Peterlee man grows 22 stone pumpkin in his County Durham allotment

Michael Wilson grew the mammoth fruit at his family allotment. Credit: Family photo

A Peterlee man has grown an impressive 22 stone pumpkin.

Michael Wilson grew the mammoth squash - which weighs more than a giant panda - at his family allotment.

The 30-year-old said he got the special seeds of a man on Instagram and after years of trying he finally achieved the size he wanted.

Michael's son Michael, aged 10, with the pumpkin. Credit: Family photo

The father-of-four said: "You could see it visibly growing everyday. I was shocked because I’ve tried for a few years, for the kids.

"I have had some decent sized ones but nothing that big."

He added: "I think the hot weather we’ve had this year had something to do with it."

Mr Wilson thinks this year's warm weather may have something to do with the pumpkin's size. Credit: Family photo

It took four people to lift the pumpkin in Mr Wilson's car to be weighed at the scarp yard.

He said: "It is not much compared to competition ones and ones you see in America but it is quite big for where we live."

The seeds Mr Wilson bought also produced a smaller, 12 and a half stone pumpkin.

It took four people to lift the pumpkin in to the back of Mr Wilson's car. Credit: Family photo

He said he didn't look after the small ones as much, as there is a certain way to produce large pumpkins.

Mr Wilson said: "First of all you need the correct seed, the seeds that you buy in the shops are not going to get you anything massive.

“Then it is just a matter of starting in about March in a greenhouse or on a windowsill.

“Then after that, when it is warm enough to put outside, after the frosts, put it outside somewhere well soiled with good nutrients in and then let it grow really.

“Once you establish a pumpkin, say a plant might grow three or four, wait till there's a few on. Then just pick the best one, and pick the rest off so the plant just focuses on that one pumpkin."

Michael Wilson's daughter Jade, aged seven, and son Ethan, aged four. Credit: Family photo

The family plan on carving the pumpkin for Halloween to make it look like it is eating the smaller pumpkins Mr Wilson grew.

He said: "I don’t think it would taste very nice with the size of it, I think it holds a lot of water.

"The kids are over the moon with it, they’ve told all their friends, bringing them over to look in the garage at it."

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the largest pumpkin ever grown weighed in at 1,226 kg, or 2,702 lb 13.9 oz, which is heavier than a Nissan Micra car.

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