How to Grow Blue Ribbon Winning Plants for the Iowa State Fair

Aug 11, 2017

The Iowa State Fair is the state's signature annual event, attracting over one million visitors in each of the last two years, according to its website. Some of the fair's most notable events are the vegetable, fruit, and flower competitions; the winners of which receive the coveted blue ribbon. Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron, who judges the competitions, explains what he and the other judges look for when it comes to blue ribbon quality fruits and vegetables.

"When you look at them, are they basically blemish-free? And that's important as far as quality. Are they uniform as far as size? You don't want where they want five of something, say tomatoes, and you have four of them that are quite large, and one small one," Jauron explains. "So you look at uniformity; you look at blemishes. And then you look at quality, which is basically in the eye of the beholder."

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe, Richard Jauron, and Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Cindy Haynes explain how to best grow plants for the Fair and answer questions from listeners.