How do you manage to grow giant vegetables like a pumpkin weighing over a thousand kg?

It is here in Britain that the greatest number of monstrous vegetables have been grown, the kind that appear to have been irradiated by mutant X-rays. But how do you get these hypertrophied vegetables?

Britain has traditionally held the Guinness record for the world’s heaviest vegetables. Until a few years ago, it was the undisputed champion, although recently another place has stood out: the US state of Alaska: the Alaska State Fair has become one of the most competitive events. In it, for example, the heaviest cabbage in the world was presented.

Scott Robb, who holds five Guinness records, explains in the book Guinness World Records Science how he does it:

They begin to cultivate their plants in winter, in the light of the lamps; in spring they are moved to heated greenhouses and finally to plastic greenhouses outside, where they grow to monstrous size by growing 24 hours a day in the summer sun.

It is also important to enrich the soil with nutrients using compost or manure, water regularly, and ensure the correct fertilizing: for example, pumpkins like potassium. For the plant to concentrate its energy on only two or three fruits, the rest must be removed. It is also important, of course, to be very careful in controlling pests.

However, there is another procedure to achieve huge vegetables, which is to send them into space, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, although the reason is not yet known: it consists of taking the seeds into space.

In 2006, China transported 2,000 seeds on the Shijian-8 satellite, where they spent two weeks orbiting the Earth. Back home, they grew the healthiest sprouts. These plants gave huge fruits.

To obtain the world’s heaviest pumpkin, weighing 1,190 kg, presented on October 6, 2016 by Belgian farmer Mathias Willemijns, seeds from several generations of winning specimens were crossed. It was grown in a greenhouse at a controlled temperature, checking the level of humidity and nutrients in the soil every day.

Other records are the world’s heaviest beetroot (23.4 kg), green cabbage (62.71 kg), apple (1.84 kg), watermelon (159 kg), leek (10.6 kg) , cantaloupe melon (29.4 kg), avocado (2.19 kg) or onion (8.15 kg).

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