Growers could win ?6000 at Harrogate Autumn Flower Show

The Harrogate Autumn Flower Show growing competition is launching a new national class for tomatoes, offering a top prize of up to ?6,000 for the winner.

The new National Championship for Gigantomo beefsteak tomatoes is being sponsored by mail order plant specialists, Van Meuwen, to celebrate the launch of the new variety in Europe. A top prize of ?1,000 is being offered exclusively for the heaviest Gigantomo staged at the Harrogate event, with a further ?5,000 if the winning tomato tips the world record scales.

The autumn giant veg competition already attracts growers from across the UK, weighing in for an annual battle with a bulge in classes for the heaviest and the longest. Also home of the National Heavy Onion Championship, the show has celebrated numerous world records in the past, including two new world records and a new British record in 2014.

Wowed by the ever increasing number of whoppers on display, visitors to this year?s Harrogate Autumn Flower Show (18 ? 20 September) can look forward to classes for the heaviest pumpkin, marrow, cabbage, parsnip, carrot, potato, tomato, leek, beetroot and stick of rhubarb, in addition to the new championship for Gigantomos. Categories for the longest runner bean and cucumber will take the total number of 2015 classes up to 13.

Show Director Nick Smith said: ?We are delighted to have an exclusive new national championship to offer our visitors and exhibitors, particularly with such a substantial prize available for the winner. I understand that the average Gigantomo weighs in at up to 3lbs, which is enough tomato to feed an entire family, but in the hands of our expert giant veg growers, I am hoping for some real monsters and look forward to seeing the current 3.71kg world record broken?or should I say pureed!?

The Gigantomo is a disease resistant and productive beefsteak variety, which can be harvested from mid-summer. It is supplied as seeds (6 seeds for ?3.99) and plug plants (5 for ?14.99) from www.vanmeuwen.com

The Harrogate Autumn Flower Show is staged at the Great Yorkshire Showground and hosts two large shows for pristine exhibition fruit and veg, as well as their less glamorous giant cousins. It is also home to Britain?s biggest exhibition by specialist gardening groups featuring over 5000 spectacular autumn blooms, plus show gardens and stunning plant nursery displays.

Van Meuwen was established as a producer of tulip and daffodil bulbs in 1973 and diversified into mail order in 1977. Today Van Meuwen is a horticultural mail order specialist, offering a range of well-established favourites, as well as exciting new plant varieties like Gigantomo.

Full schedules for the 2015 North of England Horticultural Society?s Fruit and Vegetable Show, including the giant veg classes, will be available from February. Visit www.flowershow.org.uk

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