Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Award of Garden Merit

The Royal Horticultural Society has designed a new Logo for the Award of Garden Merit. I find this award very useful when choosing a particular variety of vegetable. Plants are grown as part of a trial at one of the RHS sites and are judged by a panel of experts. I remember a couple of years ago there was an RHS trial of Runner Beans. Dozens of different runner bean varieties were grown side by side, in identical conditions. The judges attend and look at the whole plant, decides how prolific it is, how resistant to disease it is, how easy it is to grow, how tender and tasty the finished product is.
The official criteria for awarding an RHS AGM are:

* It must be of outstanding excellence for ordinary garden decoration or use

* It must be commercially available

* It must be of good constitution

* It must not require highly specialist growing conditions or care

* It must not be particularly susceptible to any pest or disease*

* It must not be subject to an unreasonable degree of reversion in its vegetative or floral characteristics.

So next time you are going through a seed catalogue trying to choose a new variety, I have found the RHS AGM to be a good recommendation.


At 2:21 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Is there a website anywhere which lists all the AGM's? The Award's been around since the 19th Century, and many of the varieties are no longer commercially available, but are no less good for that, if you can find them.

At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very helpful for someone deciding which seeds to purchase and plant!

At 5:02 PM, Blogger Janet/Plantaliscious said...

I've grown used to taking note of the AGM with ornamentals, and chose last year's tomatoes based on an RHS trial, but am now pondering why I didn't take this in to account when choosing what to (try to) grow on my brand new allotment. True, I read advice in books and on blogs, but never hunted down the AGM varieties. Seems daft in retrospect. Thanks for the reminder!

At 6:41 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Robert - I don't know for sure, but all the AGMs must be on their website. I have an RHS encyclopaedia at home and all the AGMs are clearly marked there.

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Scattered Gardener said...

I find the reports they write up in The Garden magazine very helpful. Just planted out new stock of AGM Honeyoye strawberries, a really early variety, as we've enjoyed them so much over the last four years.

I assume "good flavour and yield" are added to the criteria for fruit and veg?


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