A Paton Pumpkin does it again!

  • Paton twins grow UK’s largest pumpkin but fail to beat record they set in 2014
  • Winning 1,861lb pumpkin to be carved for World Vision’s ‘Carve a Heart’ campaign to raise awareness of children living in the world’s hardest places
  • Seeds from the Paton Giant to go on sale at www.thompson-morgan.com for the 2016 growing season.

Hampshire brothers Ian and Stuart Paton picked up another giant cheque from Thompson & Morgan at the Autumn Pumpkin Festival, Netley, Southampton, on Saturday 10th October.

Giant Paton Pumpkin

The annual event draws pumpkin growers from across the country, all aiming to take home the prize for the UK’s largest pumpkin. The Paton twins, who run Pine Tops Nursery in Hants, have broken the UK record for a giant pumpkin at the event an impressive nine times.

Having entered a 1,884lb beast in 2014 (their heaviest yet) and invested in a new glass house set up for their 2015 attempt, they had hopes of smashing the world record this season. Their dreams were sadly dashed when the three largest pumpkins in their greenhouse split as they piled on 35lb per day at their peak.

Show rules state that all entries must be in tact with no splits or breaks. This left the Paton’s with one last shot, and while it didn’t break any records, the 1861lb giant was still the biggest entered on the day. Their ‘small fruit’ weighed in 543lb heavier than the next best entry; a 1319lb beauty grown by Dorset dairy farmer Mark Baggs.

Giant pumpkins aren’t the nicest looking specimens so a separate award for prettiest fruit was awarded to Welsh grower Mark Josey for his 878.9lb entry. Other highlights at the show included a 59.4lb water melon, 196lb squash and 82.5lb marrow.

Giant Paton Pumpkin

Show sponsor, Thompson & Morgan horticultural director Paul Hansord, hauls the winning fruit home to the seed and plant specialists Ipswich HQ every October in order to harvest the seeds for sale. He said: “The interest these giant pumpkins generate is incredible. I lost count of the photos being taken of the truck as I drove back to Suffolk with the winner on board. At every stop on my journey I was swarmed by onlookers keen to get a photo and ask a question or two – are they real, can you eat them, what will you do with them?”

Giant Paton PumpkinSadly pumpkins of this size lose their flavour and texture so are no good for cooking, but they do generate other opportunities. This year Thompson & Morgan is donating the giant pumpkin to charity World Vision, the world’s largest international children’s aid charity. It plans to use the pumpkin as part of its annual Carve a Heart campaign. Now in its third year, the event uses Halloween as a hook to highlight children living in fear across the world.

The campaign calls on consumers to turn a night of fear into a night of hope by carving hearts into their pumpkins in place of a scary face, offering a lantern of hope for vulnerable Children who live in fear every night of the year.

This Halloween you can turn a night of fear into a night of hope.

Carve a heart. Be there for children living in fear. Text HEART to 70060 to donate £5 to World Vision.


Thompson & Morgan
Since the first seed catalogue was published in 1855, Thompson & Morgan has grown to become one of the UK’s largest Mail Order Seed and Plant companies. Through the publication of our catalogues and the operation of our award-winning website, Thompson & Morgan is able to provide home gardeners with the very best quality products money can buy.

Pumpkin Pressure- another record breaker?

The pressure is on as we are set for another world record breaker! Each year we have the pleasure of sponsoring Autumn Pumpkin Festival taking place in Southampton on 11th October 2014. If the UK world record is broken, we offer the winning grower a £1,000 award! But, if they break a World record, they are awarded with a grand prize of £10,000! Who wouldn’t want to give it a go?

Event organisers, Ian and Stuart Paton, hold numerous records for the biggest pumpkin. Unfortunately their reign was stolen last year by Mark Baggs with a winning pumpkin weighing an astonishing 1,520lbs.

UK giant pumpkin record beaten

2013, 1,520lb prize-winning pumpkin.

However, not to be beaten Ian and Stuart have put all their efforts into growing another mammoth pumpkin. At its peak this pumpkin is growing 39lb each day! With only one week to go the pressure is on, will they break the world record? You will have to wait and

Terri Overett
Terri works in the e-commerce marketing department assisting the busy web team. Terri manages our blog and social media pages here at Thompson & Morgan and is dedicated to providing useful advice to our gardeners. Terri is new to gardening and keen to develop her horticultural knowledge.

Sow it begins… our giant pumpkin seed journey

Watering in the freshly sown seed

On Monday, our New Product Development Manager, Michael Perry helped to sow Thompson & Morgan’s €200.00 giant pumpkin seed.

This seed comes from a new world record pumpkin, which was weighed in last autumn (2012) at 2009lbs. The pumpkin was a hybrid raised by Ron Wallace of Greene, Rhode Island and was weighed in at the Topsfield Fair in the USA.

For more information on the seed and how Thompson & Morgan acquired it, see our earlier world record breaking pumpkin seed post.

With the help of a range of experts, Thompson & Morgan hope to challenge the UK record, which stands at 1504lbs.

Our hopes for a record breaking pumpkin

You can keep up to date with progress on how the T&M giant pumpkin seed is developing on Twitter following @TMGiantPumpkin and joining in the conversation using #giantpumpkin.

Don’t forget our Competition

Do you think you can grow a record-breaking pumpkin? You’ll be in with a chance of winning £10,000 if you break the world record! To enter into the competition, you will need to present your giant pumpkin at the Autumn Pumpkin Festival in Southampton on Saturday 12th October 2013. See the Pumpkin competition terms and conditions.

Rebecca Tute
Rebecca works in the Marketing department as part of the busy web team, focusing on updating the UK news and blog pages and Thompson & Morgan’s international website. Rebecca enjoys gardening and learning about flowers and growing vegetables with her young daughter.

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