Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Gardener really knows his onions

Peter Glazebrook with his world record breaking onion that weighed in at 18lbs 1oz at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show

A man has wowed judges by beating his own world record to grow the largest onion for a second year running.

Peter Glazebrook, 78, set a new record for the world's heaviest onion for the second year in a row at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show last week. The vegetable tipped the scales at 18lbs 1oz at the weigh-in on Friday at the show, beating his previous world record of 17lbs 15 and a half ounces, which he set at last year's competition.

The previous world record had been held for five years by John Sifford, from the West Midlands.

But it seems Mr Glazebrook has found the winning formula for giant onions, after 25 years. He has held a total of ten world records during his 30 years of gardening, but he said he had been trying to secure the onion record for 25 years up until last year.

Speaking of this year's success, the retired chartered surveyor, from Halam, near Newark, said: "It was such a surprise. I didn't expect it at all. I had weighed it at home but you never know how much it is going to weigh once it is trimmed of its leaves and roots and weighed by officials at the show. I had a feeling it was close but when we found out it was over the record, well I was very pleased."

His wife Mary accompanied him to the show at the Great Yorkshire Showground last weekend.

Mr Glazebrook added: "I've spent 25 years trying the grow the largest onion and it wasn't until last year that I managed to take the record. You spend half your lifetime trying to do these things and it is rather wonderful when you achieve it. Whether I'll be able to keep it up is another matter but I'll definitely try."

Revealing some of the secrets of his success, Mr Glazebrook said: "The main reason I'm getting bigger onions I think is that I grow them in large pots rather than in the garden soil now. I use a different compost and also have to carefully manage the light and temperature."

In total, he took nine first prize awards in the show last weekend. Six of those were for giant vegetables, including a 119lbs 12oz marrow and a 81lbs 6oz cabbage.

Mr Glazebrook currently holds three world records for heaviest potato, heaviest parsnip, and longest beetroot.

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