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No secret to producing 66lb cabbage, says champion veg grower

Ian Neale won the classes for the heaviest carrot, beetroot and cabbage at Harrogate Autumn Flower Show.

Champion veg grower Ian Neale says there is no secret to growing cabbages the size of a washing machine but it does need time, patience and a little bit of cash.

Mr Neale, 75, was celebrating after winning the classes for the heaviest carrot, beetroot and cabbage in the giant vegetable competition at Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, North Yorkshire.

The pensioner from Newport, South Wales, has a long history of growing mammoth veg and hit the headlines seven years ago when US rapper Snoop Dogg contacted him to congratulate him on his prize entries.

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Ian Neale with his winning giant carrot (Danny Lawson/PA)

His winning efforts in Harrogate on Friday were a 66.6lb cabbage, a 42.5lb beetroot and a 9.5lb carrot.

Now he is heading for a show in Malvern in a fortnight where he is hoping to break his world record for the heaviest beetroot, which stands at 51.6lb.

Asked where his contender for that prize was, Mr Neale said: “It’s still growing.”

He said: “There really is no secret. It’s just about having the right seed and the right growing conditions and you have to put in plenty of time.

“You do need a little bit of money – for compost and fertiliser – but that’s it.”

He said the carrot and beetroot will eventually be fed to horses and cows back home but he will be leaving the cabbage in North Yorkshire as it would slow down his trip back to South Wales.

Harrogate Autumn Flower Show runs at Great Yorkshire Showground until Sunday and also features thousands of flowers.

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