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)

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What's Happening ?     Last Updated: Tuesday 20th March 2018



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.


What you are wondering in February 

What plants, flowers and vegetables can I sow now and donate any excess to our Plant Sales to be held at the April and May Meetings?

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.


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.


Despite the warnings of adverse weather, a fair number of people attended our Monday 26th February 2018 meeting which featured Keith Abel describing A Year in Our Garden with the aid of a set of slides illustrating various points of interest throughout the year.  Keith grows vegetables and a few late chrysanthemums while Janet, the other half of 'Our' garden, grows early chrysanthemums. Both are championship level growers and exhibitors in their own right and have won many trophies and awards in their chosen fields of expertise.  Celery is one of Keith's specialist subjects and his celery often feature in the NVS exhibition stands at Harrogate Shows.

Keith told us about the history of their garden in Leconfield which has been reduced in size following the loss of part of their neighbour's land which, unfortunately, they now no longer have access to for cultivation purposes, although they do share an allotment elsewhere. This means that their garden facilities are highly compact and growing cycles have to be carefully project-managed throughout the year in order to accommodate the demands and requirements of their many exhibition varieties of vegetables and chrysanthemums. Such is their dedication that even holidays have to be fitted in carefully around key dates in their growing and showing calendar, as well as the availability of an assistant to carry out the watering duties during their absence!

The information provided was extensive but some key points to emerge from this talk included the following.  The fungicide Cheshunt Compound is no longer available to purchase but Sigma was said to be obtainable through the National Chrysanthemum Society.  Celery need lots of water to grow properly and  potatoes need to be kept moist throughout their tuber formation in order to achieve and retain smooth skins.  Onions should not be overwatered, especially close to harvest time, otherwise split bulb skins will result and damage the chances of success on the showbench. Footpowder containing fungicide is potentially more useful than basic talcum powder for dressing onion skins during the ripening process. Young leek seedlings, especially those removed from seedheads, often exhibit a distinct bend which can be straightened by wrapping foam pipe lag tubing around the barrel and tying tightly for a week or so. It is important that this is done early as this treatment is less successful with older plants. Keith aims to obtain 18" (45cm) of blanch by mid-May in order to obtain exhibition quality leeks for showing in September.  

When watering plants in the greenhouse, try to use water that is of the same ambient temperature. Repeated use of overcool water may shock the plants, affect their growth rate and, in the case of leeks and onions, may even cause bolting.  Growing Tagetes alongside plants in the greenhouse helps to deter pests and also provides an extra bit of colour.  Provado is the insecticide of choice to use on ripening chrysanthemum buds and using clothes pegs to attach bloom bags to chrysanthemum stems is easier than string or wire ties.


Our next meeting will be held on Monday 26th March 2018 - 7.30pm at the Conservative Club, Beverley when Geoff Wilson will be telling us all about the perils of Slugs and Snails.  


Trevor Barningham has received a call from Hollie Harris who has a stable close to the Sandpiper pub at Melton (on the slip road into the Industrial Estate).

She has a surplus of clean Horse Manure (no grass) available for collection either in bags or small may have to supply your own bags

If you wish to take advantage of this offer, please ring her on 07790866682


2018 - National Championships - Chairman's Challenge Class

Please be advised that, this year, the Chairman's Challenge Class at the National Championships at Harrogate will be Small Fruited Tomatoes (you may have previously heard that it was Globe Beetroot, but this has now been changed to Small Fruited Tomatoes).


Wyevale Garden Centres have just 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.


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