Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Flower show uses DNA technology to catch tomato growing cheats

A flower show has resorted to using innovative DNA technology to snare cheating tomato growers hoping to bag a £1,000 prize.

Organisers at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, North Yorkshire, have brought in DNA specialists in the Netherlands to ensure that competitors aren't trying to sneak a rogue variety of tomato into the giant competition.

Gigantomo growers will have their huge red tomatoes tested to make sure that no rogue varieties have been submitted in an effort to win the prize.

Competitors will submit their variety of beefsteak tomatoes for the final weigh-in on Friday, with anyone managing to break a new world record for the heaviest tomato will scoop a £5,000 bonus.

Show director Nick Smith said: "Giant veg growing is great fun and tremendously popular with our visitors, but it also has a serious side, especially with such a big prize at stake.

"When experienced growers contacted us to express concern about making sure that the new class for Gigantomo would feature only specimens from that variety, we set out to find a way of being as certain as we possibly can that the winner has the right pedigree."

The giant vegetable competition has been running at the Harrogate show since 2011.Cabbages, marrows, parsnips, carrots, beetroots, potatoes and leeks will all be in competition as part of the show's 13 heaviest or longest classes.

Last year, competitors set two new world records and a new British record.