Posts Tagged ‘growing competition’

End of Summer Finale for Mr Fothergill’s Staff Competitions

October 9th, 2019 | News | 0 Comments

Every year, our trials team organises gardening-related challenges to Mr Fothergill’s employees. This summer, volunteers could grow a children’s garden or the largest onion. Teams designing the gardens used their creative skills and came up with lots of great ideas that were then judged at our annual Press Day by visiting journalists.

Competition was stiff and closely matched, so much so that we ended up with joint 2 winners and 5 more competitors drawing in 3rd place! Congratulations to Garden 8 (Mr F Minion’s Garden) & Garden 9 (Mr McGregor’s Garden) for taking home joint first place.

Garden 8, Mr F Minions Garden. A small garden including crafty and colourful homemade decorations made from pots, buckets and other garden materials, set on a raised display draped with hessian fabricGarden 9, Mr McGregor's Garden. A small garden featuring a round wooden sign that reads "Mr McGregors WELCOME", colourful flowers and Peter Rabbit references, including a Peter Rabbit stone statuette and photocopied pages from a Peter Rabbit book.

The largest onion competition also had its keen participants. 25 people competed with each other with good-natured banter and secret growing methods employed.

In the end, the heaviest onion was grown by Paul, our Head of Mail Order with a weight of 1.54kg. Finance Director Phil gained 2nd whose onion was 1.38kg in weight, Aga and Rob from our Sales Office were just behind him with 1.34kg.

The 4 winners of the Mr F staff growing onion competition, stood in a row holding their prize onions and smiling.

Everyone grew Mr Fothergill’s Exhibition Onion but could use any fertiliser they wanted. Many went for Seasol, others tried chicken manure or even sheep poo. The winner said: ‘As a first-time onion grower I had no magic formula, so just did a bit of research. I fed my plants weekly with sulphate of ammonia (nitrogen) and every two weeks with a plant tonic.’

Aga and Rob commented: ‘‘From the very first day, we watered our onion every day and made sure we raked the soil around it, to air the soil and allow the water to get down to the roots. From an internet tip from Peter Glazebrook, we used a sulphate of ammonia growth booster which was a good source of nitrogen, which encouraged leafy growth. The more leaves the larger the onion should grow. We used Seasol every time we watered.’’

Mr Fothergill’s has a wide range of easy to grow varieties for children. Exhibition Onion is ideal for shows and cooking alike. Our seed is available from Mr Fothergill’s retail stockists throughout the UK, from our latest Seed Catalogue or online. Visit your local garden centre for the full range or head over to www.mr-fothergills.co.uk.

Grow the Biggest Sunflower Head with Mr Fothergill’s and BBC Children in Need

March 26th, 2019 | Competitions, News | 0 Comments

Grow the Biggest Sunflower Head with Mr Fothergill's and BBC Children in Need

Calling all sunflower growers!

Now that spring is in the air, why not have a go at growing one of the UK’s favourite flowers and enter our competition to grow the biggest sunflower head.

Sunflowers are easy to grow, so it’s also the perfect challenge for children – they can challenge their friends or get their school involved.

How to Enter

The competition is open to anyone and any type of sunflower can be grown, but we would recommend Mr Fothergill’s Sunflower Pudsey (RRP £1.99) – for each packet sold, Mr Fothergill’s will donate 30p to BBC Children in Need. You could also turn the challenge into a fundraising event for BBC Children in Need – take a look at their website for loads of great ways of doing this here.

You have until 30th September 2019 to grow and measure your sunflower. Post us a picture on Facebook or Twitter of your flower head with proof of its size – use a tape measure to show the width of the flower head, not including the petals.

  Grow the Biggest Sunflower Head with Mr Fothergill's &  BBC Children in Need

There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes for the 3 largest sunflower heads.

Mr Fothergill’s Top Tip

For larger sunflower heads, try applying a feed and water well only once the flower head starts to appear. And of course, you could always try talking and singing to it! We’d love to hear your own tips – share on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #SunflowerTips.

Good luck, and happy growing!

The Prizes

  • 1st prize: £50 worth of Mr Fothergill’s seeds
  • 2nd prize: £30 worth of Mr Fothergill’s seeds
  • 3rd prize: £20 worth of Mr Fothergill’s seeds

The Rules

  • The winners will be chosen after the competition closes at midnight on 30 September 2019.
  • There are three prizes.
  • The 3 largest sunflower heads will be chosen based on the photos submitted proving their size. The judge’s decision is final.
  • There is no cash alternative, the prize is non-transferable and may not be substituted by the winner.
  • If you are not the sunflower grower and the photo you submit is not your photo, we reserve the right to disqualify you – only your own picture of your own flower please!

Mr Fothergill’s Sunflower Pudsey (RRP £1.99) is available from selected garden retailers and Homebase stores, and online at www.mr-fothergills.co.uk.

Halloween Finale for Staff Competitions at Mr Fothergill’s

October 31st, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

Each year the trials team at Mr Fothergill’s organise fun growing competitions for the staff to have go at.

This year volunteers could grow the tallest sunflower or the heaviest pumpkin. The ones with artistic flair could grab any pumpkin from the field and carve it for Halloween display.

The tallest Sunflower reached 3.06m high and was grown by Lisa from the IT department. She not only watered them every day, but also gave them names, talked to them and sung from time to time.

Lisa commented: “I enjoyed the competition and looking after my sunflowers. Everyday watering with the addition of Seasol every two weeks did the trick. Moreover, when you talk, you release carbon dioxide which plants use to produce food, therefore helping them to grow. I also believe that all living things are somehow connected, so just like animals and people, they need to feel a sense they are loved. I spent 5 mins every evening after work telling them about my day! Now, when it all finished and they died I really miss my three plants I used to talk to.”

12 people took the challenge to grow the heaviest pumpkin. Rachel from our trials team won the competition with a pumpkin weight of 24.3kg. Production director Jeremy gained 2nd place with a 19.5kg fruit and mail order manager Paul was just behind him with 18.7kg.

Rachel said: “It was an amazing summer and pumpkins are very thirsty. I fed the pumpkin only a couple of times with Seasol, I watered every other day in the height of the summer, a whole watering can full at a time as I felt it needed it. It was only when it got a little cooler that the pumpkin got bigger, it ripened well and I did not realise how heavy it was until I tried to lift it!”

At Mr Fothergill’s the growing season ended with the pumpkin harvest and carving competition this year. Eight judges scored six amazing entries. Gladys the Witch created by Carol, Lindsay and Hannah was the judges’ favourite, followed by an eye ball carved with attention to detail by Suzi. Joint 3rd place went to Colin’s Polar Bear Mafia and Jeremy’s Little Boo. All participating employees put much effort and creativity to create a stunning Halloween display.

Gladys-the-witch-stole-1st-place-of-Mr-Fothergills-pumpkin-carving-competition

Congrats-to-Suzi-on-2nd-prize-of-Mr-Fothergills-pumpkin-carving-competition-with-eerie-eye-ballWell-done-to-Colin-for-joint-3rd-place-with-Polar-Bear-Mafia-creation

SWell-done-to-Jeremy-for-joint-3rd-place-with-Little-Boounflower Giant Single costs £1.40 for 75 seeds, Pumpkin Atlantic Giant priced £3.05 for 10 seeds.

Mr Fothergill’s has a wide range of pumpkins and squashes that will look great on Autumn displays, many of them having amazing flavours when cooked. They are available from Mr Fothergill’s retail stockists throughout the UK, from our latest Seed Catalogue or online. Visit your local garden centre for the full range or head over to www.mr-fothergills.co.uk.

And The Winner of Mr Fothergill’s Longest Runner Bean Competition Is…

October 23rd, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

Congratulations go to June Saddington who has grown the winning pod – measuring an impressive 62.3cm! Alison Cartwright gained 2nd place with a 61cm long bean and David Graney gained 3rd place with a pod of 53cm.

