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 November 2019. (See Programme 2018-19)

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What's Happening ?     Last Updated: Wednesday 14th November 2018





I have created a new page showing the results from this year's Show and have added some photos of the winning exhibits.

I have also updated our Programme of Events Page which now lists our planned activities up to and including November 2019. 


The UK Pumpkin record has been smashed again this year.  Read all about it here.

Black plastic, often used for seed trays, plant pots as well as food containers, is largely un-recyclable because the infrared waste-sorting machines used by local authorities cannot detect this pigment.  Taupe pots, however, are free from carbon-black pigment and the Horticultural Trades Association plans to work with local authorities to ensure that they are widely accepted for recycling.  Once trials with the taupe pots, made from recycled materials are under way, pot maunufacturers and growers can then start to to trial module preparation and carrying trays.  Although recyclable, the taupe pots are initially expected to cost as much as 20-40% more than conventional black ones.


NVS Subscriptions for 2019 are now due.  You can apply online here, or use the renewal form sent with the latest edition of Simply Vegetables.


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) I have also created a new page called Picture Gallery which will feature photos of general interest.

NVS has just launched a new 76-page booklet entitled Getting Started Growing 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 November

Can I grow potatoes like David Peel next year ?

Have I ordered all my veg seeds and plants for next year

Will I be able to create my own Christmas floral arrangement this year ? (Come along to the November meeting and you will learn a few simple tricks!)


The second edition of the NVS Judges and Exhibitors Guide is now available to purchase.  It is in loose-leaf format and enclosed in a small ringbinder.  If you already possess a copy of the spiral wire-bound first edition, you can exchange it for the updated version for free, as I did with mine at Harrogate Show.  I believe Keith Abel has a few copies of the new guide in hand and will exchange it for free, provided you bring your old guide with you to the November meeting.

I have updated Local Shows 2018/19 page as far as I am able. I have added 2018 dates for key events, 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 and their Facebook page is also not responding to my questions.


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. A video showing the lifecycle stages of growing an 18lb onion can be seen here.

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 hereAccording 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.


Thirty eight people attended our Monday 29th October meeting on My Way with Spuds presented by David Peel.  David is arguably the finest potato grower in UK at the present time having recently won the National Championships held at Harrogate. David gave us a brief history of his growing and showing experience from 2008.  He grows all his potatoes on a 200 square yard allotment although they are grown in peat bags on raised beds, rather than in the open ground.  He typically grows about 50 bags of potatoes which are normally planted up around 22 April.

In the second half of his talk he showed us how he cleans and prepares his potatoes for exhibition.  There is no magic formula or special treatment involved; merely a bowl of cold water, some rubber gloves, a careful and vigorous sponge and maybe a cotton bud or two for the eyes.  But this is done just hours, not days, ahead of Show Day, in order to make them appear as fresh as possible.

I have posted details of the Potato Mix that David uses on the Growing Hints page. I was interested to note that he sieves all his peat and sieves/grinds his calcified seaweed and Q4 to a very fine grade.  The bigger pieces of peat are not wasted but go into the potato trench on which his potato bags sit.  This helps to retain moisture. Apart from Winston which he reduces to two growing shoots, all other varieties are reduced to a single growing point.  He cuts out the eyes completely with a teaspoon rather than merely rubbing them off, otherwise he feels that his potatoes will not grow to a sufficiently large size.

Having planted up his potato bags, he waters them well before covering them with polythene sheeting to prevent the ingress of any further rainfall until the haulms have reached about 8" tall when the polythene is removed. This 'no water' regime he believes reduces the danger of scab formation. He will spray against blight at the end of June/ early July and he pinches out all flower heads in order to ensure that the plant devotes all its energy into tuber formation. He continues to give his potatoes about 2 litres of water every day and the occasional foliar feed with Maxicrop until they are ready to harvest, typically 13 to 14 weeks for maincrop varieties like Amour and 9 weeks for earlies such as Winston.   The haulms are cut off and the bags removed and left for 7 to10 days without water for the potato skins to harden sufficiently.  The potato bags are carefully split apart, the potatoes graded, weighed, sorted into sets, labelled and stored in containers of fresh sieved raw peat until washing, drying and final preparation on Show day.  Although the NVS guide considers 7 - 9 oz as the optimum size, David consider 6.9 to 7.1 oz as the best size to stage at the top shows.


Please note that the Conservative Club car park entrance has changed format during our summer absence.  The barrier has gone but there are now two ticket machines at the entrance which take coins and produce a double ticket. One half should stay in your vehicle in full view of any visiting car park attendant, whilst the other half can be redeemed in full against puchases at the bar. A three hour stay (an ample length of time for our meetings) requires the input of coins to the value of £2.50 A two hour stay is priced at £1.60.





Following a recent spell of ill health, Tony Featherstone finally gets presented with his well-deserved

NVS Silver Medal at our Committee Meeting






Our next meeting will be held at the Conservative Club, Beverley on Monday 26th November 2018 commencing 7.30pm when Paul Neve will be presenting Festive Fun by creating some simple flower arrangements which reflect various events associated with this time of year and which will hopefully inspire you to create your own arrangements at home. The six planned arrangements will be raffled off to winning ticket holders at the end of the evening.  Paul has twice won Best In Show for his floral art exhibits at Harrogate but has only demonstrated once before and freely admits to feeling slightly terrified!


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