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                    2015: Worlds Longest Radish (88" or 2.2 Meters) (Record Broken)    
                    2017: Worlds Heaviest Chilli Pepper (348g)  (Record Broken)
                    2019: Worlds Heaviest Beetroot (23.995kg) (Current Record)

Welcome To The Home Of Giant Vegetables
www.giantveg.co.uk 

                                     Introduction To The Website Video                                                                                 Top 5 Tips Of Growing Giant Veg                 

    

How to Grow a Giant Marrow

How did we grow Britain's Largest Marrow?

 

In October 2009 we prepared the marrow patch on an area measuring 7m x 4m (23ft x 13ft). It was a well drained and sheltered area of the garden and the ground was double-dug to create depth and allow well-rotted manure to be dug in early enough for the worms and bacteria to carry out their magic during the winter months.

 

To grow a giant marrow you will need the right seed an ordinary strain will never achieve the required size. Ours were started off at the beginning of May 2010 in a heated greenhouse. Due to the freshness of the seeds they germinated with ease; however, as a precaution, we used sandpaper on the edges of the seeds to help them germinate. The marrows were planted in pure vermiculite and took around 7 to 10 days to germinate at a temperature of 21°C (70°F).

 

 

In early May we prepared the soil using a rotovator, which made light work of an otherwise strenuous task. Then, a week before planting, the bed was prepared with a base fertiliser of Vitax Q4 at approximately 170 to 225g (6 to 8oz) per square metre.

 

 

Towards the end of May and the beginning of June, when all danger of frost had passed, the marrows were planted into the patch. A new method was trialled and we added 10g (1/3oz) of Rootgrow around the plant. This mycorrhizal fungus helped to create a huge root mass, and we believe this was one of the key ingredients of our success.

 

 

Due to the size of our patch we could only grow two marrows, and as a precaution we positioned a mini-tunnel over the plants to give them a head start. This kept them out of the wind, and also kept them warm during thecooler nights. On strong sunny days the tunnel was covered with a sack to prevent the leaves from scorching and the roots from cooking. The mini-tunnel was removed in mid June.

 

 

The plants were allowed to grow to about 4.5m (15ft) long, with the fruit being set on the main vine at about 3 to 3.5m (10â to 12ft). The side vines were stopped at about 1 to 1.5m (3 to 5ft) and the main vine and side vines were buried to help stabilise the plant and promote growth, as marrows root along all leaf joints.

 

 

Throughout the growing season we supplemented this with a fortnightly scattering of poultry pellets and a weekly foliar feed with Maxicrop Triple, a seaweed-based product. We also regularly sprayed the leaves with a 10:1 mixture of whole milk to control powdery mildew if not controlled this will kill the plant.

 

 

We've been developing our strain over the past twenty-five years, and for consistency we ensured that the male and female flowers were covered the evening before they started to open. In our experience pollination is best carried out early to mid morning. Our marrow was pollinated forty-five days before the Malvern Autumn Show and the female flower was covered with a plastic bag secured with a rubber band for two days after pollination. It reached 77.5kg (171lb) in approximately seven weeks, and we avoided growing table marrows and courgettes, as there was always a risk of cross-pollination.

 

 

We rested the developing marrow on top of a polystyrene board, believing that this would help to avoid differences in temperature and prevent the marrow from having excessive growth spurts, which would have caused it to split. You may also have heard a rumour that our marrow was wrapped in a duvet towards the latter part of the growing season. Well, it's true. Once the skin becomes hard, a marrow has stopped growing, and this prevented the skin from getting hard, allowing the marrow to continue its growth. All we needed now was good weather and lots of luck.

 

 

 If you are interested in purchasing seeds please visit here

 

How to Grow a Giant Sunflower

Here's Jamie with UK record Sunflower Head measuring 26.2" in diameter and 67" circumference

 

For a Giant head sunflower here are a few tips-

1.  Firstly  -- Choose the Right Strain

Our strain has been developed over the last ten years and has consistently proven to be the largest ever grown in the UK. In September 2011 Jamie, my son, broke the UK record for the largest sunflower head measuring 67" in circumference 26.2" diameter


2. Site and Soil Preparation Are Critical

Sunflowers need full sun; they need on average 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day - the more the better if you are trying to grow them to their maximum potential. Choose a well-drained location, and prepare your soil by digging an area of about 2-3 feet in circumference to a depth of about 2 feet. Sunflowers are heavy feeders and deplete the soil more than many other crops - especially if you are growing them to reach a massive height so the nutrient supply must be replenished each season.

