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