Monthly Archives: February 2017

Guide to Vegetable Show Varieties

Whilst the majority of vegetable varieties available, if grown well and properly presented, would be a valuable addition to the many shows staged across the country. There are varieties and cultivars, which due to their attributes, are regularly seen on the show bench and do particularly well in competition.

To assist those new to growing for showing, the following are amongst the most reliable and successful currently available.

This is not an exhaustive list of all vegetables but seeks to example those most regularly listed in show schedules and seen on the show bench.

Most are available through commercial seed houses whilst some will have to be sourced from specialist seed suppliers and breeders accessed through the horticultural press and/or the internet.


Beans, broad                                     Imperial Green Longpod, Bunyards Exhibition & Giant Exhibition Longpod  

Beans, dwarf french                        Hawkesbury Wonder, The Prince & Safari Kenya Bean

Beans, runner                                   Stenner, Liberty (Lovejoy) & Benchmaster

Beans, climbing French                   Cobra, Algarve & Fasold

Beetroot, globe                                 Pablo, Red Ace & Cardeal

Beetroot, long                                   Cheltenham Greentop, Regar & Long Black

Cabbage                                              Green Ramco, Stonehead & Brigadier

Carrots, long                                      New Red Intermediate & St. Valery

Carrots, stump rooted                     Sweet Candle, Nandor, Trevor & Norwich

Cauliflower                                        Raleigh, Mayflower, Skywalker & Boris

Celery                                                 Morning Star, Evening Star & Starburst

Courgettes                                         Venus, Defender & Ambassador

Cucumbers                                        Carmen (frame), Marketmore (outdoor) & Socrates (mini)

Garlic                                                   Solent Wight & Giant Elephant

Leeks, blanch                                     Pendle Improved & Welsh Seedling

Leeks, pot                                           Cumbrian, Yorkshire Green/Blue & Betty Black

Lettuce                                                Webb’s Wonderful, Rosedale, Lakeland & Lobjoits (cos)

Marrow                                               Table Dainty, Bush Baby, Badger Cross & Blyton Belle

Onions, exhibition                            Kelsae & Showmaster

Onions, 250g & under                      Toughball, Tasco & Vento

Parsnips                                              Gladiator, Panorama, Palace & Victor

Peas                                                     Show Perfection, Alderman & Hurst Greenshaft

Peppers, chilli                                    Joe’s Long, Giant Jalapeno, Scotch Bonnet & Apache

Peppers, sweet                                 Ace, Lany, Diablo & Ariane

Potatoes, white                                 Winston, Nadine, Casablanca & Harmony

Potatoes, coloured                           Kestrel, Amour, Maxine, Bonnie & Bluebell

Radish                                                 Scarlet Globe, Robin, Sparkler & Bacchus

Rhubarb                                              Raspberry Red, Victoria & Stockbridge Arrow          

Shallots, exhibition                           Hative de Niort, Ambition & Aristocrat

Shallots, under 30mm                      Hative de Niort, Jemor & Aristocrat

Swede                                                  Helenor, Tweed & Marian

Sweet Corn                                         Swift, Lark & Ovation

Tomatoes                                            Cappricia, Zenith, Shirley & Meccano

Tomatoes, cherry/small fruited     Sungold (cherry), Apero (plum), Sweet Million (mini) & Sakura Red (cherry)

Tomatoes, beefsteak                        Marmande, Country Taste & Big Daddy


Barry Newman FNVS

3rd Review November 2016

Guide to the 2016 RHS Show Handbook

Barry Newman FNVS, spoke at the Federation Day on 25th February about the changes between the 2008 & 2016 RHS Show Handbook.

He has kindly provided notes from his talk – reproduced here:

The Judging of Vegetables

Major differences between the 2008 and 2016 versions of the RHS Show Handbook

 Page 90 Constitution of Dishes

  • Now contains suggested numbers for smaller shows.
  • Gives an explanation on pointing plus a combined list of specimen numbers and point’s values for ease of reference.
  • Gives the specimen numbers required for collections and single dishes which are now the same.

