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Ma-woah! Here's the five biggest vegetables grown in Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 12:05 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:21 05 September 2019

Karnail Banwait with his giant white marrow. Picture: Ken Mears

Karnail Banwait with his giant white marrow. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

Redbridge gardeners have a knack for growing some really large vegetables and we've rounded up some of the biggest and best.

Karnail Banwait with his giant white marrow. Picture: Ken MearsKarnail Banwait with his giant white marrow. Picture: Ken Mears

In 2012, a father and son from Goodmayes discovered a human-sized 5ft 7in marrow growing at the end of their garden.

Imran Haque and his dad Nurul, of Lexden Drive, contacted Guinness World Records to find out if it was the biggest marrow in the world - but the Recorder doesn't know the outcome of that enquiry.

"I seriously think they're miracle seeds, that's the best theory about it. People were calling from all over when my brother posted it on Facebook," Imran said at the time. "It grows an inch a day. There's another one and it's half its length already."

Muhammed Akhtar on the Benton Road Allotments with his giant pumpkin. Picture: Ken MearsMuhammed Akhtar on the Benton Road Allotments with his giant pumpkin. Picture: Ken Mears

In 2013, Eve Ashton and her husband, Rev Ken Ashton, grew a pumpkin which was the weight of the average British woman.

Grown at St Paul's Church in Arrowsmith Road, Hainault, the 11 stone pumpkin was big enough for a grown woman to sit on.

"People are fascinated by how big it is," said Eve at the time. "We've had some pretty keen gardeners coming around to have a look at it and they can't believe the size."

Salma Begum with her giant gourd.Salma Begum with her giant gourd.

The couple didn't quite break the world's biggest pumpkin record though - that stands at a whopping 143 stone thanks to Ron Greene, of Rhode Island, America in September, 2012.

Closer to home, an Ilford gardener was left stunned last year when her gourd grew to more than four feet.

Salma Begum has grown a number of vegetables in her back garden in Balfour Road since moving to the area 10 years ago, but her gourd, which grew to the size of the average seven-year-old child, was one of a kind.

Ronkeyram Doal with his giant 16.5 feet high sunflowers at Benton Road Allotments in Seven Kings. Photo: Vickie FloresRonkeyram Doal with his giant 16.5 feet high sunflowers at Benton Road Allotments in Seven Kings. Photo: Vickie Flores

One of Salma's neighbours, Hussain Mubeen, told the Recorder at the time: "It is crazy! They couldn't believe how big it is - it's got to be seen to be believed."

This year, we've had two giant vegetable entries and a monster sunflower - all at the same allotment.

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Karnail Singh Banwait, 79, from Ilford, has been growing vegetables at Benton Road Allotments in Seven Kings for the last 22 years.

"And this year we've got a big one," the avid gardener said.

Karnail contacted the Recorder to tell us about his impressive 50 inch white marrow and the pictures speak for themselves.

Ken and Eve Ashton with their pumpkin which they think is about 11 stone at their home in Hainault. Eve grew the pumpkin and never thought it would get this big. Picture: Ellie HoskinsKen and Eve Ashton with their pumpkin which they think is about 11 stone at their home in Hainault. Eve grew the pumpkin and never thought it would get this big. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Another Benton Road Allotment extraordinaire is Muhammed Akhtar, from Seven Kings, who has grown a rather large pumpkin.

This is his second big pumpkin - his first weighed 34.9kg, the same weight as 50 iPads.

He hasn't harvested this year's pumpkin yet, but he's hoping it is bigger than his last when he picks it in a few weeks time.

Eve Ashton with her pumpkin which they think is about 11 stone at her home in Hainault.Eve Ashton with her pumpkin which they think is about 11 stone at her home in Hainault.

"They are very sensitive when they get this big," Muhammed said. "My tips are lots of water and lots of manure underneath.

"It's completely organic - I don't spend anything on it and I leave the snails and everything on it."

Finally, way back in June 1977, the Recorder told the incredible story of a Clayhall gardener who succeeded in growing a cabbage more than a yard wide.

Nural Hoque(R) and his son Imran Hoque(L) have grown a marrow that measures 6 foot 1. They want to enter it into the Guiness books of Records. 

September 28 2012Nural Hoque(R) and his son Imran Hoque(L) have grown a marrow that measures 6 foot 1. They want to enter it into the Guiness books of Records. September 28 2012

As a bonus entry, we have included Ronkeyram Doal, who has featured in the Recorder twice for his huge sunflowers.

Perhaps there is something in the soil at Benton Road Allotments because the flowers usually grow to 6ft but Ronkeyram's giant specimen has now crept up to 16.5ft.

He featured in the Recorder back in 2017 showing off his 12ft sunflowers.

But Ronkeyram has some way to go yet as the current Guinness World Record is held by Hans-Peter Schiffer from Germany who recorded a 30ft 1in sunflower back in 2014.

Have you grown any monster fruits, plants or vegetables? Contact imogen.braddick@archant.co.uk to tell us your stories.

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