Garry and the giant tomato plant
Tahunanui man grows 4-metre monsterLOUISE BERWICK
Garry and the Tomato Plant does not have quite the same ring to it as Jack and the Beanstalk, but Garry could certainly give Jack a run for his money.
When Garry Thompson tells people about his four-metre tall tomato plant in his Tahunanui garden, they find it hard to believe him, but Mr Thompson is not telling a tale.
His tomato plant is 4.16 metres high.
However, unlike Jack's bean stalk, Mr Thompson's tomato plant did not grow overnight.
It was planted in February and has spent the last five months scaling an outside wall of Mr Thompson's house.
Tomato stakes were not needed to hold up the plant, it wrapped itself around the downpipe instead.
''The downpipe came in handy.''
The secret to Mr Thompson's plant is not magic seeds, but plenty of water and sunshine.
He is surprised the plant has grown so tall as he believes it is the worst winter Nelson has experienced in more than 15 years.
''They're looking quite healthy really, considering the cold we've had.''
The plant had withstood the wind and a number of heavy frosts.
''This one decided to hang in there.''
Mr Thompson grew a number of tomato plants this year, but this one outgrew the rest, and continues to grow, even in July.
''I'm amazed really.''
Mr Thompson, a former commercial tomato grower, has grown more than 60,000 tomato plants in his time, but mostly of the dwarf variety and none of them had ever reached the same height as his current plant.
While he is unsure what variety the plant is, it certainly is not a dwarf plant.
The plant still continues to grow, and Mr Thomson regularly checked the plant's progress.
''I come out every day to see what's happening.''
However, Mr Thompson is not keen on climbing the stalk.
''I don't think it would stand me climbing on.''
Instead he will pick the fruit and make tomato stew.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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