Caption: Ian Neale and his record breaking tomato
The UK’s heaviest tomato, weighing in at a scale-tipping 2.78kg, has been grown by a retired vegetable gardener in south Wales – using our peat free Double Strength Wool Compost.
Ian Neale scooped the UK record for his tomato at last weekend’s East of England Giant vegetable competition in Peterborough. He said: “To tell you the truth I was a little surprised as I’d only been given the small tomato plant in June, and as the nights have been quiet cold this summer, I wasn’t expecting it to get so big.”
Pinching out the top of the plant so it only produces a few fruit is one of the growing tips Ian follows, as well as using Dalefoot Compost in his growing mix. “Wool Compost helps to retain the moisture in the soil which is important as I grow my vegetables in a greenhouse so the soil can get quite dry. It also provides slow release nitrogen to the plant.”
Ian has been growing giant vegetables since the 1980s and currently holds four world records – the heaviest beetroot, swede and celery, and the longest cucumber. “I do it to enjoy myself, something to do in my retirement,” he said.
Giant vegetable growing in the UK is growing in popularity and Ian’s good friend Kevin Fortey is at the forefront of the hobby. He has his own website sharing growing guides, competition news and interviews with growers.
Kevin also uses our compost and scooped a prize at last weekend’s show for a 61.4kg 135 lb marrow. “This year the Dalefoot Compost has helped achieve three marrows weighing over 120 lbs. The compost is used from initial potting on to incorporating into the soil of the final growing position. The compost has played a significant part in our successes over the past few years,” said Kevin.