In April 2018, we announced our quest to find the longest runner bean in the UK. Mr Fothergill’s Facebook and Twitter followers were asked to share pictures of their runner beans growing, where they could get spot prizes every month. To have a chance to win the main prizes they were asked for images of the longest beans with a tape measure showing the length.

It all started with Mr Fothergill’s staff competition for the ‘Year of the Bean’ and the introduction of new and exclusive Runner Bean Guinness Record in 2017. There was great interest when the competition was announced. The winning bean that year was 47.2 cm long.

This year’s winners come from around the UK and used various ways to succeed.

The-winner-of-Mr-Fothergills-Longest-Runner-Bean-Competition-2018

 

 

June Saddington said: ‘‘I grew the plants in a raised bed in my back garden veg patch, a bag of manure was dug in first then I grew 5 plants, one up each pole of a wigwam, and just watered lots over the hot summer.’’

 

 

 

2nd-place-of-Mr-Fothergills-Longest-Runner-Bean-Competition-2018-goes-to-Alison

 

Alison Cartwright applied a different approach: ‘‘My beans were surface sown in a seed tray of compost and then transplanted to one of my raised beds at the four-leaf stage. They were planted just as the hot summer weather started so this meant that watering every other day was necessary and on every third or fourth watering they were given a low nitrogen feed, they were also misted regularly to encourage the beans to set.’’

 

3rd-prize-of-Mr-Fothergills-Longest-Runner-Bean-Competition-2018-went-to-David

 

 

David Graney, who won 3rd prize, commented: ‘‘I prepped the bed with well-rotted manure, then fed with comfrey tea and also mulched with comfrey leaves when we had the heatwave.’’

 

 

 

Well done to all the winners!

Runner Bean Guinness Record costs £3.55 for 45 seeds.

Mr Fothergill’s has a wide range of Runner Beans. They are available from Mr Fothergill’s retail stockists throughout the UK and from the company’s latest Seed Catalogue or online. Visit your local garden centre for the full range or head over to www.mr-fothergills.co.uk.

Big Money Prizes on offer again with Mr Fothergill’s Sweet Pea Competition

September 22nd, 2014 | Competitions, The flower garden | 0 Comments

Six winning vases of sweet peas will together be worth £2500 to the six growers who win a national sweet pea competition in July 2015.

Sweet peas awaiting judging in the 2014 sweet pea competition

Mr Fothergill’s has announced it will once again be running its sweet pea growing competition, with £2500 in prize money, for a third successive year.  The event, to be held on Saturday 18 July,  and aimed at ‘ordinary’ gardeners rather than at exhibitors, will once again be hosted by Capel Manor College in north London.  It was decided to move the date back a fortnight to ensure a greater number of potential entrants have plenty of blooms from which to choose.

Entrants may either post their blooms in a two-litre soft drinks bottle or turn up at the college on the day of the show to stage their flowers.  The two categories will be judged separately and there are also categories for schools and individual youngsters.  Each of the two adult and school classes will carry prizes of £500, while the youngsters’ classes will have two prizes each of £250.  Mr Fothergill’s have developed a tried and trusted method of packing and mailing sweet peas through the post, allowing postal entries to arrive in good condition.

Mr Fothergill’s competition coordinator Pim Dickson said he hoped that by making the competition two weeks later than in earlier years, everyone’s sweet peas would be in full bloom.  “We are looking for attractive bunches of mixed sweet peas, which will be judged on their overall appeal.  No one should feel their blooms are not good enough to enter and, after all, it is only a bit of fun,” he explained.  “The competition is becoming increasingly popular with schools, and we hope this trend continues.”

You can request a copy of the Mr Fothergill’s Seed Catalogue 2015 online, which features an extensive range of sweet peas suitable for October sowing, or you can make a catalogue request by calling 0845 371 0518 or by writing to Mr Fothergill’s, Gazeley Road, Kentford, Suffolk CB8 7QB.   Alternatively, you can take a look at the sweet peas on offer online at www.mr-fothergills.co.uk.