It took special seeds, plenty of attention and a pair of tights.
But Douglas Smith’s efforts paid off when he broke the record to grow Britain’s biggest tomato.
The 6lb 14oz monster, with a circumference of almost 28in, was produced by fusing six beef steak tomato plants.
In the final stages of its growth it was so heavy that Mr Smith, 42, had to support it on its stem with a sling crafted from ladies’ tights.
‘This has been an ambition of mine for a couple of years,’ said the product manager from Stanstead Abbotts, Hertfordshire.
His last crack at the record was seen off by title holder Peter Glazebrook, whose prize specimen last year weighed 6lb 7oz. ‘This time I’ve finally edged it,’ said Mr Smith, who has a four-year-old son Stellan.
He added that his tomato was all the more ‘amazing’ for having been grown in a pot.
It was nurtured from seeds from a variety known as Big Zac, obtained from US tomato grower Larry Hill in Minnesota, who grew a plant yielding a 7lb 8oz fruit. Mr Smith watered his tomato plant at least once a day for more than two months, using water mixed with liquid seaweed.
He is planning to send his tomato to a butcher to be made into tomato and basil sausages.
Mr Smith also hit the headlines last month when he grew a 20ft sunflower taller than his house.