YOU would need a burger the size of a dinner plate to do justice to a slice of a whopping tomato grown by gardener Bernie Clark.
The mammoth tomato weighed more than two standard bags of sugar.
And the fruit was such a monster it required its own supporting net as it swelled in the heat of the Indian summer.
Bernie has grown giant tomatoes before but never one as enormous as this specimen, which tipped the scales at 2lb 4oz (1.02kg).
And when it reached perfection he could not wait to tuck into it – but at least he had the presence of mind to photograph it on his scales before he devoured it.
‘It was gorgeous with a bit of lettuce and grated carrot,’ said the 66-year-old who has been growing the fruit since he was 14.
But Bernie, of Chatsworth Avenue, Cosham, Portsmouth, admits he has no idea which variety it is.
He said: ‘I haven’t a clue I’m afraid. I kept some seeds from another tomato about three years ago and have produced big ones from that seed ever since, but unfortunately I didn’t make a note of the variety.’
Last year, he grew one which weighed in at 1lb 4oz and at the moment he has another coming to fruition in his greenhouse which might possibly overtake his giant one.
So, if Bernie does not know the variety, surely he has a secret recipe of tomato-swelling food with which he has been plying it all summer?
‘Afraid not,’ he confessed. ‘I did buy some food, but I couldn’t remember where I put it. So, all they’ve had is water.’
But it’s here that Bernie has a top tomato tip for gardeners who want to grow their own giants.
‘I use two growing bags, one on top of the other.
‘I cut a hole between them so the roots have double the space to grow in.
‘Then I insert a tube next to the plant and water through it. This means that you’re getting water straight to the roots.
‘It also means that when you go away for a week you can give the bags a good soaking and they don’t dry out.’