Pumpkin gained 57lb per day
Ian and Stuart Paton have broken the British record for a giant pumpkin for the seventh time at the annual Autumn Pumpkin Festival in Southampton.
This year, the Patons’ huge pumpkin weighed 2,252.3lb, measured more than 19ft in circumference and during its peak period of growth, piled on 57lb each day for two weeks.
To match its rate of growth, the horticultural brothers, who run Pinetops Nursery in Hampshire, gave it more than 100 gallons of water a day, plus a nutrient-rich fertiliser.
As the weigh-in date approached, Ian and Stuart were spending five hours a day nurturing the three pumpkins that they entered into the competition. The final weight of the winner is just 71lb off the world record.
Each time a record is broken at the festival, show sponsor Thompson & Morgan takes the winning specimen back to its Ipswich HQ, harvests the seeds and tests them for viability to sell. The Paton Twins Giant seeds sell for £9.99 for two huge seeds.
The brothers will be using seeds from this year’s crop next year – which they say will bear the best seeds in the country, thanks to careful hand pollination of their plants to cross two of their best-ever performing plants.
Stuart said: “We’ve always been confident of winning the world title eventually, and our new greenhouse has made a big difference with its better soil and light levels, an improved watering system and a larger growing area with a more consistent temperature.”
T&M horticultural director Paul Hansord said: “It used to be said that the world record would never leave the US. Our seed quality just keeps getting better, thanks to the Patons’ selective pollination, and UK growers are upping the game every year.
“I’ve every confidence the Paton boys can bring the world title to UK shores in the near future.”