Work in a feed that also contains trace minerals-- about 8 in. deep into your soil. We use a mineral fertilizer such as Osmocote. Depending on your soil, you may wish to add, in addition to composted manure and an organic slow-release balanced fertiliser, an organic amendment containing trace minerals such as greensand or dried seaweed.

 


3. The Right Way to Sow and Thin For Success

To grow the largest sunflowers, it is essential to direct sow seed directly into the garden, rather than start them in pots of any kind. This is because sunflowers have long taproots that grow quickly and become stunted if confined. Peat pots in particular often dry out and block off root growth. Despite many gardener's best intentions, transplanting often gets postponed - so beat the odds and plan to sow seeds in the ground.

 

sunflower emerging

 

 


Since sunflowers that are planted in midsummer often flower on shorter stalks, sow your giant sunflowers earlier-as soon as all danger of frost is past and night temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit both day and night. The ideal spacing in rows for giant sunflowers with large seed heads is 20 in. apart. If you plant closer, you might get taller stalks but smaller heads. If you plant further apart, the seed head may be larger, but possibly too heavy for the stalk to bear. If you have limited space,

To sow seeds, water your soil, and press seeds 1" deep in clumps of 5-6 seeds about 6-8" apart. Put slug pellets in a circle around the clump, and cover loosely with netting to protect emerging seedlings from birds. If the soil is kept moist, seedlings will appear within 5-10 days.  The point of this gradual thinning method is to ensure that you're left with at least one good seedling in the event that predators damage any of the others. Remember, it's critical to thin back to the best single seedling if you're going for giant sunflowers. Leaving even several seedlings growing too close together will keep you from growing a giant in your garden.

4.  Feeding and Care of Your Growing Giant


Feed often and water regularly. While the plant is small, water around the root zone, about 3-4 in. from the plant with about 2 litres of properly diluted organic liquid feeding solution per week. For larger plants, scrape out a small doughnut-shaped moat about 18 inches around the plant and about four inches deep. Pour several litres of properly diluted lorganic feed around every week.  Sunflower roots can grow to 4 feet below the soil surface. Avoid pouring fertiliser directly on the stems, since this can cause them to rot.

Another feeding method for larger plants is to cut a 4" pipe around 12" long and drive into the ground. Three times a week, fill the holes with properly diluted liquid organic feed.

 

 

 


Care for giant sunflowers as if they were members of your family. Be attentive to weather forecasts, especially, as your plants become taller and more top-heavy. When heavy winds are predicted, delay watering to reduce their chances of blowing over. Staking isn't usually necessary for sunflowers, but it can be helpful in extremely windy areas or if they must be grown in conditions that are too crowded or in too much shade.


5.  Harvesting and Enjoying Giant Seed heads

As the petals fall off, the centre florets dry up and the seed kernels begin to swell in the disks, carefully climb a stepladder and cover your flower head with a mesh. This keeps marauding birds from robbing your seeds so that the heads look perfect and complete when you are ready to show them off to friends or proudly display them  at your local village show. Cut the stalks about a foot down the stem for the show.

6.  Giant Fun for All Ages


Growing our strain of sunflowers is a great way for getting children inspired to enjoy the garden. Like Jack's beanstalk, the plants grow quickly skyward, and the flower heads look cheerful and lion-like. Tall sunflowers can be planted in formation: as forests, playhouses or teepees. You can even grow colorful vines like scarlet runner beans up the stalks if you give the sunflowers several weeks head start. It's easy to get children involved in the excitement of watching how tall a family sunflower grows each day, or let them compete on their own!  My son is involved with his school gardening club and thoroughly enjoys teaching all of his friends how to grow all different types of fruit and vegetables

If you are interested in purchasing giant sunflower seeds please visit here

 

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