Arizona Giant Pumpkin Growers
 
Giant Vegetable Records
for the World and North America

List is current as of October 31, 2017


Giant vegetable growers have been proudly showing off their seasonal success stories for many years.  Below is a list of vegetables, for which we know there is an existing world record. 

Remember, some vegetables grow better in one region than another; but that shouldn't stop you from trying to see if you can't "Wow!" your friends and neighbors, and set a new Arizona record while you're at it.   We want you to grow a giant vegetable, and we'll celebrate your victory when you bring it to our events.

This list is maintained to the best of our abilities, utilizing all the resources available from the various giant vegetable clubs, known record keeping websites, and Guinness World Records.  We apologize for any error in our records, and hope you will contact us with the information which will allow us to create a practical resource that can be used by everybody.

Click on the name of each vegetable and the link will take you to a description of that plant, the current World and North American, or United States, records, and general show rules.
 
To get back to the top of the page, click on the TOP button at the end of the section.

Giant Vegetables
 Amaranth  (Tall)
 Celery  (Heavy)
 Leek  (Heavy)
 Pumpkin  (soft stem)  (Heavy)
 Beetroot  (Heavy)
 Chile Pepper  (Heavy)
 Long Gourd  (Long)
 Radish  (Heavy)
 Beetroot  (Long)
 Chile Pepper  (Long)
 Marrow  (heavy)
 Runner Beans  (Long)
 Bell Pepper  (Heavy)
 Corn Stalk  (Tall)
 Melon (Yard Long Cucumber)  (Long)
 Rutabaga/Swede  (Heavy)
 Bushel Gourd  (Heavy)
 Cucumber  (Heavy)
 Onion  (Heavy)
 Squash  (Heavy)
 Cabbage, Green  (Heavy)
 Cucumber  (Long)
 Parsnip  (Heavy)
 Sunflower  (Head)
 Cabbage, Red  (Heavy)
 Field Pumpkin (hard stem)  (Heavy)
 Parsnip  (Long)
 Sunflower  (Tall)
 Cantaloupe  (Heavy)
 Garlic  (Heavy)
 Peppers  (Long)
 Tomato  (Heavy)
 Carrot  (Heavy)
 Kohlrabi  (Heavy)
 Potato  (Heavy)
 Watermelon  (Heavy)
 Carrot  (Long)
     
       
       

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Amaranth     (Tall)





Amaranth (Amaranthus australis) is a herbaceous annual native to the Southeastern part of the United States.  The species,Amaranthus australis, (known as Southern Amaranth, Giant Amaranth, or Pigweed) is a seasonal plant that prefers a sunny location that has moist soil  -- typically found in freshwater and brackish wetland habitats, coastal marshes, swamps, riverbanks, bayous, canals, ditches, estuaries, and lake shores.  The plant is native to Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Mexico, West Indies, and South America.  However, giant vegetable growers in the Northeast have had success growing giant amaranth.

Amaranth plants of can be amazingly tall, with a single hollow main stem, up to 30 feet (9 m), and the stem base can reach 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. Large plants may somewhat resemble young conifers called pond cypress. Some amaranth species are raised as gluten free pseudo-grain while other species are used as vegetables in some countries. During the past decade amaranth has become more popular in giant vegetable growing circles.

Competition rules: Amaranth is measured from the bottom of the stem to the top of the flower (or stem if it has not flowered) in a straight line.


Amaranth (Tall)
 US (ft)
 Metric (m)
 Grower  Location  Date
World
 30' 2"
 9.19 m
 Bo Persson
 Sweden  2012
N.Am
27' 10"
 8.48 m
 Jessi Eldrid
 Rhinebeck, NY
 2007
AZ
      -- Not Established --
   

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Beetroot     (Heavy)

For competition purposes, Beetroot, also known as beet, is limited to Beta vulgaris rubra, the typical dark red, round table, or garden, cultivar. (We do not consider fodder beets, sugar beets, or "Mammoth" beets in this class).

Table (garden) beets are mostly used as a vegetable, and are used in the canning industry, and to make pickles.  Beets generally have a dense red coloration - however, white, purple, yellow and pinkish cultivars are also available.

Beetroots are best grown in moist, fertile, organically rich, light to sandy, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade. For many of the plants in this species, seeds (dried "seed clusters", each with 3 or 4 seeds) are typically sown in summer in Arizona (Zones 8-10) for harvest over winter. Several seedlings will emerge from each seed cluster. Seedlings should be thinned to allow the plant room to grow.  For proper growth, species plants generally need regular and consistent moisture, with additional water provided during the hot, and dry, summer months.

Competition rules: Beetroots should be clean (hose them down with luke warm water) and free of deep splits, holes and rotten spots. All of the roots should be left on, but the leaves should be cut off as close to the shoulder of the beetroot as possible.



Beetroot (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
51 lb 6 oz
23.4 kg
Ian Neale
Newport, UK
2001
N.Am
42 lb 12 oz
23.22 kg
John Evans
Palmer, AK
1999
AZ
-- Not Established --

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Beetroot     (Long)


For competition purposes, Beetroot, also known as beet, is limited to Beta vulgaris rubra, the typical dark red, round table, or garden, cultivar. (We do not consider fodder beets, sugar beets, or "Mammoth" beets in this class).. 

Beetroots, in this class, are typically grown in long tubes with special very fine soil -- much like long carrots and long parsnips.  While some types of beetroots may be preferable than others, the techniques used to grow a long beet is probably more important.  Beets require good nutrition to germinate.  The soil should have a high phosphorus level to promote germination.  Be careful not to apply too much nitrogen.  Sprawling greens and small bulbs beneath the soil are not the intent.  Mulch and water well.  Beets need to maintain plenty of moisture.  Be careful when you cultivate around the beetroot. The plants roots are easily disturbed.  Finding the right type of tube; placing it at a proper angle; and learning how to water the plant properly are crucial to being successful in this class. 

