As rules for exhibiting gardens and allotments, and vegetables at shows are often asked for, I venture to give those drawn up and used by myself for several years under the competitions scheme of the Kent County Council Technical Education Committee, which I believe to be the most extensive and complete of all.

For plot judging, the following scale of points is used: -

Maximum Points.

Crop Or Subject.

Maximum Points.

Crop Or Subject.

10

Potatoes.

6

Rhubarb.

9

Winter Greens.

5

Tomatoes.

9

Onions.

4

Cabbage (Red).

8

Peas.

4

Asparagus.

8

Carrots.

4

Seakale.

8

Parsnips.

4

Artichokes.

8

Cabbage (Green).

4

Shallots

7

Turnips.

4

Salads.

7

Beet.

4

Spinach.

7

Broad Beans.

4

Cucumbers.

7

Scarlet Runners.

3

Herbs.

6

Leeks.

4

Minor Crops.

6

Celery.

10

Fruit.

6

Cauliflowers.

10

Order and System.

6

French Beans.

8

Flowers (Window

6

Vegetable Marrows.

and Garden)

Two visits are paid to each garden and allotment, the first usually between the middle and the end of June; the second during August. Thus early and late crops are both caught. The points gained by each competitor are placed to his credit on the judging sheet.

Prizes are not fixed in number and amount, but depend upon the number of points earned. By this system the best Centres and the worst do not receive just the same amount, as is the case where fixed sums are given as prizes, but the amount earned by each is correlative with the merits of its work. Moreover, individual competitors are rewarded in precise proportion to the respective merits of their plots. If two points divide a pair of allotments 2d. is the difference in the prize.

Prizes, not exceeding four in number, are given at each Centre to competitors obtaining 90 points or upwards. If, how ever, more than four competitors obtain 140 points or upwards a prize is given to every such competitor. Ail prizes are at the rate of one penny per point according to the judges' award.

If examples are needed to make the above clear, take two Centres. In one eleven men gained 140 marks and upwards, and eleven prizes at one penny per point were awarded; total, £8 5s. 5d. In the other only two men gained more than 90 marks, and consequently only two prizes were given; total, £l 2s. 4d.

It is of the greatest importance that the system of judging which is practised should be thoroughly understood. This one is as simple as it is practical, and it is applied with the utmost exactness and care.

In the first place a careful estimate is formed of the respective quantities of the different crops. Sometimes a competitor reduces the quantity of his Potatoes or other leading crop in order to get in a number of comparatively unimportant things, under the impression that as he will get marks for the Potatoes just the same he must necessarily be the gainer. A sharp lookout is kept for this, and the scheme is thwarted by deducting points under the head of order and system. I never conclude the judging of a plot of ground without counting up the number of rows of the principal crops, and if there is a serious shortage marks are taken off.

In the second place attention is paid by the judge to the provision made for securing the longest possible succession of produce. It is considered a fault if all the Peas are coming in together. It is considered a merit if good judgment in the selection of varieties and the times of sowing results in securing Peas for several successive weeks. Points are given for good cropping if the place of failing crops is immediately filled with young stuff. There should not be a glut at one time and a scarcity at another, but there ought always to be a supply of vegetables ready for use. Overcrowding is a defect.

During the past seven years I have judged 5,000 gardens and allotments on this system, and it has been found to work with perfect success.

In judging vegetable produce at shows the following principles are observed: -

Broad Beans should open crisply, and display tender seeds. Pods which show black-eyed seeds are not liked.

Kidney Beans, both runner and dwarf, should be even in size, of good colour, and brittle. Pods that will not snap under pressure without discharging a large seed like a bullet, or which are stringy, are passed.

Beet should be of medium size, fangless, and show a dark red colour when cut. Very large, coarse, fangy roots, which frequently cut pale, are usually passed.

Cabbage should be of medium size, free from caterpillar, and show a close white grain when cut. If soiled, perforated, and soft it is deemed imperfect.

Carrots should be even in size, symmetrical, bright in colour, and devoid of greenness at the top.

Cauliflower should be smooth, even, close, and white. If yellow, coarse, and partially burst it is imperfect.

Celery should afford a firm resistance to the pressure of the hand, be clean, well filled out, and crisp. If very yielding under pressure, full of suckers, showing flower, and worm-eaten, it is generally passed.

Onions should be even in size and clear in skin. Judges look particularly for ripeness in autumn-sown bulbs. Spring:sown bulbs should be thin at the neck. The Onions must be single, not garnished with offsets

Parsnips should be clean, smooth, and straight. Fanged or rusty roots are not liked.

Peas should be even in size, the pods well filled and of good colour, the Peas fresh and sweet. Discoloured, tough pods with maggoty seeds are passed over.

Potatoes should be even, smooth, clean, and not of a huge size. Judges do not like to see large and small Potatoes mixed on a dish, nor coarse, deep-eyed, or scabbed tubers, nor roots too large to be properly boiled.

Turnips should not show a coarse tap root, and they should be white, crisp, and sweet when cut. If discoloured or fluffy and strong in taste they are imperfect.

Vegetable Marrows are usually shown in pairs. Each Marrow should be of about the same size as its fellow, should yield under pressure, and be tender enough in the skin to admit the thumb nail readily. If yellow, as hard as a board, and tough in the skin, it is passed.