Giant pumpkin challenge

Giant pumpkin challenge

A horticulturist at RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex has been entrusted with growing the most expensive pumpkin seed in the world

Thompson & Morgan Horticultural Director Paul Hansord bought the single seed at auction in February for £1,250 – a price surpassing all previous records.

Paul then challenged vegetable growers to apply for the task of growing a giant specimen from the seed, and selected Hyde Hall’s Matthew Oliver as the winning contender. Matthew says, “The pressure to deliver is massive. I’m not sure whether it was a brave or stupid idea to take on this challenge, but I’ll give it my best shot. Let’s just say that my holiday plans will be on hold until after the October weigh-in.”

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The seed has record-breaking genes, coming from the world’s current record-holding pumpkin grower, Beni Meir from Switzerland, whose specimen weighed in at 1,054kg (2,323lb). Always assuming that the seed gets past minor hurdles such as germination, the next-generation pumpkin will be taken to the UK’s official weigh-in at the Autumn Pumpkin Festival at Netley Park, Southampton.

Updates on Matthew’s attempt will be posted on the RHS Garden Hyde Hall social media pages: Twitter @RHShydehall and   

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Steve Ott
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