Competition rules: Long beetroots are measured from the shoulder of the beetroot to the tip of the root and in a straight line. Extra information: The length of the foliage left on is not important. It is not measured. The beetroot root must be in one piece and attached to the beet itself. No backing paper or cloth is to be used.


Beetroot (Long)
 US (ft)
 Metric (m)
 Grower  Location  Date
World
  26' 1"
  7.956 m
  Joe Atherton
Mansfield, UK
  2016
N.Am

 
  -- Not Established --
 
 
AZ
      -- Not Established --
   

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Bell Pepper     (Heavy)


Bell peppers, or sweet peppers, of the Capsicum annuum species are required for this competition class. (In large parts of Europe this type of pepper is known as paprika.)  Bell peppers can be green, red, yellow, orange, chocolate/brown, vanilla/white, and purple. (Red is simply ripened green peppers).  Bell peppers lack capsaicin that causes a (strong) burning sensation when it comes into contact with mucous membranes.

Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.  The ideal growing conditions for bell peppers includes warm soil 70 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit (21 C to 29 C).  The soil should be kept moist; aided by the use of mulch or plastic covering.  (In Arizona's warm desert climate, watering everyday may be necessary.)  To promote a larger fruit, spray the plants with a solution of one tablespoon of Epsom salts in a gallon of water -- once when it begins to bloom, and once ten days later.

Pepper plants need to be supported with cages or stakes to prevent bending.  Cone-shaped wire tomato cages seem to work well (better than they do for tomatoes.)

Competition rules: The peppers must be sound and may contain only the stem that is attached to the plant. For competition purposes, peppers can be any of the above mentioned colors.


Bell Pepper (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
1 lb 8.51 oz
695 g
John Nieuwenhoff
Georgetown, ON, Canada
2017
US
1 lb 5.89 oz
620.57 g
Steven DeRyche
Honeoye Falls, NY
2012
AZ
-- Not Established --

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Bushel Gourd     (Heavy)


Bushel gourds are a member of the Cucurbitaceae family and belong to the Lagenaria siceraria subspecies.  Most members of the gourd family originated in Africa.  Dried properly, many gourd types can last indefinitely.  The bushel gourd is actually a bottle gourd (of which there are many types) without the bottle typical to many gourds, at the bottom.  The gourd was one of the first cultivated plants in the world, grown not primarily for food, but for use as a water container.

Gourd plants are extremely vigorous and require a long, warm growing season, ranging from 95 to 120 days to maturity. Gourds are ready for harvest when the stems dry and turn brown.  Plant one-inch deep, when the soil warms to 70 dagrees.  Bushel gourds should be planted 36" apart to allow them room to grow.  Vines can grow 15 feet or more.  Harvest the gourds before the first frost.

The Lagenaria, or hard-skinned gourd, can be dried in a two step process, taking one to six months depending on the size of the gourd.

First you must clean and dry the outside surface, wiping with alcohol will ensure the surface dries completely. Place the clean gourd in a dark, well ventilated area for about a week, turning and checking daily. Discard any fruit showing any signs of decay or soft spots, do not allow other fruit to touch. After about a week, the outer skin of the gourd should be well dried.

Internal drying is the second step and can take one to six months, depending on the size of the fruit. Providing warmth will hasten the curing process and discourage decay. Keep in a dark, well ventilated area and wipe away any mold that appears with bleach. As long as the gourd is hard, it should be fine. Check often and turn so that it will dry evenly. When the seeds rattle inside, and the gourd feels light in weight, it is ready for painting, waxing, or shellacking.

Competition rules:  Bushel gourds are judged, and weighed, before they are dried for other uses.  Bushel gourds must be clean and free of deep splits, holes and rotten spots.  One inch (2.5 cm) of stem is allowed.  The bushel gourd is a featured plant for AZGPG competitions.  CLICK HERE to see complete rules for this class.


Bushel Gourd (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
279.5 lbs
126.78 kg
Doug English
Webster Groves, MO
2014
N.Am





AZ
-- Not Established --

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Cabbage, Green     (Heavy)

Cabbage belongs to the Brassica oleracea species and for competition purposes the green variety of the Linnaeus cultivar is used. Plants perform best when grown in well-drained soil in a location that receives full sun.  Peak season for most cabbages runs from November through April in the Northern Hemisphere.

Plants are generally started in protected locations early in the growing season before being transplanted outside.  For optimal growth, there must be adequate levels of nitrogen in the soil, especially during the early head formation stage, and sufficient phosphorus and potassium during the early stages of expansion of the outer leaves. Temperatures between 39 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (4 and 24 degrees Centigrade) prompt the best growth, and extended periods of higher or lower temperatures may result in premature bolting (flowering). 

Competition rules: Cabbage is one of the few giant vegetables of which the entire plant, except for the roots are weighed.  International rules require all leaves need to be attached to the cabbage stalk when weighed. The cabbage must be in sound condition and the stalk must be trimmed to within 2 inches (5 cm) of the first bottom leaf.


Cabbage, Green (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
138 lb 4 oz
62.71 kg
Scott Robb
Palmer, AK
2012
N.Am





AZ
--  Not Established --

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Cabbage, Red     (Heavy)

Cabbage belongs to the Brassica oleracea species and for competition purposes the red variety of the Capitata group is used. Although red cabbages are denser and therefore weigh more per cubic inch, they are generally smaller. In acidic soils, the leaves grow more reddish, in neutral soils they will grow more purple, while an alkaline soil will produce rather greenish-yellow colored cabbages. 

Red cabbage needs well fertilized soil and sufficient humidity to grow.  The plant prefers climates that remain moist and cool for most of its vegetative growth stage.  Arizona growers can plant cabbage anywhere from October to December.  Cabbage plants can be spaced about 12–26 in (30–66 cm) from one another.  Remember, the closer the plants, the smaller they will grow.  They will need watering, but the soil needs plenty of drainage to prevent the plant from sitting in water.

