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The WAA Best Kept Allotment

Every year all plots on the site are assessed by external and impartial judge, with the best kept allotment and runners up winning prizes.

The judge has always been an external and experinced individual, and works against a discrete scoring system to ensure all plots are assessed eually and fairly.  In the first round, all plots are viewed and a short list of potential are identified.  In the second round of judging, slightly later to allow the crops to flourish and quality to be observed, only the shortlist is reviewed and runners up and winner decided from them.

To ensure all plot holders can understand the scoring system, and to therefore allow them to address any areas to improve their scores, the current 2013 judging criteria is published here. (You can download this as a PDF document for future reference here).

Section Description Potential Points 
Section 1
Cultivation (cropping schemes, rotation,superior work, cleanliness, stored humus/compost)
Section 2
Winter Brassica
Section 3
Runner/Climbing Beans
Summer Brassicas
Broad Beans
Dwarf Beans
Marrows/Squashes etc
Section 4
Any other kind of Veg not mentioned above inc Saladings. Not more than 3 Kinds - 6 pts each
Section 5
Fruit - 3 kinds - 6 pts each. divided between pruning & training, Condition, Cropping Potential

Section 6
Flowers, Not more than 3 kinds - 6 pts each
Possible Total

The Royal Horticultural Society Judging Guidelines

** For guidance only **

The previous judge followed these guidelines.  Whilst not the current set, and despite not now being in use, we include them for extra detail, information & food for thought:

You can download this as a PDF document for future reference here.

The Judging of Allotments
This is a summary of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) guidelines for judging of allotments taken from The Horticultural Show Handbook (2008) published by the RHS.
The primary purpose of an allotment is to provide crops of vegetables, fruit, flowers and culinary herbs for household use and the more completely a plot fulfils this objective the greater should be the credit accorded to it in competition.
The size of plot should not be a factor for consideration in competition.
Suggested pointing system:
Condition of the plot

Plots should be well stocked with crops free from obvious signs of excessive damage by pests, disease or weather. Unplanted areas should be clean, free from weeds and the soil should be in good well-cultivated condition.
60 points
Good workmanship

Soil between crops should be free of weeds. Paths and leisure areas should be neatly edged, even and well maintained. Credit should be given for planting for a constant succession of crops and for intelligent use of organic methods of pest control (e.g. pinching out of broad bean tips to inhibit blackfly, barriers against carrot root fly). Supports should be properly positioned and sturdy.
50 points
Quality of crops, flowers, fruit and vegetables and plants

All plants should be vigorous, sturdy and free from obvious signs of excessive damage by pests, disease or weather. A broad range of food crops, both vegetables and fruit, should be in cultivation and flowers grown for cutting or decoration should be assessed as for food crops with respect to their health, skill in cultivation and suitability to the site. The inclusion of culinary herbs in the cropping scheme should be given credit.
150 points
Originality of layout and planting

The intelligent adaptation of the layout to suit the needs of the plot-holder, the use of companion planting to reduce damage by pests and a pleasing overall visual effect should be considered meritorious. The cultivation of less common crops and the use of no-dig and deep-bed methods of cultivation should be given credit.
25 points
Ingenuity in overcoming local problems

Plot-holders who have overcome difficulties such as an exposed aspect or excessive shading and dehydration by an adjacent tree belt should be given credit for raising an acceptable (i.e. usable) standard of crop.
Visual aspect of the plot 20 points
The overall appearance of the plot should be neat and pleasing and the balance of the cultivation should be as broad as possible.
25 points
Condition of garden sheds, etc

Sheds, if present, should be of a neat and workmanlike appearance both inside and out. Frames, cloches and greenhouses should be clean and well maintained. Pea and bean supports should be sturdy enough for the weight of the crops that they bear and any bird netting should be properly positioned and undamaged so as to afford protection to the crops over which they have been placed.
20 points
350 points