Exhibiting Your Fruit Crops at Flower Shows
Anof picking that sometimes crops up is picking for exhibiting in the local flower show. Apart from the obvious point of the fruits having their characteristic colour, an important point is that the stalks should always be left in place; even on and cane fruits.
Also, no fruit must on any account be polished, especially apples. Any natural bloom on the skin should be left as intact as possible. Grapes andhave a particularly heavy bloom which should be kept.
Another useful tip concerns the varieties that you may want to show. Always exhibit fruits that are ready for use; immature and overripe specimens are not good enough. Further than this, you should only show apples,and plums that are in season at the time of the show. So often one sees Cox exhibited in September shows when they have no business to be there until October at the earliest. Although they are undeniably ready for picking in late September, they are nowhere near ready for eating.
The more exotic kinds of fruit that you may be growing for the first time will sometimes present a maturity problem to the gardener. In most cases, it is just a question of looking at the fruit and seeing how they feel. If they feel soft and look as though they should be ready for picking, then they probably are.
Melons, for example, should be pressed gently at the end where the flower was. If the flesh gives a little, you should then turn your attention to the stalk end. If you see a line developing around the point where the stalk joins the fruit, then you can be pretty sure that the fruit is ripe. If, when twisted slightly to one side, the fruit parts, you know it is fit to eat.
Many people say that you should go by the smell of the melon to see whether it is ripe or not, but even unripe specimens will have the characteristic smell, so that is not a reliable method. Stick to testing the soft flower end and the condition of the stalk.