UK: Nine year old Tom grows 14 foot high tomatoes

Nine year old Tom Staveley has hit the heights with his tomato plants this year which have rocketed some 14 feet skywards to reach the roof of his house in Lamorna, Cornwall and are still growing apace. He now needs to take steps to reach the top of the plants, growing up the granite wall on the south side of the house. 

Tom does admit to getting some help and advice from his grandpa, Gerry Hayman, who has spent his career in the horticultural world and has been a life-long lover of the love apple, as the tomato is also known. ‘Crops grown commercially in heated glasshouses will have longer stems,’ says Gerry, ‘but this is a pretty good effort for plants grown outdoors. It is probably a record for Cornwall though as, sadly we no longer have any commercial tomato growers in these parts. We have to admit to some luck with the prolonged dry weather, which has kept the dreaded potato blight at bay.’ 

Size isn’t everything of course - it’s the taste that really tells. With three plants of cherry tomato Piccolo and three of a baby plum variety, it’s a big thumbs-up from Tom on that score too. ‘I’m delighted that Tom has wolfed down tomatoes like sweets since he has been a toddler’, says Gerry, ‘but Piccolo is definitely his all-time top tasting tom.’ 

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Gery Hayman

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