects to be found in the garden which act as natural predators. Examples include lacewings, ladybirds, hoverflies, wasps and various beetles. In some cases biological control of pests or, in the case of the Allium Leaf miner, physical barrier protection such as fleece coverings, are the only effective solution. You can read more about Allium Leaf miner here

With the kind permission of Geoff Wilson, for those who were unable to attend this meeting, I have reproduced his hand-out notes and added them to the Growing Hints page.

You can read about the latest research work on the effect of neonicotinoids on bees here.  No doubt this subject will surface again at our May meeting when Beverley Beekeepers come to visit us.


Our next meeting will be held on Monday 30th April 2018 at the Conservative Club, Beverley commencing 7.30pm when Julian Davis will talk about Innovations in Growing Vegetables.  Julian is Head of Agronomy at Stockbridge Technology Centre, Cawood, Selby.

Please note that the Conservative Club car park entrance barrier has been reactivated and now requires £4 (not £3) in appropriate coinage to allow entrance.  The car park ticket can be redeemed against puchases at the bar and any change due is refunded in cash.



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