Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 08:12 GMT, Friday, 10 September 2010 09:12 UK
Giant potato confirmed as a world record breaker
Peter Glazebrook holds up his world record potato at his home in Hallam, Nottinghamshire
Peter Glazebrook's potato beat a world record which had stood since 1994

An amateur gardener has grown the heaviest potato in the world.

Peter Glazebrook grew the 8lb 4oz (3.8kg) spud in his back garden in Hallam, near Newark in Nottinghamshire.

The prize potato was officially recognised by the Guinness Book of Records in September 2010, beating the previous record of 7lb 13oz (3.5kg).

Mr Glazebrook has been growing large spuds for about 10 years. He said of his root vegetable: "I was really pleased to achieve that."

The gardener does not just grow huge potatoes but all sorts of big vegetables in his back garden.

He has held ten world records over the last 20 years and currently holds three, the other two being the heaviest parsnip and the longest beetroot.

Mr Glazebrook told BBC Radio Nottingham his passion for 'monsters' came from trying to win prizes at his local garden show in Southwell, and it has just grown from there.

Peter Glazebrook holds up a giant tomato
Peter Glazebrook's giant tomato is the biggest he's ever shown

This year he won prizes for his marrows, onions and a 5lb tomato at the National Giant Vegetable Show in Somerset.

"That's the heaviest tomato I have ever shown. I will let it rot down now and save the seeds, hopefully grow them again next year."

Peter said he has spent 2010 specialising in marrows after seeds he gave away to a friend in Holland broke a world record.

"I thought it would be a challenge to beat him," he said.

Tender loving care

Peter gives hisgigantic vegetables a lot of tender loving care.

The marrows wear fleeces to shade them from the sun in the day and at night they are put to sleep with a blanket to make sure they don't get too cold.

By an outbuilding on his property runs a six metre chute. Inside the slide are six tubes filled with compost where he sows the seeds of the long parsnips, carrots and beetroot.

"I have to say that we've never had one to the bottom but we did grow the longest beetroot to 21 feet, which was virtually at the bottom."

'Long growing season'

Mr Glazebrook explained the secret of his success.

Peter Glazebrook holds up a giant onion
Gardener Peter Glazebrook grows his onions in oil drums

"It's mainly having the right varieties. Most of these are obtained by swapping seeds or plants with other growers.

"A lot of the vegetables you cannot actually go and buy the seeds, you've got to approach a giant vegetable grower or swap with another one.

"Having got the right seeds it's giving them a long growing season. It's no good expecting to plant a potato in the Spring in the garden and dig up a world record one in August.

"You've got to start them early on in the greenhouse, pot them on, care for them, plant them outside with protection after the frosts...

Financial rewards

It is not for financial rewards that Peter enters events. For a first prize at the national competition you might win £60.

"We always say about a show we've done really well if we can cover the petrol money. It's a hobby. It's a challenge."

Peter admitted that people might think him bonkers.

"I like to think as giant vegetable growing as a fun hobby. Not too serious.

"What I don't like is people who cannot grow giant veg looking down on it as something below them because actually it takes more doing than most of the other classes."

Peter Glazebrook next to a 150lb marrow in his garden
Peter's four foot, 150lb, marrow is 50lb short from being a world record breaker

In pictures: Gardening Show 2010
04 Sep 10 |  Nature & Outdoors

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific