Picture of Medwyn Williams

Medwyn Williams

Hello. I'm Medwyn Williams – eleven times Gold medal winner at the Chelsea Flower Show, Past Chairman of the Royal Horticultural Society Fruit Vegetable and Herb Committee and President of the National Vegetable Society.

Peter Glazebrook Onions


The exceptionally mild Winter we have experienced seems to be suiting Peter Glazebrook as his onions seem to be doing really well. These photos were taken on the 31st March with the onions on 16 green leaves which means that the youngest leaf is number 20, over halfway through leaf production already as he has never had more than 37 leaves.  Peter is of the opinion that increasing leaf production may be the way to growing a larger onion but getting the onion plant to perform that way could be the key to ever increasing onion weight. In July Peters new leaf growth just slows to nothing.


He is again trying to grow the world’s heaviest Cauliflower, he tried last year seriously for the first time but in the end the flower was not sound so the judges were unable to accept it. This year he is growing 3 more in his small tunnel. As the weather has been considerably milder, he certainly has more leaf count than last year so another record could be on the way.  The cauliflower could be ready at the end of April, when the weight to beat is over 54lbs!  this record has stood since 1999. Peter grows a winter variety called Darwin and the plants were given to him last August by a commercial grower.Peter Glazebrook Giant Cauliflower planted during August 2013 3103 Peter Glazebrook on 16 leaves 1 Peter Glazebrook onions on 16 leaves


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6 thoughts on “Peter Glazebrook Onions

  1. Presumably Peter would have to get Guinness to verify any potential cauli record as there wouldn’t be a show he could enter it into in April/May?

    Looks like Harrogate could see the onion record stretched yet again then? Amazing to think that in the 1980’s the record was about 5 or 6 lbs I believe?

    1. Not sure how the World Record for the Cauliflower will be judged, perhaps Peter, if he reads this blog, can enlighten us. It really is quite phenomenal what he has achieved over the years with these large onions, even when he hasn’t broken the World Record, he has always been at the very top of his game. Talking to Peter last week he was saying that he couldn’t have had a much better Winter or Spring with hardly any frost and a fair bit of sunshine so far. He was however very cautious as there is still a long way to go!

  2. The Guinness World Records website sets out their very strict criteria for attempting a record, if they agree that the record attempt can be made they will advise if a current record exists with details. They provide 14 or 15 pages of their criteria/evidence requirements and ask for notification of the attempt date. For the Cauliflower, leaves have to be trimmed to the curd, with stalk/root cut as close to the bottom leaf as practical, you can see that it does not leave a lot of plant to weigh. The attempt has to be witnessed by two NVS judges and various paper work completed. They also require photos and ideally video evidence. Everything has to be done via the internet.
    The process is free if you are prepared to wait a min of 12 weeks, I only received my certificate for the Longest Parsnip last week after presenting it in the Malvern Autumn show class. You can agree to pay I think £450 to have the claim fast tracked in a week and you can pay to have one of their representatives witness the attempt at a cost? These options are outside the normal veg. grower.

  3. hello, what compost do you use, method etc on growing onion,s of that size

    1. You definitely need the right selection of onion seed to get to that size. The seed is started as early as late October using heating and artificial lighting in the greenhouse. The plants are potted up before being planted into their final position. Peter Glazebrook, the current World Record holder uses a mix of 50/50 Humax John Innes N02 and John Innes N03. After all that you will also need a lot of skill as well as a little bit of luck.

  4. I bought my husband Julian some of Peters onion seed for Christmas. His dad David was one of those men chasing the 6 lb onion back in the day. Just wanted to let Peter know Julian was delighted with the 8 lb onion he picked today. His dad would have been proud.. Will you be selling them again this year?
    Thank you

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