Competition rules:  Cabbage is one of the few giant vegetables of which the entire plant, except for the roots are weighed.  International rules state that all leaves need to be attached to the cabbage stalk. The cabbage must be in sound condition and the stalk must be trimmed to within 2 inches (5 cm) of the first bottom leaf.


Cabbage, Red (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
51 lb 2 oz
23.2 kg
David Thomas
Leedstown, UK
2016
N.Am
45 lb 4 oz
20.525 kg
Mary Evans
Palmer, AK
1994
AZ
-- Not Established --

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Cantaloupe     (Heavy)


The cantaloupe (cucumis melo) that is used in competition is not a true cantaloupe -- it is a type of muskmelon, which has a net-like rind, with sweet orange flesh.  (True cantaloupes have a rough, warty rind and are not widely grown or commercially available in the United States.)  The names muskmelon and cantaloupe are used interchangeably.  They can be either round or somewhat elongated.

Cantaloupes thrive on warm weather.  Arizona growers can sow seeds outdoors, but should wait until the soil temperature warms to at least 65 degrees to avoid poor germination.  Seeds should be planted one-inch deep, 18 inches apart, on hills about three feet apart.  Growing the vines in raised rows, known as hills, ensures good drainage and will hold the sun's heat longer.

Mulching with black plastic will serves to warm the soil, hinder weed growth, and keep developing fruit clean.  Cantaloupes need one to two inches of water per week.  Water in the morning to avoid wetting the leaves.  Once the fruit is growing, reduce the amount of water.  Dry weather produces the sweetest melon.

Vines produce male and female flowers separately on the same plant.  They often produce male flowers several weeks before the females appear.  Blossoms require pollination to set fruit.  Either hand-pollinate the plant, or be real nice to the bees.  If you are attempting to grow a giant cantaloupe, and you have a fruit growing,  then you should prune end buds off of the vines.  Your plants will produce fewer melons, but they will be larger and better quality.

Competition rules: Melons must be clean and free of deep splits, holes and rotten spots. 1 inch (2.5 cm) of stem is allowed.


Cantaloupe (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
64 lb 13 oz
29.4 kg
Scott Robb
Palmer, AK
2004
N.Am





AZ
-- Not Established --

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Carrot     (Heavy)


The carrot (Daucus carote) is a root vegetable which can be a various number of colors including orange, yellow, white, red and purple, the last one being the original color. Orange carrots were bred in The Netherlands in the 17th century and are now known as Western carrots, the type used in both the heavy and long classes. For heavy classes Flakkee (a region in the Dutch province of Zeeland), or Autumn King, types are used. These are so-called winter carrots with broad shoulders.

Carrots grow best in sandy loam soil.  The soil should be free of rocks, stones, twigs, and anything that might get in the way of the carrot root penetrating down into the soil..  Carrots do not have the capacity to drill down into hard soil.  Water is important to help keep the ground soft so the root can establish and penetrate.  Shallow and frequent watering is best.  As the plant matures, a higher volume and less frequent watering will help the plant continue its drilling down in the soil.  Consistent moisture also serves to keep the carrots from having cracked and split roots.

Competition rules: Carrots must be clean and sound, with no signs of rotting. The entire root must be kept on, but the leaves should be trimmed off as close to the shoulders as possible.

For competition purposes only orange carrots are allowed.

Carrots may have multiple forks, as long as they are all attached to the same set of leaves. Mutilating the main root will cause the carrot to grow more forks, generally thought to increase the final weight. Orange carrots tend to grow bigger than other colored carrots due to selective breeding.


Carrot (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
22 lb 4 oz
10.09 kg
Chris Qualley
Otsego, MN
2017
N.Am





AZ
-- Not Established --

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Carrot     (Long)


The technique for growing long carrots is similar to growing long beetroot or parsnip.  Long carrots are grown in long tubes with very fine soil -- and proper watering is the key to success.  Carrots love deep, loose, well-drained soil.  Growing pipes, or raised beds, which typically have loose soil and little compaction from foot traffic, provide a great site to grow carrots. 

The World Record holder, Joe Atherton, suggests filling a six-inch wide x four-foot wide drainpipe with clean fine sand.  Then, make a hole in the sand with a long pole and fill it with a good peaty potting compost. 

He then suggests sowing three seeds in the compost; thinning to the best one when they have germinated.  Water from the top for the first two months, then for the remainder of the growing season, water from the bottom to encourage the roots to seek out moisture.  At harvest time wash out as much sand as possible using a hose before very gently pulling up the carrot.  Many growers use Jumbo, Japanese Imperial Long, Gold Pak, Autumn King, or Red Giant varieties to grow giant carrots.

Competition rules: Long carrots are measured from their shoulders to the tip of the root and in a straight line.  Foliage can be left on, however, it is not included in the final length. The carrot must be in one piece and no backing paper or cloth is to be used.


Carrot (Long)
 US (ft)
 Metric (m)
 Grower  Location  Date
World
  20' 5.8"
  6.245 m
 Joe Atherton
 Mansfield, UK  2012
N.Am
20' 0"
  6.096 m
  S. Abbott
  Washington, USA
  1892
AZ
      -- Not Established --
   

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Celery     (Heavy)


Celery belongs to the very small family of Apium graveolens. It is a distant relative of parsley and cow parsnip and has many uses. The stalks are eaten as vegetables but the top-roots can also be eaten. The seeds (actually very small flowers) are used as spices but also in perfumes. Celery stalks are the only food in the world known to have a negative calorie count. It costs more energy to chew on the stalks than the amount of energy in the stalk itself.

Celery can cause severe allergic reactions in some people when eaten. When handling celery it is best to wear long sleeves and gloves as celery in combination with UV light causes what is known as celery burn.

Celery produces a huge network of roots. To harvest celery, use a sharp knife to cut off the roots at an angle of 45° just under the base of the stems instead of trying to dig up the entire plant.

