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The Great Verwood Grow Off

The Verwood and District Horticultural Society are pleased to announce the second "Great Verwood Grow Off" - a growing competition for 3 to 15 year olds in Verwood!


We are challenging our local school children to grow​

  • the tallest sunflower

  • the most beautiful calendula - 5 flowers in a vase like this : 

  • the heaviest pumpkin

Along with a VDHS trophy, the winning 3 children will each receive a £20 Smyths voucher generously donated by some of our local businesses.  The winners will be announced at the VDHS Autumn Show on 14 September 2023 at the Verwood Memorial Hall.

We have some FREE seeds available for any child wanting to take part - these will be available from the Verwood Library from April on a first come, first served basis.  Please help yourself to one set of each variety per child, depending on what they want to grow!  You can also use your own seeds if you have them!

How to enter?

  1. Collect your FREE seeds as soon as possible - first come first served.  You can also use your own seeds.

  2. Use the instructions on the pdf link to sow your seeds.

  3. Make sure you water your seedlings and provide any necessary support for your sunflower.  Allow a lot of space for your pumpkin plant - they ramble around!

  4. Spend the warmer months making sure your plants are happy - give them plenty of water and feed as required.

  5. Only leave one pumpkin on a plant to get really big - this will make sure it has the best chance of getting big!

  6. Fill in an entry form found in the link below - make sure this is submitted to by 5pm on Thursday 12th September.

  7. All Competition Rules must be adhered to - follow link below.

Before Thursday 12th September : 

  • Sunflowers : when your sunflower flowers, take an accurate metric measurement (in metres/centimetres) of your sunflower from soil level up to the top of the upmost petals.  Have a photo taken of the entrant next to their sunflower.  These photos will be printed and displayed for judging.  Send your photo and measurement to

On Show Day, Saturday 14th September : 

  • Calendula : pick 5 of your best flowers with a good length of stem.  Put them in a vase, jam jar or a glass of water and bring them to the Verwood Memorial Hall between 8.30am and 11am on Saturday 12th September.  The VDHS will also have some vases available for you to display your 5 best flowers for judging.

  • Pumpkins : pick your pumpkin and drop it off at the Verwood Memorial Hall between 8.30am and 11am on Saturday 12th September.  Your pumpkin will be weighed as part of judging.

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