Gather up those horticultural treasures: It’s fair time

Editor’s note: Get Growing, written by the La Plata County Extension Office’s Master Gardener Program, appears every other week during the growing season. It features timely tips and suggestions for your garden and landscape.

By Darrin PArmenter

After decades of the La Plata County Fair, never in its history has the theme been more directed toward fruits, vegetables and flowers.

OK, maybe that’s a stretch. But the 2012 theme “Sew It, Grow It, Show It” is one of many reasons why you all should bring in your prized horticultural treasures this year.

Floriculture entries will be accepted from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday. All entries – annuals, perennials, gladiolus, roses (of course) and much more – must be grown by the exhibitor and should be free of insects. Floral designs will also be accepted but preregistration is highly recommended. Call me at 382-6464 for more information.

Fruits, vegetables and field crops will also be accepted from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday. There seems to be a category for almost everything we can grow here (and maybe even some we can’t) and similar to the flowers. Please try to bring entries that are free of insects and disease. Every year, we get numerous vegetable displays, and an insider gave me a heads-up that the displays have pretty good odds of winning the distinction of Grand Champion.

For the kids, and even some adults, we also have creative categories to enter. Vegetable creations (think Mr. Potato Head) and scarecrows have their own category. They are a great way to keep the kids occupied during the waning weeks before school starts. There also are junior categories, including design, in the Floriculture open class.

Even if you don’t have, or don’t want to part with, horticultural treasures, make sure you visit the Horticulture and Floriculture display room (upstairs in the La Plata Room, above the Exhibit Hall). We promise it will be the coolest (both literally and figuratively), brightest and maybe even the best smelling part of the La Plata County Fair.