Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Pumpkin squashes UK record at Southampton festival

Ian and Stuart Paton with their record-breaking pumpkin Image copyright Jubilee Sailing Trust
Image caption Ian and Stuart Paton's pumpkin weighs a whopping 2,433.9lb

Twin brothers have squashed their own record for the UK's heaviest pumpkin grown indoors.

Ian and Stuart Paton, 57, broke their existing record with a giant 174 stone (1,105kg) vegetable at the Jubilee Sailing Trust Pumpkin Festival in Netley, Southampton, on Saturday.

Their previous record of 162 stone (1,028.7kg) was set last year.

The pair, who have been growing pumpkins since they were 11, hope to smash the world record one day.

The world record for the heaviest pumpkin currently stands at 187 stone (1,187.5kg) and was achieved in Germany in October 2016.

"We're certainly heading in the right direction," said Ian, who runs a flower nursery with his brother in Lymington.

Describing pumpkins as "awesome", he added: "The first pumpkin we grew was 54lb, now we watch them grow at 60lb a day."

Image copyright Ian Paton
Image caption The brothers had previously grown a 162 stone pumpkin

The brothers' winning squash is a hybrid and was "crossed with the very best [pumpkins] in the world".

Ian said the other secret to growing monster pumpkins was "very light open soil" and "plenty of water in the summer".

The pumpkin will now travel to London to be displayed at an exhibition in Covent Garden, before its seeds are harvested to be grown next year.

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