The Growers Diaries: Growers

The Growers Diaries: Peter Glazebrook

Peter Glazebrook

Being born on a idyllic farmstead in the rural Nottinghamshire countryside, Peter has been a keen gardener ever since his early years constantly developing his naturally gifted green fingers.

Greatest achievement Every time a World Record is set
Growing Since Early years
Favourite plant Onions
Favourite CANNA product CANNA COCO

Growing can be addictive! I try to learn all I can about vegetables and growing, then spending my time trying to improve all the time.

You need to plan and work towards growing big and it is dedication. I am quite competitive in my nature, and I wouldn´t be growing giant vegetables if it wasn´t for the competition. You have got to have something to aim for and something to achieve at the end of it.

These onion were planted late, I started them in early October in pots in the greenhouse and they have been growing in there over winter. They were planted out about 6 weeks ago into here, but I am still getting some yellow tipping which is concerning! It could be over watering, but it could just be the fact that this is a very sunny tunnel that gets the morning sun and bleaching them. I am inclined to think it is the weather conditions.

We had a very hot spell a few weeks ago which wasn´t too concerning, but now we have had a fortnight of very cold weather with hard frosts and I am sure it is having a knock on effect. I am hoping we get a more temperate August!

In the last few years, I have been fortunate to be sponsored by CANNA which is very helpful as I have been supplied with CANNA products and I learned a lot about the products – I am really pleased with both the COCO and the TERRA.

I have had a lot of success over the years, world records particularly with onions. I measure my success by the results at shows. You can´t always win, but if you can get a personal best and grow bigger than before, it may not be a record but atleast you have had that personal achievement.

I haven´t been able to grow a big potato for years! I have two world records but the last 8 or 9 years I just cannot grow a heavy potato.

The weather has moved on quite a bit since my last diary, I have now got nearly all my summer vegetables planted out and I am well on track.

I started planting my tomato plants out and they already have started flowering. My long cucumber looked really healthy a couple of days ago but I noticed that it has sun scorch. It was such a bright day yesterday and it has scorched the leaves.

One of the things I am growing for the first time this year is broad beans. As the shows are later in the year, I have done three sewings. One is in flower, one is coming into bud and the others are just coming up in the pots inside the greenhouse. It is something new to me so I will have to see how I go with that.

My onions are growing ok now and I am quite pleased with them now, they just seemed to be a fortnight late. For the first time, I am growing four onions in Autopots. While I didn´t start them are early as my main onions, they have grown really well and I really wished I had put my first onions in the Autopots and started earlier with them.

I am trying to grow the longest leek and they are growing well! I am trying to draw them as I did get the record last year but I know it is beatable so I am trying to get the record again.

The last things I have to plant out are my late sewn tomatoes which are almost ready for planting. Then I have a later sewing broad bean still to plant out. Next time they should be out and growing well!

I shall be busy watering and feeding, it is more than dedication, it is 24/7!

I am growing 17 different kinds of veg, you lose track sometimes which you are watering and which you are not.

Garden is looking quite good for the months of August so hopefully I will have some good vegetables for the shows.

Some of the early beans are looking a bit tired but I have a really good one growing here. With anything growing big, you have to put all the effort into one or two fruits.

The carrot tops are looking good, some are pushing up a bit but that isn´t always a good sign. But looking really strong.

The swedes have done quite well, the danger is that they just go rotten and soft, but so far these have stayed sound. I have grown too many really and I only want one!

Then I have radish, they don´t want to go straight, mine seem to grow at at all angles.

Two of my aubergines have done alright. My best one has been shaded from the sun and it has changed colour, it isn´t black like the others. I grew them from my own seed this year, I saved the seed from my largest one last year and I am just trying to keep the sun off it and keep it as cool as possible. I am not watering much either.

My tomatoes have started ripening too early. I tried to shade it but I don´t know if I watered it wrong and it is now cracked. That is why I have two sowings, even some of my late sowings are ripening too fast!

The next two weeks is a case of making sure nothing is happening, no insect problems or disease. They have more or less grown as much as they are going to do and I just need to keep them ticking over now.

I´ve been doing this for a long number of years, 30 years nearly I suppose? Since I have been retired it is my hobby and my main interest really. It keeps me going, I think if I can win I´m going to get some satisfaction from it! Which you do, if you get a card at one of the big shows it makes it all worthwhile.

Today is Wednesday 22nd September – lifting day for Malvern Autumn Show. The ones I have lifted so far are not my best so I am hoping I will lift the best this afternoon. This season has been one of the more difficult ones, they are all difficult but the weather has been up and down right through the Spring & Summer. That makes it very difficult.

I am pretty hopeful for my aubergine, it is the biggest one I have ever grown. The moment of truth? 6.84lbs, I think the record is about 7lbs. It is a good weight for a win but maybe not for a World Record.

I am fortunate to have a wife who can help me lifting vegetables like the Swede or Kohl Rabi which are heavier and are quite difficult on my own.

I had to prune a large pup off my Kohl Rabi where it was rotten where it was leaning on the ground and I cannot show it with that. I am trying to clean the root up as you cannot have the root on and it would probably cost me a win.

This year I have been using CANNA products, mainly CANNA Coir and I am really impressed with them. I will definitely keep using them as they have really been good for me!

I am looking forward to going to Malvern Autumn Show this year as I haven´t seen a lot of competitors for nearly 2 years now. I think I have about 17 entries this year so I am hoping for atleast one or two red cards this year. I know the Guinness World Records will be at the event this weekend, I don´t think I have a World Record coming but publicity is really good for Giant Vegetables.

When we get the vegetables up, I have to try and keep it cool. Vegetables soon lose weight if its out in the hot sun I have to wrap most of them in damp towels just to try and keep them fresh. The towels also cushion them a bit so ti stops them chafing in the car. Careful packing is the secret! There is no doubt that Malvern is the top show for giant vegetables and probably for the other vegetables too. The standard seems to go up every year! Growers at putting more effort in and getting better at is.

Malvern Autumn Show 2021

I found today pretty good at Malvern, we got unloaded pretty well and I am looking quite good in some of the classes. Particularly good in the aubergine class! When I lifted it yesterday, I couldn´t remember what the World Record Heaviest Aubergine was, I thought it needed to be a bit heavier – but it turns out I just beat it so that is a pleasant surprise!! It weighed 3.12kg so I beat the record by 0.6g. I have firsts in around 6 others classes and several seconds and thirds etc. As soon as we finish with the shows, I think about what I am doing for the next year. So ready to clear up and start all over again!

Mary Glazebrook: I met Peter through a mutual friend, they said there is a dance at the golf club on Saturday, do you want to come and meet my friend? So I met Peter, the friend, and I thought he is nice. I have been here ever since! I have always helped him doing fetching and carrying, he helps me with things I am interested in and so I help him. Growing is our life!