Competition rules: Celery is weighed without the roots (Ian, in the picture, had to trim the roots before it was weighed.)  It must be generally sound, dry and cleaned of any foreign matter. It should not have run to flower above the main stems.




Celery (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
74 lb 15 oz
34 kg
Ian Neale
Newport, UK
2011
N.Am
63 lb 4 oz
28.7 kg
Scott Robb
Palmer, AK
2003
AZ
-- Not Established --

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Chile Pepper     (Heavy)


The chile pepper regional giant vegetable class, accepted by the AZGPG and grown in England for its giant vegetable shows.  It is included in Arizona competitions because of its value as a commercial crop -- and for their importance to our local eating habits.  For competition purposes, chile peppers must belong to the Capsicum annuum species. Entries in this class must produce capsaisin. (All other members of the Capsicum genus are excluded from competition – to include the bell (sweet) pepper, which does not produce capsaisin.)

Examples of this class can be known as Poblano, Big Jim, Joe Parker, Sandia, New Mexico #6, Arizona #20, and Anaheim.


Competition rules: Chile peppers must be clean, sound, free of splits, holes and rotten spots. The stem must be trimmed off within 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the pepper.  The chile pepper is a featured plant for AZGPG competitions.  CLICK HERE to see complete rules for this class.




Chile Pepper (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
12.28 oz
348 g
Kevin & Gareth Fortey
Cwmbran, UK
2017
N.Am
10.23 oz
0.29 g
Edward Curry
Pearce, AZ
2009
AZ

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Chile Pepper     (Long)


The chile pepper regional giant vegetable class, accepted by the AZGPG and grown in England for its giant vegetable shows.  It is included in Arizona competitions because of its value as a commercial crop -- and for their importance to our local eating habits.  For competition purposes, chile peppers must belong to the Capsicum annuum species. Entries in this class must produce capsaisin. (All other members of the Capsicum genus are excluded from competition – to include the bell (sweet) pepper, which does not produce capsaisin.)

Examples of this class can be known as Poblano, Big Jim, Joe Parker, Sandia, New Mexico #6, Arizona #20, and Anaheim.

Competition rules: The chile pepper must be sound, clean, without any deep splits, holes or rotten spots. Chile peppers are usually laid down on paper on a table.  A mark is made at the tip of the pepper and where the stem meets the chile pepper.  The pepper is taken away and the distance is measured.  No part of the stem is included in the measurement and the measurement must be taken in a straight line, regardless of any curves in the chile pepper.  The chile pepper is a featured plant for AZGPG competitions.  CLICK HERE to see complete rules for this class.





Chile Pepper (Long)
 US (ft)
 Metric (m)
 Grower  Location  Date
World
  1' 3.15"
  .401 m
  Ian Neale
  Newport, UK   2017
N.Am
10.25"
  .260 m
  Edward Curry
  Pearce, AZ
  2009
AZ
         

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Corn Stalk     (Tall)




Zea mays is the Latin name for corn which is also known as maize in some countries. Although corn cobs are used as a vegetable, the plant itself is not a vegetable but has several other uses including feed for cattle. For competition purposes the height of the corn stalk is important, though some shows also measure the length of corn cobs. The type of corn used for competition is generally not a type fit for human consumption. The tallest types of corn come from South America and in particular Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador. Almost none of these types are available from commercial seed companies. Most of the seeds used originate from governmental seed banks.

Competition information: The corn stalk is measured from the bottom of the stalk to the top of the tassle. The stalk will usually be a few centimeters in the ground. The roots of the corn stalk should be either cut off at the bottom of the stalk or cleaned to reveal where the bottom of the stalk begins. If a stalk has not tassled, the measurement goes to the top of the stalk. Leaves are never included in the measurement. All measurements must be taken in a straight line. Normally a mark is made on the ground at the bottom of the stalk and the top of the tassle. The stalk is taken away and the distance is measured.


Corn Stalk (Tall)
 US (ft)
 Metric (m)
 Grower  Location  Date
World
  35' 3"
  10.47 m
  Jason Karl
  New York, USA
  2014
N.Am

 
 
 
 
AZ
      -- Not Established --
   

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Cucumber     (Heavy)




The heavy and long cucumber classes are exclusively for cucumis sativus species. There are 20 members in the cucumis genus, which are divided into cucumbers, melons and gherkins. For competition purposes the cucumber must be 100% green or yellowish/brown if ripe.

Competition rules: Heavy cucumbers must be clean, sound, free of deep splits, holes and rotten spots when weighed. A maximum of 1 inch (2.5cm) of stem is allowed.


Cucumber (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
28 lb 6.8 oz
12.89 kg
David Thomas
Leedstown, UK
2015
N.Am


-- Not Established --


AZ
-- Not Established --

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Cucumber     (Long)


Long cucumbers must belong to the cucumis sativa species for competition purposes. Like heavy cucumbers they must be 100% green or yellow/brown if ripe.

Competition rules: Long cucumbers are usually laid down on paper on a table. A mark is made at the tip of the cucumber and where the stem meets the cucumber. The cucumber is taken away and the distance is measured. No part of the stem is included in the measurement and the measurement must be taken in a straight line, regardless of any curves in the cucumber. The cucumber must be sound, clean, without any deep splits, holes or rotten spots.

Extra information: All other members of the cucumis genus are excluded from competition including the Yard Long Cucumber which is a melon of the cucumis melo family. Also any crosses between cucumbers and any other member of the cucumis family are not permitted.


Cucumber (Long)
 US (ft)
 Metric (m)
 Grower  Location  Date
World
3' 6.126" 
  1.07 m
  Ian Neale
  Newport, UK
  2011
N.Am

 
  -- Not Established --
 
 
AZ
      -- Not Established --
   

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Field Pumpkin  (hard stem)     (Heavy)


Field pumpkins belong to the cucurbita pepo species and have a hard stem. In actual fact they are true pumpkins unlike Atlantic Giants which belong to the squash family and have a soft stem.

