Record-breaking pumpkin grown by dad and son

A FATHER and son growing team have broken the Oxfordshire county record with an enormous pumpkin so big it needed to be hoisted by a tractor. Gerald Short, 52 lives in Watlington, South Oxfordshire with his wife Nicola and his two children Oliver, 13 and Elinor, 11. Mr Short and his son Oliver started growing giant vegetables five years ago and this year they grew a whopping 1558 pound giant pumpkin.

This new record makes Mr Short one of only three growers in the UK ever to have grown a pumpkin weighing more than 1500 pounds. Read also: Metal detector club save Blue Cross rescue dogs from metal shards The giant pumpkin grower has a record shop in Henley and usually obsesses over jazz and soul music; however, he says he has started to find growing pumpkins addictive.

Mr Short said: “My dad always said if you’re going to do something do it properly, so when I started getting interested in growing pumpkins, I started growing giant pumpkins, I’ve taken it to an extreme.” Oliver also grew a huge pumpkin which is 448 pounds.

The pumpkin was too heavy to lift, and both giant vegetables had to be lifted by a tractor onto the truck to take them to the official weighing event in Lymington. The pumpkins are now on display outside the Red Lion Farm Shop at Britwell Salome. The growing pair recently entered the pumpkins into a national competition in Southampton and came second.

Read also: Woman stabbed in Wallingford High Street The winners of the competition were just 26 pounds off the world record which currently stands at 2,624.6 pounds. The pumpkin was grown on Watlington Allotments, in South Oxfordshire where Mr Short has a plot dedicated to one polytunnel for one giant pumpkin plant.

The father of two was first introduced to the world of growing giant veg by his father in-law. Record-breaking pumpkin grown by dad and son Mr Short said: “I went to this national show and I saw the people growing these giant pumpkins and I thought they must be absolutely insane.

Why would you go through so much effort to grow stupid big things like that? “Anyway, I got a seed and put it in the ground, and something must have triggered in my brain and the seed got sown in my head and it is still there growing away. Myself and Oliver we both started that year.”

Read also: Here’s what Oxfordshire MPs voted in Agricultual Bill amendments The pumpkin grower has tried to grow other giant vegetables including a giant marrow, but explained his heart was not in it. Mr Short said: “There is so many things to learn about growing these vegetables you don’t just stick it in the ground and water them and hope them to be bigger every year.

“There is a lot of science involved and techniques, it is about learning and improving.

I can now transfer the skills I have learnt to growing normal vegetables.

The allotment is looking pretty good I must say.”

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