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Dad Grows UK's Biggest Tomato Using A Pair Of Tights

Dad Grows UK's Biggest Tomato Using A Pair Of Tights

A green-fingered dad has broken the record for growing the UK's biggest tomato - with the help of a pair of sheer tights.

Douglas Smith, 42, spent over two months carefully growing the giant tomato, which weighs a whopping 3kg and is actually six regular beef steak tomatoes fused into one.

The tomato growing inside the tights. Credit: SWNS
The tomato growing inside the tights. Credit: SWNS

The huge fruit, which had to be suspended using the tights so it did not fall off the stem, measured 27.5 inches in circumference. It was grown from a seed from a variety known as Big Zac. Big Zac indeed.

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Douglas' monster has edged ahead of the previous UK record-holder, Peter Glazebrook (the grower, not the name of the tomato), whose record-winning tomato last year weighed 2.9kg.

Douglas, from Stanstead Abbotts, Herts., said: "This has been an ambition of mine for a couple of years, now. Giant tomatoes have been my main focus in terms of competitive vegetable growing.

"Peter Glazebrook has held the last two records for UK's biggest tomato - and my attempts have been just shy of his each time. But this time, I've finally edged it."

Look how happy he is. Credit: SWNS
Look how happy he is. Credit: SWNS
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Product manager Douglas hit the headlines last month after growing a giant sunflower as tall as his house - which towered at an impressive 20 feet tall. He certainly seems to know what he's doing.

Now, he has shared the secret to growing his 'amazing' giant tomato, explaining: "What you want to try and cultivate is a fused flower - which is where the individual tomato plants fuse altogether in a row.

"This particular tomato is made up six tomato plants all fused together. Fused flowers tend to be a natural mutation - but with competition seeds like the ones I had, they have been specially selected so that there is a slightly higher chance of this occurring.

"They tend to occur more often on the first truss of tomatoes - and when you have a spell of warm days followed by cool nights, like at the end of summer into autumn.

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"It's also important to cut back any other flowers on the plant to maximise all the growth into the one 'megashoot'."

Douglas' son Stellan with the tomato. Credit: SWNS
Douglas' son Stellan with the tomato. Credit: SWNS

Douglas got the seeds for his giant tomato from US tomato grower Larry Hill, from Minnesota, USA - who yielded the seeds from his own, 3.47kg tomato plant.

Douglas watered his tomato plant at least once every day for over two months, using water with a bit of liquid seaweed mix.

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And he also gave the plant a weekly compost tea feed - consisting of a bucket of compost blended down, to help improve the soil life. That's some commitment.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

He added: "I actually had to hang it in a sling towards the end, made out of a pair of pantyhose I had bought to provide it with support and keep it falling off the stem."

And Douglas said that the 'amazing' thing about his tomato was that it was grown in a pot, rather than in the ground.

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He said: "I don't like growing things in pots - I prefer to grow things in the ground. But one of the competition categories was the biggest plant grown in a small pot. This tomato was grown in an 18.9-litre pot - which makes its size even more amazing."

Fair play to him.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: Food, Community, UK

Rebecca Shepherd

I'm Becky - a journalist at LADbible. I graduated with a First Class BA in Journalism before going on to cover criminal court cases, medical tribunals and breaking news for the national media - which inevitably and eventually became as glum as it sounds. Can often be found rocking a bag for life - which I made a 'thing' way before Rihanna. You can contact me at [email protected]