Dare you do battle with the giants?

Giant pumpkins on display. Picture by Tom Pattinson.
Giant pumpkins on display. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

Growing giant vegetables has always been popular.

Geordie Shaw was an Alnwick resident who used to exhibit legendary vegetables at an annual show near the castle. He specialised in big cabbages, one being so large that it had to be transported in a huge wheelbarrow. Legend has it that, unable to get it under Bondgate Tower, he had to re-route left via Green Batt.

But even he’d have been impressed by today’s giants.

Imagine growing a pumpkin so large that it requires transportation to the show with the aid of a forklift truck.

The Paton brothers broke their own UK record last year with a giant, weighing in at 2,270lbs. They’re now after the current world record of 2,624.6lbs, held by the Belgian Mathias Willemijns.

To make anything like an impression in the world of giant vegetables you’ve got to be producing an onion of around 20lbs, a carrot of similar weight, a leek of 24lbs, or a 30lbs cucumber.

To grow exceptional produce, use proven varieties and plant them in good soil. Follow up with regular feeding and adequate water.

Various sources of giant vegetable seed exist online, and there’s also information on the food requirements of specific plants. Depending on commitment, consider introducing a drip irrigation system to which nutrients can be added.

Starting seeds in pots early in warmth and transplanting outdoors later ensures they suffer no check and extends their growing season. A simple soil test will quickly determine what is required to improve the land they will occupy.

Most importantly, give your potential giants adequate growing space.

The Guinness Book of Records can either deflate or inspire would-be world record breakers.