SFS and the Giant Pumpkin

October 18, 2016  |   News


The Giant Pumpkin Dreamteam

The Giant Pumpkin Dream team! Ian Paton, one of the proud growers, with Stuart Green, our air export manager overseeing the operation, and our MD Ross Negus

It sounds like the title for a strange children’s book! Though there are times we need to get the ‘kid gloves’ out …

On Friday 14th October, at our facility in Totton, we took delivery of the largest pumpkin ever to be grown in the UK, and the forth largest to be grown in the world!

The pumpkin weighs a whopping 2252 lbs (1022 kilos) and crated for export measures 221 x 196 x 111 cms!

It was grown by brothers Stuart and Ian Paton at their family nurseries in Pennington, in the New Forest, Hampshire. It was weighed at the Autumn Pumpkin Festival in Netley, Southampton on October the 8th and confirmed as the largest in the UK and, as stated above, the fourth largest ever grown in the world! Pretty impressive!

We asked Ian about the growing process. He said “We sow the seeds in April and by mid June the plants are big enough to pollinate a fruit.

giant pumpkin

at 2252 lbs it required securing !

The plants grow around 6inches plus a day in every direction, so we have to spend several hours every day trimming and training them. We only allow the plants 900sqft each but if left alone would happily double and fill 2000sqft.

In mid June we will pollinate just 1 fruit per plant and it normally takes just over 100 days to grow.

When the plants are growing at full speed we expect them to be growing over 50lbs a day.

Although we adjust the amount of water we give the plants according to the weather they will typically get 50 galls in the morning and 50 galls in the afternoon.”



Well protected

giant pumpkin

Not the usual packing request!


Nice and snug


The top three pumpkins in the UK are invited to the New York Botanical Gardens for Halloween, so we’ve packed the giant pumpkin in a crate and this week will be air freighting across the Atlantic! Our packers, PM Packing turned it around in 24hours, ready to be whisked off to Heathrow on our nightly airport vehicle. Fortunately our new addition to the fleet is more than capable of handling this 1 tonne pumpkin! Here are a few more pictures of it being loaded, ready for transport to our packers.


Not your average cargo


Gentle does it


Safely secured in our new 12 tonne vehicle


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