Hampshire brothers Ian and Stuart Paton have picked up another giant cheque from Thompson & Morgan at the Autumn Pumpkin Festival, Netley, on Saturday 10 October.
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 Pinetops Nursery in Hants, have broken the UK record for a giant pumpkin at the event an impressive nine times.
Show rules state that all entries must be in tact with no splits or breaks. This left the Patons with one attempt, and while it didn?t break any records, the 1,861lb giant was still the biggest entered on the day.
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 watermelon, 196lb squash and 82.5lb marrow.
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, and what will you do with them??
This year Thompson & Morgan is donating the giant pumpkin to charity World Vision, the world?s largest international children?s aid charity, for use in its annual Carve a Heart campaign.
Seeds from the Paton Giant to go on sale at www.thompson-morgan.com for the 2016 growing season.