Planting seeds for the summer fair

Ruth Griffiths

This is an exciting season for gardeners … planting seeds and preparing to put out tender plant starts. As you make your plant selections this year, give some thought to entering the horticulture competitions at the 2024 Prince Albert Exhibition.

I have participated in competition at the summer fare for a quarter century and it never loses its shine. Each year I learn something new about preparing exhibits for competition. I learn how to trim vegetables, how to select the best blossoms, how to create a prize-winning flower arrangement. But it’s never too late to start and there is lots of room for novice competitors.  If you’ve never been part of this exciting garden show perhaps you could do it this year for the first time.

There is no entry fee and every winning entry gets a cash prize or a gift certificate. Each entry must have an official tag attached witth the class name, the variety and the exhibitor’s number and name written on it. You can get your entry tags in advance at the Exhibition office or when you bring your entries to the show on the evening of Tuesday July 30 or the morning of Wednesday July 31. You can learn more details by visiting the Exhibition office or calling 306 764-1711.

You can pick up a complete prize list at the Exhibition office that will give you all of the information about each class. For example there are separate classes for different types of potatoes: pink and red, white and gold, blue and purple, Russet, and novelty. Four mature, evenly matched potatoes are required for each entry. The first prize in each class is $5, up from $3 last year ,  making it worth your while to enter. If you have always thought you had better potatoes than those shown at the fair, this is your year to shine.

There are separate classes for children. Last year the children’s class for a bouquet of wildflowers was well contested. With the top prize of $8 this year, it is well worth the effort! Another popular children’s class is a model made from fruit, vegetables, roots etc. Maybe your child’s imagination can turn a zucchini into a submarine!

If you are a first-time participant in the horticulture competition you will find many experienced committee members willing to help you find the right place for your entries. Just make sure that you have your exhibitor number on each entry or else it cannot be judged. You can get your exhibitor number when you bring your entries to the main hall at the Exhibition Center.

As I tour the garden centers this week I will be keeping in mind my possible entries for the Prince Albert fair. It is the highlight of my year and I’m looking forward to seeing you there too!