MILDURA’S Carl Archer could hardly believe his eyes when he pulled a “giant” tomato from his garden.
Measuring 13cm in length and 8.5cm in height, it was the biggest one he has ever seen.
Carl said that says a lot, considering he has seen many tomatoes having worked as a chef for more than 20 years.
“It’s quite special and I am proud of it,” he said.
“It’s the biggest one I have ever grown and ever seen, it’s beautiful.
“I had another that was similar size and it was sweet and juicy and you only needed one slice per sandwich.”
Carl said he was surprised by his success, with the seeds more than two years old.
“I grew tomatoes in St Arnaud and they grew quite big so I kept some of the seeds – it has now been about two and a half years since I dried them,” he said.
“I then planted them in September and never expected to get a strike from such old seeds.
“I planted 40 and got 38 strikes, I was shocked to grow such a large one.”
Carl has pinpointed his success to his special “food” and spraying dynamic lifter on them when they were drying.
“I sprayed on the dynamic lifter and that’s why I think they have grown so big,” he said.
“I do have a special secret, which is my secret food and soil, and making sure to always water from the base and never the top.
“I spend about two hours in the garden each day and make sure I give them the secret food at night.”
Carl said his big tomato proves food can be grown anywhere, with his tomatoes grown in a “very small” backyard.
“If people think you can’t grow something in a small backyard then this just proves you can,” he said.
“I just love food, cooking, gardening – it’s very rewarding.”
There is still a possibility that Carl may grow an even bigger tomato this season, with a few more yet to be picked.
“They are meant to have stopped flowering by now but mine are still flowering – it just won’t stop producing.
“A lot of people had trouble this year with size and grubs but I haven’t had any problems.”
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