Grow Big

by Kevin Moores

I grow giant veg for shows and would just like to take you through some stuff that I have learnt over the years, on how I grow giant veg/show veg. I’m not saying this is the right way to grow these veg but I’m telling you how I’m growing and showing them.


First will be carrots, I grow sweet candle carrots for show in 2ft x 2ft boxes filled with sharp sand. I bore holes out with a 3 inch drain pipe and fill with potting compost (clover). I also add in calcified seaweed in powder form into the compost then fill them almost to the top. I then put 3 seeds in the top and cover with compost. When the seeds germinate, I then select the best one out the 3 and discard the other 2 and cover with netting for a few months till the carrots are well away its as easy as that.


Next I want to talk about giant pumpkins, these are easy to grow. The main thing is that you need the right seeds, not just what you get out of a packet and they come fairly cheap. To grow them, just dig a hole 2ft deep by 4ft square and fill with manure. You can add what ever ingredients you want, I just put anything I have to hand in there, but don’t go overboard with it. You start the seed off as like any seed but when its got 5 leafs on it then its time to plant out you want to plant out in May, weather permitting, so your timing with this does matter. The thing with pumpkins is you can’t give them enough water. I was putting 30litres a time on mine, so don’t be scared to water it and be prepared for it to grow long and wide. I’ve had these at 50 foot long and 30 foot wide. You can cut the vine once it starts out growing your patch but the bigger the vine the bigger the pumpkin.

Giant onions and show onions for giants, I will only use one type and that’s Peter Glazebrook strain. His type of onions can grow up to a very large size, I have seen them at 14lb in weight and for the smaller ones I grew kelsea last year. But this year it will be Peters’ again but I’ll stop them when they get to the size I want, but that’s a different story. What you put in the holes? Well I’ve still not found the right mix for this and if you ask other growers what they use, it seems to be a big secret. Last year I put growmore fish blood and bone (raked in) on my beds and in the holes I put chicken manure pellets with fish blood and bone. This work quite well and I got mine up to 3lb in weight which is a good show size but as always I’m still learning, everyday.


So potatoes, I grow mine in grow bags. I fill the bag half way and mix chicken manure pellets in to the bottom, how much does not really matter. I add about a handful then I put 3 to 4 potatoes in the bottom then I’ll fill the bag to nearly the top and mix more pellets in, I then put 2 to 4 potatoes in the top and finish filling the bag up with compost. You’ll get a good crop with this method. Finally when it’s time just find some that are the same size to put in the show.

Runner beans I don’t really have any type I just use what I can get my hands on at the moment. But I’m trying to grow giant runner beans and had them at 24 inches last year. They can grow up to 30 inches. What I will be doing this year is digging a trench 2ft wide by 10 foot long and 18 inches deep and filling with rotted manure, shredded paper and rotted compost. As for watering, you can never give them enough water so feel free to water as much as you like.


So these are just some of the types of veg I grow. I wont be growing much this year as I’m moving from veg to dahlias but if you have any questions you would like to ask or want to know anything then please feel free to send a email or come pop in and ask, have a chat and I’ll try and help you as much as I can.


I hope you all have a good growing season.