A father and son duo have grown one of the largest pumpkins ever produced in Britain, weighing a hefty 1,558 pounds.
Five years ago, 52-year-old Gerald Short and his 13-year-old son, Oliver Short, began their hobby of growing giant vegetables on their allotment in Watlington, Oxfordshire.
Their pastime has paid off big time this autumn, with the pair boasting a pumpkin so enormous it could only be moved using a tractor.
The pumpkin recently came second in a national competition, with the winning pumpkin weighing just 20 pounds less than the world record weight of 2,624.6 pounds, a record held by a pumpkin grown by Mathias Willemijns, from Belgium.
Gerald and Oliver’s pumpkin is currently being displayed outside a local farm shop.
Their pumpkin is the third largest ever grown in Britain.
Gerald, who owns a record shop, spends the majority of his spare time tending to his allotment.
"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,” he said.
Gerald explained that he once attended a national show, where participants displayed “giant pumpkins”.
“I thought they must be absolutely insane,” he recalled. "Why would you go through so much effort to grow stupid big things like that?
However, once he planted a seed of his own in the ground, “something must have triggered in my brain and the seed got sown in my head and it is still there growing away”, he said.
“Myself and Oliver we both started that year,” he added.
Gerald explained that there is “a lot of science” and “techniques” involved with learning how to grow giant vegetables.
"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,” he stated.
"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.”
Gerald’s son, Oliver, also grew another pumpkin this year, weighing 448 pounds.
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