Weather has been poor for tourism but good for vegetable growers

EAST Devon s tourism industry may be cursing yet another wet summer but gardeners are rejoicing at the excellent growing conditions.

EAST Devon's tourism industry may be cursing yet another wet summer but gardeners are rejoicing at the excellent growing conditions.

Some of this season's top quality crops went on display at the Lympstone Garden Club show on Saturday, which attracted a total of 535 exhibits.

Veg grower Keith Exelby, who is an allotment holder at the village's Heathfield site, said conditions had proved excellent, particularly for potatoes and soft fruit.

He said: "People who have been trying to grow soft vegetables such as lettuce and tomatoes, where they are tender early on and did not want to be wet and cold, did not do so well. Stronger plants, especially potatoes and onions, have benefited."

Mr Exelby, a former chairman of the garden club who lives in the Strand, Lympstone, said that last year he lost half his potato crop to blight, but this year there was no blight on the allotments, which could have been down to the weather conditions. He recommended the use of sulphur, to prevent bottom rot and counter long wet and cold conditions.

This year the show embraced the green revolution by introducing some new classes for growers.

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Jenepher Allen, who judged the 'Go Green' section was impressed by the concept which she felt was one which other clubs would adopt in time.

This year a produce stall run by the club asked for donations of vegetables, home-made jams and pickles. The proceeds have been donated to the village hall which has launched an appeal to aid extensive renovation plans.