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Richard grows a smashing pumpkin weighing in at 330lbs
DESPITE a cold snap, a hot spell and an ant invasion, a Knutsford man has defied all the odds to grow a giant pumpkin weighing the same size as a baby elephant.
On Saturday Richard enlisted the help of six people to lift the mammoth prize veg – which hit the scales at 330 pounds – from his patch on the Warren Avenue allotment where it has been growing for six months.
With the help of builder Matthew Hart and his van, Richard transported the orange monster to his daughter’s Mobberley Road nursery, Kids Allowed, where it is standing as a centrepiece for the children’s Halloween display.
“I’d like to thank everyone who came out to watch the pumpkin being moved, especially the people who lifted it, and thanks to my wife for letting me spend so much time on the allotment,” Richard said.
“It created quite a buzz on the allotment; lots of people were interested in how well it was doing.”
Richard said he set out with the intention of growing a 50-pounder. Between March and May Richard planted 10 Atlantic Giant pumpkin seeds, but only one of the seeds germinated as the other nine failed to survive due to cold snaps and hot spells.
Richard’s plans took another knock when, two days after planting, the pumpkin was invaded by ants. After getting rid of the ants, he faced another setback – a split stem.
He said: “I used gaffer tape to repair it but I didn’t have much hope that a ‘Band-Aid’ would work.”
It did the trick, however, and at its peak the pumpkin was growing at about a foot a day and more than 15 stones a month. Although he enjoyed the experience, Richard will not be growing giant pumpkins next year as he wants to grow vegetables that are more manageable.
He hasn’t ruled a return to pumpkin growing in the future – but he has big aspirations.
He said: “If I was able to get it pollinated when I wanted I think I could achieve a 500-pounder next time.”
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