Planting Vegetable Gardens in Maryland

Asked February 26, 2020, 10:52 AM EST

Hello, 'Living in the Triangle' magazine for Crofton, is having a vegetable garden contest. When would you suggest would be the best month, week & day to judge the vegetable gardens? What would you suggest the major factors for judging? I'd really appreciate a quick response. Thanks, Nancy

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Hello Nancy,

We suggest mid- to late July as an ideal time to evaluate vegetable gardens, since productivity will be in full swing, even if all crops are not yet mature. (We cannot narrow it down to day, and one imagines it would be an event dependent on the weather as well.) Common points of evaluation for individual plots among community garden competitions include:

  • walkway tidiness and ease of access
  • free of trash and debris
  • good use of companion plants such as herbs and flowering annuals or perennials
  • free of safety hazards (tools, hoses, fertilizer or pesticide containers)
  • sanitation (such as removal of spoiled fruits and highly damaged foliage from insects or disease)
  • weed-free beds and walkways
  • well-established, healthy, vigorous plants
  • flowering and fruiting (productivity), with aesthetic emphasis on uniformity and fruit/foliage condition
  • good use of space (efficiency in crop production, aesthetic placements, right-plant-right-place choices, etc.)