Adams County Master Gardener
The South Mountain
Fair begins on Tuesday, August 22, with judging of
floral specimens, potted plants and artistic
arrangements. Anyone in Adams County with flowers for
these categories is invited to enter them in this
yearís fair. Volunteers will be available to help you
register your entries on Sunday afternoon, August 20,
from 1 pm and 4 pm and Monday evening, August 21,
between the hours of 4 pm and 8 pm.
As you prepare your plants,
here are some tips to ensure freshness, vitality and
appearance of your entries. Letís start with potted
Potted Plants - All such
plants are to be exhibited in pots in which they have
been growing for 3 months, so they should have been
potted prior to May 20th. The bottom of the pot or
container should be marked with your name and address.
Pots may not exceed 10 inches inside diameter. All the
pots should be clean, with no plastic supports or
other artificial embellishments. The use of plant
sprays on the foliage is not permitted. There should
be only one plant species per pot, except in
collection classes. No hanging plants will be entered,
due to space constraints.
As you select the plants you
plan to enter, carefully wash off the foliage and
prune out any dead or damaged foliage. Check your
plants to be sure that they do not have any diseases
or insect problems. Be sure the plant is growing
evenly in the pot by turning it with each watering to
eliminate one-sided growth.
The soil should be loose and
not caked. The plant should not be leggy, and the soil
should be level in the pot. On plants that do not
flower, the foliage should be large, well formed and
neatly arranged on the stem. The plant should be as
large as possible without looking top-heavy in the
pot. A good rule is to have the plant twice the size
of the pot.
Flowering plants should be in
bloom with as many flowers as the plant can support.
The open flowers should be mature, with plenty of
immature flowers coming along. No overly mature
flowers should be left on the plant. Flowers should be
as large as possible for the variety of plant.
Judges will consider the
balance between the size of the plant and the pot. The
shape of the plant should be symmetrical and compact,
so that it gives a good appearance from all sides.
Specimen Flowers - All entries
in this category must be grown by the exhibitor.
Uniformity of height, color and size are important in
evaluating each entry. Three blooms of Bachelorís
Buttons, for example, should all be the same height
and have flowers of the same color. All flowers should
be the same size and age.
When gathering the flowers for
your entries, it is important to collect the flowers
early in the morning, or in the evening. Pick several
of each planned entry, so that you can select the best
one for each entry class when you arrive at the Fair.
After the flowers are picked and taken inside, remove
the lower leaves that would be under the water in the
container and re-cut the stem under running water.
Place the flower stems immediately in a vase of water
and condition them in a draft-free area with no bright
Cuttings should include
sufficient attached foliage, keeping in mind the
foliage information requirements listed in the potted
plants information above. No insect holes, powdery
mildew, etc. should be visible on the foliage.
Bring the flowers and potted
plants to the Fair in enough separate containers so
that no damage or bruising occurs to either flowers or
foliage during transporting. The containers provided
at the Fair must be used for all specimen floral
entries. They will be pre-filled with water when you
Stem and foliage should be in
proportion to the size of the flower. Stems should be
straight and strong enough to support the flower heads
without bending. All flowers should be identical in
freshness, size, shape, color, and straightness of
stem and be free of blemishes and pest injury.
Remember in the classes with
entries of more than one bloom that all the blooms are
to be identical in size, shape, color, and stem
height. When entering roses, please note that the
variety of each rose entered must be named. For
example, American Beauty or Peace rose.
Additional entry Divisions
include arboreal branches and herbs. Please check this
yearís premium book for specific guidelines for all
entries. Premium books are available at the Adams
County Extension Office, Adams County Bank branches,
Mark Dellingerís greenhouse at Cross Keys, local fruit
markets, Janeís Market and some post offices.
Artistic Arrangements - In
this category, all classes have size limitations.
Please check the premium book so that your entry is
within the size limits.
In the Youth Division, there
are two divisions based on age. Division A is for
youth under the age of 10, and Division B is for youth
aged 11 through 17. The age must be clearly displayed
on the tag of each entry. Entrants 18 or older compete
in the adult division.
All exhibited entries must
remain in place until Saturday, August 27. Early
removal of any entry will forfeit the premium money.
All of the committee members hope to see an increase
in the number of entries at the 2006 South Mountain
Fair. If you have questions, please contact anyone
listed in the Premium Book. We are here to help you
with your entry and wish you good luck in the
Hope to see you at the South
other articles by Faith Peterson