Ian and Stuart Paton have broken the UK record for a giant pumpkin for the 9th time! They reclaim throne with their 1,884 lbs beauty after it was stolen from them last year.
The gargantuan gourd measured more than 17ft in circumference and during its peak period of growth piled on a staggering 35lb a day. To match its rate of growth the vigilant horticultural siblings, who run Pine Tops Nursery in Hants, lovingly supplied close to 100 gallons of water a day, plus a nutrient-rich fertiliser. Its final weight was just 218lb off the world record. With the right care you can grow your very own giant pumpkin, with seeds from this very pumpkin. The seeds are known as Pumpkin ‘Paton Twins Giant’, so why not give it a go and see if you can grow a giant.
Stuart said: “We’ve always been confident of getting the world title eventually and it’s brilliant to installing a new greenhouse for 2015 on better soil with better drainage and twice the amount of growing space. We should be all set to take on the Americans and the Swiss.”
Our Horticultural Director, Paul Hansord said: “It used to be said that the world record would never leave the US, but if the Swiss can do it, we can do it. 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 title to UK shores in the near future.”
Having just handed over the £1,000 prize cheque and with a promise to pay £10,000 for a UK world beater, he could be regretting that confidence in coming years!
Before collecting the seed, we have invited the very talented Janie Pirie to carve the giant for display and Jimmy’s Farm Halloween Half Term and then the Spooky-themed Ipswich Firework Display at Christchurch Park on the 1st November.
Click here to buy your Giant Pumpkin seeds.
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.
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
This giant pumpkin recently broke the UK record for the heaviest specimen at the Autumn Pumpkin Festival in Southampton. The ‘monster’ is now outside Thompson & Morgan’s offices in Ipswich, waiting to be smashed open for its seeds to be counted.
Enter our competition and win £250 in Thompson & Morgan vouchers
One lucky winner will receive £250 worth of Thompson & Morgan vouchers AND 5 seeds from the record-breaking pumpkin!
All you have to do is go to our pumpkin competition page and enter your details and your guess for a chance to win this great prize.
The competition ends at midnight on Friday 15th November 2013 and the winner will be notified by 10am on Monday 2nd December.
1,520lb whopper wins £1,000 for Dorset farmer
Mark receiving his £1,000 cheque from T&M’s Sarah Curtis
Thompson & Morgan handed over a cheque for £1,000 to Dorset dairy farmer, Mark Baggs, at the annual Autumn Pumpkin Festival in Southampton last Saturday for his 1,520lb winning giant pumpkin.
Mark’s giant pumpkin beats by 16lbs the previous UK heaviest pumpkin record of 1,504lbs held by pumpkin-growing experts, Stuart and Ian Paton. Thompson & Morgan has sponsored the Autumn Pumpkin Festival since 2009, but this is the first time that a weight record has been broken.
Mark actually won the competition in 2011 with a pumpkin weighing a substantial 1,334lbs. He says that his interest in growing pumpkins began when he was at school, but it wasn’t until a visit to the UK National Giant Vegetables Championship in 2004 in Shepton Mallet that Mark became focused on the idea of growing a really large pumpkin.
The prize-winning 1520lb pumpkin grown by Mark Baggs of Wareham in Dorset.
The prize-winning specimen that Mark entered into this year’s festival in Southampton was grown from the seed of a German giant pumpkin weighing 1,391lbs. When asked the secret to transforming this seed into such an enormous pumpkin, Mark spoke about the help and support that he has had from the giant vegetable growing community.
‘I’ve had almost daily contact with growers in the US and elsewhere’, he says. ‘People were getting in touch via message boards and email with tips and advice. And since the weigh-in at the weekend, they’re sending congratulations’! Paul Hansord, Thompson & Morgan’s horticultural director said, ‘We’ve always enjoyed being involved in the Autumn Pumpkin Festival, so as you can imagine we’re absolutely thrilled to have found a record-breaker this year’.
Mark thanked Thompson & Morgan for its continued support of the event. Maybe he’ll be back next year with an even bigger pumpkin for his son, Jack, to sit on!
Jack, now 4½ sits on top of this year’s 1,520lb prize-winning pumpkin.
Mark’s son, Jack, then 2½ with Mark’s 2011 winning entry which weighed 1,334lbs.
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.