Show your garden’s glory at the La Plata County Fair

Monday, July 31, 2017 3:30 PM

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

How is your garden coming along this summer?

Many of us have wild aspirations of yards full of flowers and vegetables and fruit only to have those aspirations squashed by late frosts, hot and dry Junes and impromptu weekend camping trips.

However, if you find that you’ve successfully produced a vegetable, herb, flower, fruit or grain by early August, consider showing off your success at the La Plata County Fair.

We all know the fair for the carnival rides, animals, craftwork and the interesting choices for lunch (pickle corn dogs come to mind). But upstairs in the Exhibit Hall, there is a room (nice and cold) full of the summer’s bounty. If you want to be part of that and bring in your prized possession, here are some helpful hints:

If you bring in anything that would do better in water (herbs, leafy plants, lettuce), bring a small vase or wrap the cut stems in a moist paper towel and place in a plastic bag.Harvest early in the morning when plants are usually not drought-stressed.With flowers, clip off all leaves that would be resting in the vase water.Make sure you don’t bring in any insects on the plants.If you didn’t get around to a garden this year, you can participate in the horticulture room with an educational exhibit (great for 4-H clubs and projects), a house plant, a fairy garden or a floral arrangement, or you can submit a scarecrow to compete in the contest.

Our 2017 horticulture theme echoes the fair theme of “A Living Legacy,” and we welcome creativity. Arrangement material does not need to be grown by the exhibitor. Check the fair book for the many other showing options available – you’re not limited to vegetables and flowers.

The La Plata County Fair book is available on the county website or in person at the Extension Office at the fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave. You can also check out the “La Plata County Fair Horticulture” page on Facebook.

All entries need to be brought in between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Aug. 9.

Robin Walsh has been a Colorado Master Gardener since 2011. She lives in La Plata County.