UK dad sets Guinness World Record after growing 839 tomatoes on a single truss

·2-min read

A green-fingered dad is set for a Guinness World Record as he's grown a staggering 839 tomatoes on a single truss - almost double the previous record. 

Douglas Smith, 43, reckons that his haul of cherry tomatoes - weighing 4.24kg - will smash the previous record of 488, achieved by a Shropshire man in 2010. 

His pound coin-sized red vegetables were finally harvested on Friday after being sown in mid-March - and Douglas says they "taste great". 

Douglas' local priest and a policeman were present to witness and verify the tomato counting, which was also filmed as evidence. 

Guinness World Record officials will assess Douglas' effort this week before entering it into the history books. 

Douglas, from Stanstead Abbots, Herts, said: "I spent three or four hours a week tending to the tomatoes in an 8x8 foot greenhouse in my back garden. 

"I would have started with about 100 plants in pots and then 50 went into the ground. 

"Only two made it to the end. There was quite a lot of culling." 

Douglas, who lives with wife Piper, 45, and son Stellan, 5, spent last winter poring over scientific papers to brush up on his tomato growing skills.  

The IT product manager even sent his soil off to labs to ensure that his tomatoes had the right nutrients. 

Douglas hit the headlines last year when he grew the UK's tallest sunflower of 2020, which - at 20ft - towered over his family home. 

He also holds the title for the largest tomato grown in the UK after he harvested a 3kg tomato with a circumference of 27.5 inches last August. 

Douglas said: "I'm a competitive grower. Over winter I looked for a new challenge. 

"I did a lot of research and decided to break the record of most tomatoes from a single truss.

"We did the official counting last Friday, which we filmed with three witnesses present.

"We spent an hour harvesting and counting. I'm looking to break 488 with a new count of 839."

Sharing his veg growing tips, Douglas said: "You have to make sure the environment is well set up. 

"I'll send samples of soil off to labs to make sure the plants have what they need. 

"I just really enjoy being outside. It's a nice counterbalance to my work with computers. 

"The competitive side is just an ambition to stretch and challenge myself with different vegetables. 

"You have to learn a lot of different things - I spent the winter poring over science and research papers." 

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