Competition rules: The pumpkin must have no holes or splits into the cavity and no rotten of soft spots. The stem must be trimmed back to one inch (2.5 cm). The specimen must be free of dirt.  The field pumpkin is a featured plant for AZGPG competitions.  CLICK HERE to see complete rules for this class.


Extra information: The most common types used for competition purposes are Phat Jacks and Howdens, though there are several other types that are grown.


Field Pumpkin (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
211 lb
95.7 kg kg
John MacKinnon
Strathlorne, NS, Canada
2001
US
209 lb
94.8 kg
Quinn Werner
Saegertown, PA
2012
AZ
-- Not Established --

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Garlic Head    (Heavy)


Giant garlics, also known as elephant garlic, are not garlics, though they look like them, grow like them and even taste somewhat like them. In reality they are a genus of the leek family. For competition purposes they are put in the garlic class and not in the leek class where they would certainly be no competition. Allium sativum, or true garlic, belongs to the onion family of Alliaceae. Although it is possible to propagate them from seed, almost always cloves are planted which produce more cloves. Elephant garlic is a member of the Allium ampeloprasum genus.

Competition rules: Garlic must be clean and in sound condition. The stem must be cut off as close to the cloves as possible. The roots should also be cut off, just under the basal plate.


Garlic Head (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
2 lb 10 oz
1.19 kg
Robert Kirkpatrick
Eureka, CA
1985
N.Am





AZ
-- Not Established --

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Kohlrabi     (Heavy)


The name kohlrabi is confusing because in some languages the name is almost the same as turnip, for example in Dutch where the one is koolrabi and the other koolraap. They can also look quite similar which is how the kohlrabi got its name because in German kohl means cabbage andrabi is Swiss German for turnip. The difference is that koolrabi have multiple lateral stems, meaning stems come out of all parts of the cabbage. Turnips have one stem coming out of the top of the cabbage. While the outside can be white, green or purple, the inside flesh is whitish/pale yellow. The type used for competition is a Swiss giant cultivar named Superschmelz.

Competition rules: Kohlrabi rules are the same as swedes and turnips except that kohlrabi roots must be cut off. The leaves should be cut off as near to the shoulders as possible (though some shows strangely allow three leaves at the top). The kohlrabi must be clean and sound. Extra information: The Superschmelz cultivar has a tendency under certain unknown conditions to produce multiple cabbages (known as pups) on one plant.


Kohlrabi (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
96.95 lbs
44 kg kg
Scott Robb
Palmer, AK
2006
N.Am





AZ
-- Not Established --

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Leek     (Heavy)


Leek belongs to the Allium family, which is the same family as onions and garlic. There are basically two types of leeks, the long blanche variety and the short pot variety. For competition purposes the pot variety will become much heavier, though shorter. While better strains are produced from seed this takes several years and it is best to grow with bulbs, pips or grass taken from a known heavy leek (they are a clone of the mother plant, but grown under better conditions can be heavier). These also allow an earlier start to be made in the season as they ideally require a 10 month growing period.

Competition rules: Leeks are weighed with the washed roots on. The entire plant must be clean, dry and free of foreign matter. It must also be in sound condition.


Leek (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
23 lb 5 oz
10.6 kg
Paul Rochester
Seaham, UK
2015
N.Am





AZ
-- Not Established --

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Long Gourd     (Long)


Long gourds are a member of the Cucurbitaceae family and belong to the Lagenaria species. Most members of the gourd family, also known as Calabash, originated in Africa. The long gourd grown for competition seems to have its origins in Italy and parts of former Yugoslavia. Dried properly, many gourd types can last indefinitely. The long gourd is actually a long dipper gourd (of which there are many types) without the bottle typical to many gourds, at the bottom. In some countries they are eaten as vegetables, but gourds have many other purposes, from musical instruments to spoons to pots and art forms.

Competition rules: Long gourds are measured in a straight line from the shoulder to the tip, regardless of any curves in the fruit. Cracks are characteristic to long gourds and are acceptable. Otherwise the long gourd must be sound without rotting. The long gourd is a featured plant for AZGPG competitions.  CLICK HERE to see complete rules for this class.



Long Gourd (Long)
 US (ft)
 Metric (m)
 Grower  Location  Date
World
  149.5 in
 379.73 cm
 Al Eaton
  Richmond, ON, Canada
  2015
US
137.5 in
349.25 cm
 Tom Wright
  Frenchville, PA
  2012
AZ
      -- Not Established --
   

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Marrow     (Heavy)


Marrow is a confusing term because it refers to different things in different countries. For show purposes, it refers to a member of the cucurbita pepo family, otherwise known as summer squash. It is a direct relation to the zucchini and courgette. The main difference, apart from size, is that zucchini and courgette grow on bush type plants with the fruit growing on top of each while the marrow has vines like a pumpkin. That being said, the British also call zucchini and courgettes marrows once they reach a certain size. Marrows exist in several colors and combinations including white, green, yellow, orange to almost black. Some have stripes. For show purposes, only green and light yellow, almost white marrows are accepted. Light green stripes may occur on some green marrows.

Competition rules: Marrows must be sound with no cracks or holes into the cavity and no major rotten spots. The marrow must be washed clean. The entire stem and 1 inch (2.5 cm) of vine on either side is allowed. The color. must be green or light yellow. The green marrows might have light green stripes.

Extra information: Marrows cross very easily with other members of the pepo family. Seeing as many marrows are still open pollinated, the strain has been quite contaminated. Because of this, many orange marrows have been shown. These are most likely crosses with field pumpkins. The AZGPG will not accept any dark yellow or orange marrows, or other colors not listed in the show rules.


