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Could this be the biggest pumpkin in Norfolk?

PUBLISHED: 17:27 10 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:27 10 September 2019

Richard Whitehurst has grown a giant albino pumpkin. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Richard Whitehurst has grown a giant albino pumpkin. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

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It's the same weight as the heart of a blue whale and is 50 times heavier than a regular pumpkin.

Richard Whitehurst has grown a giant albino pumpkin. Picture: Ella WilkinsonRichard Whitehurst has grown a giant albino pumpkin. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Richard Whitehurst, 33 from East Raynham, near Fakenham, has grown a 500lbs pumpkin in his back garden.

Mr Whitehurst began pumpkin-growing about six years ago after a bet with a friend.

He said: "Since then I've grown every year apart from last year when I was moving house, it's just something I really enjoy, especially the not knowing how big it's going to get.

"I've not ever entered any competitions, we need a giant pumpkin competition locally as it's all fun and people with some gardening knowledge and space can grow pumpkins."

Richard Whitehurst has grown a giant albino pumpkin. Picture: Ella WilkinsonRichard Whitehurst has grown a giant albino pumpkin. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

The pumpkin, which weighs more than 35 and a half stone, took approximately 65 days to reach its current size and still has a couple of weeks of growing left.

Mr Whitehurst said: "Growing a giant pumpkin is a mixture of knowledge, experience and luck, but getting good seed is a must.

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"You won't grow a giant pumpkin out of a packet of seeds from your local garden centre, I get mine from America.

Richard Whitehurst has grown a giant albino pumpkin. Picture: Ella WilkinsonRichard Whitehurst has grown a giant albino pumpkin. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

"The seeds have a pedigree and a family tree, a bit like a puppy.

"Knowing what to feed the plant as it grows is also important as the feed given changes as the plant develops."

The current world record for the largest pumpkin grown was set in October 2016 by Mathias Willeminjns of Belgium who grew a 2,624 pounder.

Mr Whitehurst said: "This year I was late getting a pumpkin growing on the plant, to grow a real giant you really need one growing before July 5, this one was pollinated on July 18 but is 500lb, give or take.

Richard Whitehurst, 33 from East Raynham has grown a 500lbs pumpkin in his back garden. Picture: Richard WhitehurstRichard Whitehurst, 33 from East Raynham has grown a 500lbs pumpkin in his back garden. Picture: Richard Whitehurst

"I aim to grow a 1000lb pumpkin one year soon, that's my goal.

"I want to join the few that have grown an outdoor pumpkin to 1000lb in the UK, maybe 2020 will be my year."

When asked if he would keep it for the coming holiday, Mr Whitehurst said: "If I can keep it from rotting it will feature somewhere for Halloween, moving it could be a task though!"

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