Split sets pumpkin twins back with record attempt

Pumpkin weigh-in at the Autumn Pumpkin Festival, sponsored by Thompson & Morgan: Ian and Stuart Pato

Pumpkin weigh-in at the Autumn Pumpkin Festival, sponsored by Thompson & Morgan: Ian and Stuart Paton receiving their winner�s cheque from Paul Hansord, horticultural director at Thompson & Morgan - Credit: Archant

Pumpkin growers from across the UK battled it out last week in a competition organised by an Ipswich seeds firm.

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

But their entry, which weighed in at 1,861lb, failed to beat the record the twins set last year, when they grew a 1,884lb giant.

The Paton twins, who run Pine Tops Nursery in Hampshire, have broken the UK record for a giant pumpkin at the event an impressive nine times.

Despite investing in a new glass house set up for their 2015 attempt, their dreams were dashed when the three largest pumpkins in their greenhouse split as they piled on 35lb per day at their peak.

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Show rules state that all entries must be in tact with no splits or breaks.

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.

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“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?” he said.

This year Thompson & Morgan is donating the giant pumpkin to children’s charity World Vision.

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