Marrow (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
206.5 lbs
93.7 kg
Brad Wursten
Hasselt, Netherlands
2009
N.Am


-- Not Established --


AZ
-- Not Established --

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Melon  (Yard Long Cucumbers)  (Long)


Yard long cucumbers, or snake melons, are the longest type of melon.  They are also known as Armenian cucumbers. The plant is actually related to muskmelon, and has a cantaloupe-like aroma when sliced. These melons look like oversize cucumbers, but they are no immediate relation as they belong to the Cucumis melo species and not to Cucumis sativus like all cucumbers do. Yard long cucumber plants prefer to grow in full sun for most of the day. Plant produces good yields of 3-foot long slim light green cucumbers. The fruit is most flavorful when it is 12 to 15 inches (30 to 38 cm) long. It grows equally well on the ground or on a trellis.

Long melons aren't self-pollinating variety like greenhouse varieties. The plant produces both male and female flowers but doesn’t pollinate without the help of insects. If you are growing in a greenhouse, then you need to do some hand pollinating in order to grow some good yard long cucumbers.

Competition rules: Long melons must be sound and may have 1 inch (2.5 cm) of stem attached.


Melon (Long)
 US (ft)
 Metric (m)
 Grower  Location  Date
World
42' 1"
107 m
Ian Neale
Newport, UK
2011
N.Am


-- Not Established --
 

AZ
    -- Not Established --
   

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Onion     (Heavy)


Onions, like garlic and leek, belong to the Allium family. Normal onions are very easy to grow, especially from pips (bulbs). But giant onions are very difficult and incredibly time consuming and expensive to grow. In Great Britain they are one of the most popular types of giant vegetable brought to shows. It is essential to get the right variety of seeds, which are usually only available from specialist growers.

When removing the roots, the basal plate must not be damaged. If it is damaged, the onion cannot be replanted to produce seed. The seeds do not keep well, so new seeds need to be obtained at least every two years.

World record shows use a special tube collar (3 inch (7.5cm) diameter x 5 inch (12.5cm) long placed over the neck to determine where it is cut off.

Competition rules: The foliage must be trimmed off at or below the first green leaf joint. The roots must also be removed. The onion must be clean, dry and sound with no rotten spots.




Onion (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
18 lb 10.8 oz
8.47 kg
Troy Glover
Small Heath, UK
2014
N.Am
3 lb 8 oz
1.59 kg
J.R. Douglas
Oregon, USA
1900
AZ
-- Not Established --

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Parsnip     (Heavy)


Parsnips belong to the Pastinaca sativa species and are related to carrots, unlike cow parsnip which is related to celery. Seeds do not last long and it is best to use fresh seeds each year.  Any soft brown canker spots can be washed off before it is judged.

Competition rules: Parsnips must be clean, dry and sound with no rotten spots and the foliage trimmed off as close to the shoulders as possible.




Parsnip (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
17 lb 6 oz
7.88 kg
David Thomas
Leedstown, UK
2011
N.Am


-- Not Established --


AZ
-- Not Established --

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Parsnip     (Long)


Long parsnips are grown in tubes much the same as long beets and long carrots. Although the length achieved has more to do with the technique than the variety, it is best to choose a long slender one than a heavy type.

Competition rules: Parsnips are measured from the shoulder to the tip of the root in a straight line. No backing paper or cloth is to be used. Foliage is not included in the measurement.


Parsnip (Long)
 US (ft)
 Metric (m)
 Grower  Location  Date
World
  21' 5.9"
  6.55 m
 Joe Atherton
  Mansfield, UK
  2017
N.Am
4' 9"
  1.45 m
  T. Kennedy
  Oregon, USA
  1900
AZ
      -- Not Established --
   

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Pepper     (Long)


Long peppers are a Guinness World Record class, though they, to date, haven't found there way to giant vegetable competitions. There are many long cultivars which can be used, either sweet or hot (chili). Any color is accepted as well.

Competition rules: The pepper must be sound, clean, without any deep splits, holes or rotten spots. Peppers are usually laid down on paper on a table. A mark is made at the tip of the pepper and where the stem meets the pepper. The pepper is taken away and the distance is measured. No part of the stem is included in the measurement and the measurement must be taken in a straight line, regardless of any curves in the pepper.


Pepper (Long)
 US (ft)
 Metric (m)
 Grower  Location  Date
World

-- Not Established --  
 
N.Am


 -- Not Established --
 

AZ
     -- Not Established --
   
 

Potato     (Heavy)


Potatoes belong to the enormous family of Solanum, which also contains tomatoes and eggplants. Most plants in this family are poisonous in some way. Potatoes belong to Solanum tuberosum, referring to the edible tubers. All potatoes are poisonous, but by peeling older potatoes and cooking them at high temperatures, the toxin is largely neutralized. Potatoes are the fourth most popular food on earth, following rice, wheat and maize. There are thousands of potato cultivars, each country having its own. Some cultivars are even restricted to certain provinces or even townships.

Competiton rules: The potato must be clean, dry and sound with no rotten spots. Up to 1 inch (2.5cm) of stem can be included.

Extra information: Regularly new world record claims are made for potatoes. These are almost always sweet potatoes, which are members of the Ipomoea batatas species, a totally different family which has nothing to do with potatoes.


Potato (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
10 lb 15 oz
4.98 kg
Peter Glazebrook
Newark, UK
2011
N.Am


-- Not Established --


AZ
-- Not Established --
 

Pumpkin  (soft stem)     (Heavy)


The term pumpkin is quite misleading as the pumpkins grown for competition purposes are of the cucurbita maxima species, which is one of the five members of the squash family, along with Hubbards, Pink Banana and Jarrahdale squash. Characteristic to the maxima species is the soft stem. Although in the past several types of "pumpkins" were grown for competition purposes, all serious growers now use generic Atlantic Giant seeds.

Competiton rules: Pumpkins may have no cracks or splits into the cavity or (large) soft or rotten spots. The entire stem is allowed but the vine must be trimmed back to 1 inch (2.5 cm) on either side. Pumpkins can be any color other than 100% grey, bluish or green. The pumpkin is a featured plant for AZGPG competitions.  CLICK HERE to see complete rules for this class.

