The county fair is just around the corner

Wayne Hobbs, Environmental Horticulture Agent
Posted 1/24/18

GREN COVE SPRINGS – Do you have a prized petunia, a beautiful bonsai, or super succulent? If so, you should exhibit your plants in the Clay County Agricultural Fair, which runs from March 29 …

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The county fair is just around the corner

Posted

GREN COVE SPRINGS – Do you have a prized petunia, a beautiful bonsai, or super succulent? If so, you should exhibit your plants in the Clay County Agricultural Fair, which runs from March 29 through April 7 this year.

To enter plants in the fair, you must either live or work in Clay County. Also, adult exhibitors (19 years old and up) must have grown the plant themselves for at least six months and youth entrants (18 years old and below) must have grown the plant a minimum of three months. Entries can be brought in and accepted on the day of check-in or online entries can be placed at www.claycountyfair.org by March 26. Check-in this year is only one day and runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 26. On this day you will be given an exhibit number and tag your plants.

Each exhibitor is limited to 25 total entries and you can enter more than one plant in a section but no more than one of any particular variety or color. For example, you may enter several entries into the foliage plant class but cannot have two of the same variety in that class

Plants must be pest and disease free and will be inspected at registration and disqualified if found to be infested. Entries must be clean, groomed and in an appropriate container, broken containers will not be accepted. Also note that, even though there is no size limit, any plant container over 18-inches must be set in place by the owner.

When bringing in plants it is important to also know the name of the plant and in which class it should be entered.

Judging will occur on March 28 from 9 a.m. to noon and ribbons should be placed before the opening of fair. Plants are judged on the basis of their form, health, attractiveness of display, size, growth difficulty and condition. Entries should also not be recently re-potted.

During the fair, your entries will be cared for by Master Gardener volunteers but you can request to do your own watering. As many noticed last year, temperature issues within the building have been solved and you can rest assured your prize plants are safe.

Exhibit pick up is on April 8 from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. and April 9 from 10 a.m. until noon. You will need to bring the receipt portion of your entry tag and premium rewards will be distributed to you.

Now for the exciting part. If chosen as one of the Top 3 plants in a section, you will receive a ribbon and a premium award. First Place Blue Ribbons receive $3, Second Place Red Ribbons receive $2, Third Place Yellow Ribbons receive $1, and Fourth Place also receives a yellow honorable mention ribbon. In addition to these premiums a special merit plant, best in show and superintendent’s award will be awarded and each receives a premium and a rosette. If you take full advantage of this opportunity, you could walk away with more than $100 in prize money along with the pride that comes with exhibiting your hard work to the citizens of Clay County.

For more information about entering in the fair, please visit www.claycountyfair.org. I hope to see many new entries and exhibitors in the Horticulture department this year and please make sure to stop by and visit our Master Gardener and Agricultural displays in the exhibit building and the Early Florida Heritage Garden.

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If you have any questions about landscape and garden topics, or need plant or pest materials identified, contact the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Office online at http://www.clay.ifas.ufl.edu, follow us on Facebook, or call by phone at (904) 284-6355.

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