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Horsham gardener reveals his secret to growing monster veg

Bill Cable with his home-grown giant onions. Photo contributed (Photo: Contributed)
Bill Cable with his home-grown giant onions. Photo contributed (Photo: Contributed)

Bill, 72, has won numerous awards for his produce and grows so much tasty veg that he frequently donates his crops to his grateful Horsham neighbours and family.

But his crop this year of two giant marrows and massive onions on his allotment at Chesworth would be enough to feed an army. One whopping marrow weighed 101lb and the other was 84lb.

Daughter Sally Worsell said: “Everyone asks me his secret. I tell them he just talks to them!”

Bill Cable with his monster marrows - he needed help to get the giant veg into a wheelbarrow to wheel them back to his Horsham home from his allotment. Photo contributed (Photo: Contributed)
Bill Cable with his monster marrows - he needed help to get the giant veg into a wheelbarrow to wheel them back to his Horsham home from his allotment. Photo contributed (Photo: Contributed)

Bill has previously won awards for growing giant pumpkins but decided to turn his hand this year to marrows and onions.

He began by preparing the soil in late winter, digging a hole and adding manure to the surrounding area. To grow giant vegetables you need to select giant vegetable seeds, says Bill.

He sowed the seed in a pot of good compost in early May and, when large enough to handle, planted them into a bigger pot.

In early June he planted them into his prepared plot, leaving plenty of room for them to grow. “You need to keep the area weed free. Don’t start watering too early as you want the roots to go down into the soil,” he says.

When the marrows grew, he chose the best two and picked the rest off so all the nourishment went into the two plants.

Then he started to water and feed them weekly with Growmore and tomato feed. And the resulting beauties were so heavy it took a couple of people to help lift them and wheel them back to Bill’s home.

Bill’s massive onions were also grown by preparing the soil in the winter with plenty of manure before sowing his specially-selected seeds in January. His largest onion weighed in at 4.5lb.

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“What a beauty,” said Bill. “Next year I’m going to grow a big pumpkin.”

However, it won’t be for the first time – he’s won awards in the past for his pumpkins and often gifts them to neighbours to help celebrate Halloween.