Extra information: Some shows have a prettiest pumpkin contest (often referred to as the Howard Dill Award). Generally speaking the specimen should meet all the requirements to be an official pumpkin, and it should be over 500 lbs -- be as orange as possible -- and have a symetrical, roundish shape. Due to the harsh conditions faced by Southwestern Growers, the weight aspect has been modified to consider specimens weighing at least 60% of the existing state record. (For Arizona the minimum weight is 300 pounds).


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Pumpkin (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
2,624.6 lbs
1190.5 kg
Mathias Willemijns
Deurie, Belgium
2016
N.Am
2,363 lbs
1071.8 kg
Joel Holland
Sumner, WA
2017
AZ
486 lbs 220.4 kg Dean Baker Scottsdale, AZ 2015

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Radish     (Heavy)


Radishes (Raphanus sativa) belong to the Brassicaceae family. In general there are four types: summer, fall, winter and spring. For competition purposes winter varieties are used and in particular Daikon radishes. These are Asian radishes with long white roots. They come from Asia and are also known as Japanese radish, Chinese radish, Mooli or simply Daikon radish. The world's largest variety is a Japanese round type called Sakurajima daikon which easily grows to 6 kg in the right conditions, but can also grow to 30 kg if the proper care is taken and the proper soil is given.

Competiton rules: The foliage must be trimmed off as close to the radish shoulders as possible. Roots are allowed. The radish must be clean, dry and sound with no rotten spots.


Radish (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
68 lb 9 oz
31.1 kg
Manabu Oono
Japan
2003
N.Am
2 lb 8 oz
1.13 kg
O.E. Keith
Washington, USA
1891
AZ
-- Not Established --

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Runner Bean     (Long)


Of the fifty members of the bean family only Phaseolus coccineus is allowed in the runner bean class. Native to Central America, they are also called scarlet runner beans because of the red flowers and multicolored seeds. Unlike common beans, the cot leaves (cotyledons) stay in the ground during germination while with common beans these leaves are thrust out of the soil on (long) stems.

Competition rules: Runner beans are measured in a straight line from the shoulder to the tip, regardless of any curves. It is best to make a mark where the bean begins and ends and measure the distance in between. The bean must be sound and still green (not dried out).

Extra information: The runner bean class excludes any other type of bean including French haricots but also asparagus beans, otherwise known as yard long beans, which in fact are members of a totally different genus and are not beans at all.


Runner Bean (Long)
 US (ft)
 Metric (m)
 Grower  Location  Date
World
  51 in
  130 cm
  Harry Hurley
 North Carolina, USA
  1997
N.Am


 
 
 
AZ
      -- Not Established --
   

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Rutabaga / Swede     (Heavy)


Rutabagas and turnips have been confused at giant vegetable shows because of their similarities. Rutabaga is derived from the Swedish word meaning root bag. Because of the origin of the word, some countries choose to call the rutabaga a swede, or Swedish turnip and to make matters more confusing in parts of England and Canada it is simply called a turnip. The rutabaga is a member of the Brassica napobrassica species while turnips belong to the Brassica rapa species. The rutabaga is originally a cross between a cabbage and a turnip.

Competition rules: Rutabagas must be clean, dry and sound, without any rotten spots, deep splits or holes. The foliage must be trimmed off as close to the shoulders/neck of the rutabaga as possible. While some shows do not accept roots, international rules dictate that roots are allowed, just like a beetroot.


Rutabaga (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
119 lb 1 oz
54 kg
Ian Neale
Newport, UK
2013
N.Am
82 lb 14 oz
37.6 kg
Scott Robb
Palmer, AK
2009
AZ
-- Not Established --

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Squash     (Heavy)


For competition purposes squash and pumpkins are of the cucurbita maxima species. What differentiates the two is the color of the plant. If the plant is 100 percent of the following colors, or a combination of the colors, green, blue, and gray then it will be classified as a squash. All other fruits will be classified as pumpkins.

Competition rules: Squash may have no cracks or splits into the cavity or (large) soft or rotten spots. The entire stem is allowed but the vine must be trimmed back to 1 inch (2.5 cm) on either side. The squash is a featured plant for AZGPG competitions.  CLICK HERE to see complete rules for this class.



Squash (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
2,118 lbs
960.71 kg
Joe Jutras
Scituate, RI
2017
N.Am





AZ
313.5 lbs 142.2 kg Dean Baker Scottsdale, AZ 2017

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Sunflower     (Head)


Sunflowers are in no way a giant vegetable even though the seeds can be eaten. It is an annual flower plant. Each sunflower consists of about 1000-2000 flowers enclosed by an array of petals. Sunflowers originated in the Americas and only arrived in Europe in the 16th century. For competition purposes the sunflower is often shown at giant vegetable shows. There are two official classes, the largest sunflower head and the tallest sunflower plant.

Competiton rules: Sunflower heads are the most controversial of all giant vegetable classes.  The official Guinness way to measure is to place the sunflower head on a piece of paper or something similar, draw a mark at the tip of the petal sticking out the most and then draw a mark at the tip of the petal exactly 180 degrees on the other side of the head. Remove the head and measure the distance in a straight line. This is the petal to petal in a straight line method.  To make sure, at the international level, that all measurements are done in the same way, the AZGPG has chosen to follow Guinness guidelines.


Sunflower (Head)
 US (ft)
 Metric (m)
 Grower  Location  Date
World
  30.25"
  81.92 cm
  Emily Martin
  Canada   1983
US
27"
  68.6 cm
  Lee Zappa
  Sharpsville, PA
  2012
AZ
      -- Not Established --
   

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Sunflower     (Tall)


Sunflowers belong to the Helianthus annus genus and is an annual plant with a large head of flowers. Many fairs and shows have a tall sunflower class which measures the length of the stalk including the flower head. Sunflowers were introduced from Central America to Europe in the 16th century. In 1567 the world's tallest sunflower was grown in Padua, northern Italy. According to reports it measured 40 ft (12 m). The same lot of seeds produced several other plants, each of which were taller than the current modern world record of 8.03 m (26ft 4in). For years the world record had been held by a Dutch grower until 2009 when a German grower finally broke the record. Although sunflowers apparently do well in cooler climates, they are real sun lovers and they need shelter from wind or in any case support.

