For new and less experienced exhibitors.

Class Description
Class 501Display of Vegetables
Class 502Display of Fruit
Class 503Display of herbs

A Worcester Show Trophy will be awarded to the winner of this section.

Section Rules

Please read section rules very carefully. Failure to comply may lead to disqualification.

  • Entrants into Section 5 Novice Vegetables and Fruit must not have won any first prize in any
    class in Section 3 Vegetables and Fruit in any previous Worcester Show.
  • Any entrant who has won a total of three or more first prizes in the Novice Vegetables and Fruit
    Section in previous years will no longer be considered a novice and may no longer enter this
  • All exhibits must be the property of, and cultivated by, the exhibitor.
  • Roots of non-root vegetables must be gently washed clean, and should be no more than 100mm
    (4”) long.
  • All root vegetables should be cleaned gently, with tops trimmed to no more than 75mm (3”
  • Exhibitors must provide their own plates, baskets etc.
  • An exhibitor may enter up to two entries per class.
  • Name the variety of the exhibit; if the variety is unknown then the exhibit should be marked
  • Vegetables & Fruit should be displayed as described in Section 3 and will be judged as per the RHS Horticultural Show Handbook.

Hints and tips on exhibiting

Fruit preparationVegetable preparation

Well in advance of Show date

  • Thinning
  • Take away misshapen and blemished fruits
  • Protect against frost damage, wind etc.
  • Protect against birds e.g. fruit cages, or cover fruit with muslin, perforated clear polythene bags etc. This can often improve the skin as well


  • As near to Show as possible
  • Pick currants, blueberries with strigs intact, the longest strigs have the BEST fruit!
  • Pick grapes/ melons with lateral shoot each sided to form a T handle
  • Pick apples, pears, plums, cherries, apricots, gooseberries, strawberries etc. with stalks attached
  • Filberts, cobnuts and walnuts WITHOUT husks
  • Handle fruits as little as possible to protect the ‘bloom’
  • Use scissors rather than fingers


  • Choose fresh, uniform fruit free of blemishes
  • Look at the characteristic of shape and colour
  • Avoid under-ripe fruits, except hard fruit

Presentation & Staging

  • Make sure they have a neat, attractive appearance
  • Do not polish fruits let them retain a natural bloom.
  • In staging small fruits, the well of the plate is best filled with soft tissue paper and then the whole of the top covered, tucking the surplus paper under the plate. Use only white tissue paper, unless otherwise stated in the schedule
  • Apples – eye uppermost, stalk end downwards one in centre slightly raised!!
  • Berries – placed in lines stalks and calyces green & fresh, reject malformed/damaged fruits
  • Currants/blueberries – strigs intact; mound
  • Pears – place around the perimeter of the plate stalks towards the centre
  • Plums, cherries similar shaped fruits – place with lines across the plate bloom present

Leading up to Show

  • Root vegetables should be carefully washed & cleaned to remove soil but in no circumstances should oils or “polishing” substances be used to enhance appearance!
  • Wash with a soft cloth and plenty of water (brushing will damage the skin)
  • BUT they should not be ‘excessively’ cleaned; the skin should not be scraped or rubbed off, especially with the Beetroot.
  • Retain natural bloom
  • Handle carefully


  • Beans & peas – cut off the vine with scissors leaving stalk attached
  • Parsnips & carrots – soak growing media/soil at time of lifting to avoid damage
  • Beetroot
    • Must be of even size for round beetroot
    • Must be 50mm to 70mm for long beetroot
    • Cylindrical cultivars roots should be approx 150mm in length.
    • Avoid poor skin at base and small or damaged tap root.
    • Take care when washing as marks will show / not “woody”
  • Cabbages should have solid heads of equal size, clean with good waxy bloom. Reject split specimens, damaged by pests remove discoloured leaves 75mm of stalk remaining
  • Carrots – avoid pale coloured specimens and green at tops
  • Courgettes – select young, tender, shapely uniform fruits not less than 100mm or greater than 200mm, and approx 35mmin diameter. Stage flat with flowers still adhering.
  • Cucumbers – matching with good, fresh green colour WITH flowers still attached and waxy bloom
  • Leeks – uniform in length. Firm and compact throughout the length of the barrel, uniform blanching and not bulbous at base. Avoid excessive stripping of outer leaves. All parts clean, bind in the leaves
  • Beans – broad, french, runner. Arrange fresh pods on a plate or directly on the bench, stalks one end, tails the other. Cut with scissors
  • Pea Pods – judges will check pods. Gather by cutting from the vine with 25mm of stalk check against a light for number of peas in the pod!
  • Marrows – absolute uniformity most desirable. No less than 380mm long or in the case of round cultivars 500mm in circumference. Discard old marrows. Wipe clean and stage directly on the show-bench.
  • Onions – avoid soft, stained specimens. Avoid “over-skinning”, uniform good colour. Tops tied or whipped using uncoloured raffia. Roots neatly trimmed to the basal plate. Often staged on rings or collars.
  • Potatoes white or other than white e.g. coloured. Medium sized specimens 170 to 225 grams. Shallow eyes. No extra-large tubers or those with deep set eyes. Free from skin blemish, damage. Washed with clean water using a sponge NOT a brush. Stage on plates.
  • Shallots. Stage as separate bulbs. Dried, free from staining and loose skins. Roots should cut off to basal plate. Tops neatly tied or whipped using uncoloured raffia. Stage on sand or similar, of a contrasting colour, slightly raised at centre. Shallots must not exceed 30mm
  • Sweet Corn – cobs of uniform size, with fresh green husks exposing ¼ of the grain. Remove a number of husks. Best cobs are filled to the tips with straight rows of tender grains. Stalks trimmed.
  • Tomatoes – right shape, size and colour. Not over-ripe or with “greenback” at calyx. Uniform, firm small eyes fresh calyces. Stage on plate with calyx uppermost.

General Tips

  • Stage attractively on plates or the show-bench in
    • a wheel formation e.g. peas
    • in rows e.g. runner beans
    • in a pyramidal dome e.g. carrots
  • To help keep onions etc. make rings or collars from cut down toilet roll inners or plastic drain pipes. Alternatively display on silver sand.
  • Potatoes can be displayed on a sheet of coloured paper
  • If you don’t have neat handwriting use a computer!
  • Allow ample time for staging and finishing off. Pay close attention to detail therefore try not to exhibit more than you can easily stage.
  • Add the cultivar name when displaying. Ideally do this at home, if you can.
  • Pay attention to the number of specimens/exhibits required otherwise exhibit will not be judged and marked NAS (Not As Schedule).
  • Uniformity of the exhibit means choose specimens of the same size
  • In the Schedule; “should” means optional; “must” is obligatory.

Check Requirements

  • Root vegetables must have leaves cut off with approx. 75mm of leafstalk remaining (radishes should be left with approx. 40mm of leaf stalk)
  • Brassicas must have at least 75mm of stalk
  • Fruit must be ripe NOT over-ripe (except apples/pears and gooseberries)
  • Ensure you are entering the correct product for the class e.g. Rhubarb is a vegetable for horticultural purposes
  • To measure the diameter of the pot/pan measure across the top of the pot/pan.


Judges will look for meritorious and defective features. The Worcester Show aims to encourage the competitive spirit amongst amateurs. Therefore the ‘professional’ judging using a points system will not be used but Judges can refer to ”The RHS Horticultural Show Handbook”.


The Horticultural Show Handbook published by the Royal Horticultural Society – ‘The official RHS guide to organising, judging and competing in a show’ can be found at

Notes compiled by Bill Simpson, Worcester Flower Show, Fruit & Vegetable Judge.