Twins get ready for Halloween by growing a trick or treat sized pumpkin

October 19, 2008

Twin brothers were today celebrating setting a new European record by growing a massive pumpkin weighing more than a Mini car.

Ian and Stuart Paton’s giant squash weighed in at a staggering 1457lb – more than 104 stone – and had to be lifted by forklift truck.

The pumpkin smashed the previous British record of 1,341lb set by father and son farmers Mark and Frank Baggs last month.

It also trumped the European record of 1357lb set by a Belgian grower last week
The record-breaking pumpkin took 129 days to grow and was weighed using a special winch device at the Annual Pumpkin Show in Netley, near Southampton, Hants.

The Patons used a trailer pulled by a Volvo estate car to transport their giant vegetable to the show at Netley’s Royal Victoria Country Park where it was weighed in front of witnesses.

It was planted in a greenhouse in April and needed one and a half tonnes of manure to reach its current size.
Ian and Stuart, both 47, run the Pinetops nursery in Lymington, New Forest, and held the British record one year ago with a pumpkin weighing 1,188lb.

Ian said the pair were delighted to reclaim their title.

He said: “It’s nice to have the record back because we had it a couple of years ago with a pumpkin weighing 1,124lb and then last year with one at 1188lb.

“This is the biggest and best so far. No one else will beat it this year.

“Stuart and I are always looking ahead and we are now going to try to grow another pumpkin to beat the world record this time next year.

“It’s all about having a bit of luck and the right seeds – and we’ve definitely got the right seeds so it’s just a matter of time now.

“We grow our best ones in a greenhouse to keep the wind off and plant them in one and a half tonnes of manure.

“At it’s fastest stage this one was growing at 30lb a day – that’s more than two stone.

“Pumpkins do most of their growing at night and it may even have managed up to 50lb in 24 hours if it was as warm as 25 degrees celsius overnight.” An original Mini motor car weighs 1360lb (617kg).

The average pumpkin weighs about five pounds and takes up to three months to mature.

To establish a British record, pumpkin growers must have their vegetable weighed and photographed in front of witnesses at a recognised event.

They must then send photographs and documentary evidence to the website ‘,’ which keeps British records.

The world’s heaviest-ever pumpkin weighed in at 1,689lbs and was grown by Joe Jutras of Rhode Island, USA, in 2007.

But expert Clive Bevan reckons climate change means British farmers will soon be competing with their bumper crops.

He said: “Pumpkins love lots of sun, showers and humidity which is why Americans have always grown the biggest pumpkins but soon we may be able to able to grow them as big.”


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