Competition rules: Sunflowers are measured from the bottom of the stalk (without roots) to the top of the highest petal. Sunflowers are measured in a straight line, regardless of any curves in the stalk.


Sunflower (Tall)
 US (ft)
 Metric (m)
 Grower  Location  Date
World
 30' 1"
  9.17 m
  Hans-Peter Schiffer
Germany  2014
US
23' 1"
  7.04 m
  Steven DeRycke
 New York, USA
  2016
AZ
      -- Not Established --
   

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Tomato     (Heavy)


Not only do potato and tomato rhyme in North American English, they also belong to the same family, along with aubergine (egg plant). Tomatoes belong to the Solanum lycopersicum species which also makes it a close relative to peppers. Through extensive cultivation, the tomato developed from a small green fruit found in the wild in South America to a much larger and diverse fruit grown throughout the world. The largest tomatoes in the world have been grown using a strain called Delicious although the Big Zac strain is more commonly used. First generation seeds seem to produce smaller fruits than later generation seeds which have been open pollinated, something which is seen in other sorts of giant vegetables as well.

If you start your seeds too early, the fruit will be ready too early. Most tomatoes only take 80 days or so to mature. So count back from your show date 80 days or so and add a couple days for the cool September weather. If your show date is the first week in October you should start them around the first of May. The tomatoes you plant for eating will be started around April 1. I start the seeds on the 1st, 15th, and the 30th of May. I stagger the dates to hopefully have my tomatoes ripe for the show. A ripe tomato only has a shelf life of two to three days so it's the real guessing game.

The tomato seed should be started off in pots in a mixture of compost and vermiculite with a 6 month feed added for essential feeding for the young plant (miracle grow slow release / osmocote) to aid germination, ensure that the seeds are kept under a temperature of 60 - 65 degrees. The seeds are to be planted close to the surface with a dusting of compost.

The plants are to be planted out at the start of June when the soil has warmed and the nights are longer. Usually when the weeds start to grow, the soil is right for planting / germination of seeds. As with all seedlings ensure that they are given adequate frost protection and guarded from those deadly slugs! Apply a handful of slug pellets to the area.

You must keep the plant evenly moist, not wet. If you water too much the skin of the fruit cracks. Care should be taken to ensure that the tomatoes are not allowed to dry out as differences in the moisture of the soil may cause the tomatoes to have blossom end rot. Three times a week I mix a small amount of water soluble fertilizer (20-20-20) in with the water every time I water the plants. This keeps the plant fed at an even pace

Once the plant begins to flower, I pinch off the first couple of clusters to keep the tomatoes off the ground. Examine the new clusters that come up after that for misshaped and double blossoms. Sometimes you find 2 flowers on one stem, these ones have good potential. Thin the remaining clusters of tomatoes to 2 or 3 and watch their progress. Eventually you will pinch off all the smaller tomatoes, and keep one tomato per cluster. You now have five or six tomatoes per plant. As time progresses you can cut them back until there is only one or two tomatoes per plant. These are the ones you hope will be the winning tomatoes. Pinch off the top of the plant. During this time of fruit selection, make sure you have been trimming the plant of excessive growth and spraying for insects and fungus. You should make sure that you leave enough foliage to shade your prize-winning tomato and provide a place for excessive water to go incase of accidental over watering. Keep your water and fertilising program going right up to the vegetable show.

The tomatoes should be suported when they are growing. We use a sponge to act as support for the fruit and this is tied to poles running directly above the plant. This is a must as the weight of the tomato will make the truss bend and restrict its growth.

I also put in a 2"x 2" post where each plant is to be set into the soil to help support the plant. Most if not all tomatoes are indeterminate and you will have to control them by pinching off excessive growth. Try to allow only two main vines to grow up along the post. I pinch off the lower leaves so nothing touches the soil. I also use an old 1 gal. coffee can with a hole in the bottom, set 1/2" inch into the ground at the base of the plant. Bugs than have a hard time accessing the plant with this around the base of the plant.

There is alot of trial and error involved in growing giant tomatoes. Hopefully following these instructions will help you show up with a prize-winning tomato. Keep a record of your tomatoes circumference. Each year you can compare previous years growth. Try to select a tomato that is perfectly round as these tend to be the heaviest.

The ideal location for the setting of a tomato is at around 3 to 4 trusses high.

Competition rules: Tomatoes must be clean, sound, free of splits, holes and rotten spots. The stem must be trimmed off within 1 inch (2.5cm) of the tomato. The tomato is a featured plant for AZGPG competitions.  CLICK HERE to see complete rules for this class.




8 lb 6.1 oz
Tomato (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
  8 lb 6.1 oz
3.906 kg
Dan Sutherland
Waitsburg, WA
2016
N.Am





AZ
2 lb 15 oz 1.335 kg Scott Culp Sierra Vista, AZ 2017

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Watermelon     (Heavy)


Watermelons are a member of the cucurbitaceae family, but belong to the citrullus genus, unlike true melons which belong, together with cucumbers, to the cucumis genus. Because watermelon have their own class, it is not important that they are not actually melons but botanical berries (pepo). There are several types of watermelons in a limited variety of colors. For competition uses the Carolina Cross strain is used. Watermelons generally do well in warm climates but some strains have been successful in cooler climates.

Competition rules: Watermelons must be sound, without any cracks, splits or holes into the cavity or (major) rotten spots. The watermelon must be clean and have the stem removed within 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the fruit. The watermelon is a featured plant for AZGPG competitions.  CLICK HERE to see complete rules for this class.



Watermelon (Heavy)
US (lb)
Metric (kg)
Grower Location Date
World
350.6 lbs
158.98 kg
Chris Kent
Sevierville, TN
2013
N.Am





AZ
-- Not Established --

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