Page 91, 92 & 93 Vegetable listing index

  • Please note reference to ‘miscellaneous’ vegetables (fruiting, leaf, root and salad) is now dealt with on pages 126 & 127.
  • Additional vegetables have been added, these will be dealt with later in these notes.
  • Please be aware that the *reference to stalks not being required for Cabbages and Cauliflowers in collections has been removed. Stalks are required in collections.

Page 94

  • Artichokes, Chinese have been added as additional separate vegetable with a point’s value of 12 and a number requirement of 9.

Page 97

  • Beans, shelling, other than broad (eg. Borlotti and similar types) have been added as a separate vegetable with a point’s value of 15 and a number requirement of 9 pods.
  • Under Advice to Judges Beetroot, cylindrical, there is now reference to not cutting specimens to determine internal condition. This is repeated for Beetroot, globe and long.

Page 100

  • Calabrese now includes romanesco and other types still with a point’s value of 15 and a number requirement of two heads.
  • There is additional advice under Carrots, long pointed. To aid differentiation between these and Carrots, stump rooted.

Page 101

  • Information regarding differentiation is also contained under Carrots, stump rooted.
  • Cauliflowers, coloured now enjoy their own entry with a point’s value of 20 and a number requirement of 2 heads.

Page 102

  • Celeriac receives additional ‘merit’ advice.

Page 104

  • Chicory, Chicons is expanded to include Radicchio and other forced heads.

Page 105

  • Cucumbers, mini or small have been added with a points value of 15 and a number requirement of 6.

Page 106

  • Cucumbers, gherkins and pickling types have been added with a point’s value of 15 and a number requirement of 9.
  • Dandelion, blanched has been removed.
  • Endive is expanded to include Chicory, sugarloaf type.

Page 107

  • Flower sprout, Petit Posy has been added with a point’s value of 15 and a number requirement of 15.
  • Garlic, elephant or giant has been added with a point’s value of 15 and a number requirement of 3 bulbs.
  • Garlic has been reduced in point’s value from 15 to 12.

Page 108

  • Both Herb entries are now prefixed with the word ‘culinary’ and the advice to judges has been strengthened to stress that foliage is the predominant factor.

Page 109

  • The merits of Kohlrabi have been revised.
  • An addition to Leeks, blanched or intermediate is that ‘roots must be washed not trimmed’ this is also included under Leeks, pot.

Page 111

  • Lettuce, cos now gets it own entry which includes Lettuce, crisp with a points value of 15 and a number requirement of 2 heads.

Page 113

  • Onions, large exhibition advice to judges now excludes the instruction to disqualify under 250g specimens.

Page 117

  • Pepper, hot (chilli) has been added with a point’s value of 15 and a number requirement of 6.
  • Pepper, sweet has been added with a point’s value of 15 and a number requirement of 3.

Page 118

  • Potatoes approximate tuber size has been increased to between 200g and 250g.

Page 119

  • Radishes, salad approximate size guidance has been reduced to 30mm and the point’s value increased to 12.

Page 123

  • Swedes have been added as a separate entry with a point’s value of 15 and a number requirement of 2.

Page 125

  • Tomatoes, truss has been added with a point’s value of 15 and to be displayed as a single truss.


The following is an extract from a note received from Colin Spires who chaired the Show Handbook Review Committee.
Hopefully it will direct you to other areas that have received updates and modifications.

“…..As far as flowers, etc are concerned, I approached a number of specialist societies and the following sections have had substantial reviews:

Bonsai, cacti & succulents, dahlias, fuchsias, gladiolus, orchids & tulips.

The rose sections were slightly reduced in number and illustrations of dahlia divisions are shown

A note about specialist societies was included (P130). The difficulty is that all specialist societies seem to have their own rules for specialist shows which don’t really apply to local/county shows.

An important note (p130) states that cut flowers must be in water, or water-retaining material.

A new section was added re Floating Flowers (p153) and the section re Hanging baskets (p182), etc simplified.

The main changes are shown in the preface (p7)”

                                                                                                    Barry Newman February 2017