Paton twins head list of four record breakers
Everyone loves monster veg and last weekend four British records were broken, including the biggest pumpkin ever grown in the UK.
Gardeners from all over the country converge at The Jubilee Sailing Trust Autumn Pumpkin Festival and Scarecrow Avenue in Southampton is well-known for its mammoth veg.
The event, sponsored by Thompson & Morgan, ended in triumph again for the superstars of the monster pumpkin growers, twins Stuart and Ian Paton, also from Southampton.
They broke the record that they set last year for the heaviest pumpkin to be grown in the UK, weighing in at 2269lbs or 162 stone, beating the 2016 entry by 15lb.
Ian said that producing a giant pumpkin is no mean feat – he and his brother Stuart spend on average three hours a day tending to their pumpkin patch, often using 100 gallons of water to keep the pumpkins irrigated.
For the first time, the pumpkins were kept at a constant 18°C even during the night.
Matthew Oliver, of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Hyde Hall garden, in Chelmsford, beat the record for the heaviest outdoor-grown pumpkin with a 1498.4lbs whopper.
Last year, he famously hollowed out his giant pumpkin – which had weighed in at 1333.8lb – and rowed it across the lake at the RHS garden!
Other UK record breakers at the weigh-in were Steve Bridges, who took the prize for the heaviest UK-grown squash (457.3lb) and David Maund with his 176.5lb field pumpkin.
Paul Hansord, of Thompson & Morgan, said: “We’ve been sponsoring the Autumn Pumpkin Festival event in Southampton for many years and it’s always exciting when a record is beaten, so this year we’re thrilled to see four records broken.”