At this weekend’s Autumn Pumpkin Festival in Netley, Southampton, sponsored by Thompson & Morgan, no less than four British records were broken.
Stuart and Ian Paton broke the record that they set in 2016 for the heaviest pumpkin to be grown in the UK. Weighing in at 2269lbs or 162 stone, the pumpkin beat last year’s entry by just 15lbs.
Ian Paton said that producing a giant pumpkin is no mean feat. He and his brother Stuart spend on average 3 hours a day tending to their pumpkin patch, often using 100 gallons of water to keep the pumpkins irrigated.
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.”
Matthew Oliver of RHS Hyde Hall, Chelmsford beat the record for the heaviest outdoor-grown pumpkin with a 1498.4lbs whopper. In 2016, Matthew famously hollowed out his giant pumpkin – which had weighed in at 1333.8lb – and rowed it across a lake at his RHS garden base in Essex.
Other UK record breakers at the weekend 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.
The last few weeks leading up to the weigh-in have been tense for the 53 year old twins from Lymington in Hampshire, whose names are now synonymous with giant pumpkins. The risk of the pumpkin splitting and thereby being disqualified from the competition is high when it’s putting on up to 60lbs a day!
Fancy trying your hand at growing a record-breaking pumpkin, click here to buy seeds from the Paton twins’ previously grown giant pumpkins. Don’t forget to send us photos of your pumpkins as they grow.
To learn more about growing pumpkins, watch our videos here
Sonia works at Thompson & Morgan in the role of press and communications officer. She is a self-proclaimed ‘reluctant’ gardener and is generally amazed if anything flourishes in her garden. Sonia has a ‘hands off’ approach to gardening and believes that this helps to encourage bees, butterflies and other wildlife. (That’s her excuse anyway!)