Derby

Derby grandfather grows giant cucumber

Raghbir Singh Sanghera giant cucumber
Image caption The beast grown by Raghbir Singh Sanghera could be an Armenian cucumber, one expert suggested

A grandfather in Derby says praying to his cucumber has helped it grow to a potential world-record size.

Raghbir Singh Sanghera, who worked as a farmer in India before coming to the UK in 1991, grew the 51in (129.54cm) ribbed vegetable in his greenhouse.

Mr Sanghera said the cucumber - whose species has not yet been determined - continues to grow in girth and length.

The current Guinness World Record for the longest cucumber, which was grown in Wales in 2011, is 107cm (42.13in).

Peter Glazebrook, an expert in growing giant vegetables, says it appears to be an Armenian cucumber (Cucumis meloflexuosus), making it a muskmelon as opposed to a standard cucumber (Cucumis sativus), which is part of the gourd family.

"We have seen these presented before at giant veg shows only to be rejected," Mr Glazebrook said.

"However, it is a fine specimen of its type, and he has done well."

Only members of the Cucumis sativus species can qualify for the Guinness World Record of longest cucumber.

A spokesman for Guinness World Records said they have no current record for the longest Armenian cucumber, "but anyone can apply to create a new title via our website".

Image caption The colossal cucumber - which may in fact be a variety of muskmelon - has now reached more than 51in (129.54cm)

Mr Sanghera said he will take the vegetable to the Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Nottingham, where he volunteers, for everyone to share once it is ready to eat.

"It's still growing and will get thicker, then when it's ready we'll keep some seeds for next year," the 75-year-old said.

"You have to look after it like a child."

Image caption Mr Sanghera has a seat in his greenhouse where he prays

Mr Sanghera said the unusually long vegetable was one of four he planted four months ago, but while the other three were eaten, one was left alone to grow.

"I have made a seat to sit next to it and where I can see it and watch it," he said.

"I pray that it grows, that it keeps us all healthy and that everybody stays well and happy - it makes me happy seeing it."

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