Mansfield ex-miner Joe Atherton set a new world record for the longest radish at the weekend (24-25 September 2016) with a root measuring 5.023m at the Malvern Autumn Show's Giant Vegetable Championships. It was grown from seed of the white-skinned 'mooli' strain April Cross F1 supplied by specialist vegetable seedsman D. T Brown. And for good measure he also set another world record with a 6.245m long root of carrot St Valery, also grown from D. T. Brown's seed!
Geordie Joe has been growing giant vegetables for more than 25 years. He sowed the April Cross seed early in the season and allowing a week for germination, it grew to its record length in less than four months.
He told D. T. Brown's Tim Jeffries he grows his radishes in two long guttering pipes that are close together and are held on an upward 45º angle in a polytunnel. He uses a 50:50 mix of very fine peat and soil riddled to less than 1/16th of an inch, to allow the roots to grow as long as possible.
Joe grew three radishes this year, but told Tim that next year he intends to sow two weeks earlier and use a longer pipe, as this world record setter reached the bottom of the pipe, so could have been longer still, but for that.
Tim said ''While we pride ourselves on the quality of our seed, we take our hats off to Joe for setting new radish and carrot world records, which are tributes to his skill and hard work. Well done, Joe!''.