Amazing Video

By James Somper

A young gardener says that the secret to his giant leeks, onions, and tomatoes is stroking and talking to them.

Gardening nut Chris Evans, 21, loves nothing more than spending time at Wednesbury allotment, which is just yards from home.

Pic by Michael Scott/Caters News: Chris Evans, 21 from Wednesbury with a 7lb onion.

Chris, who is a full-time carer to his sick parents has had a lifelong passion for gardening and says that it gives him the peace and quiet that he needs.

He’s won awards for his giant veg – setting the British record for a supersize tomato at 6lb 2oz and has also grown giant onions, leeks and marrows.

He grows giant leeks the size of a small child and onions the size of footballs.

Chris said: “I’ve been gardening since I was a kid. When I was six I grew sunflowers and onions and I was hooked from then.

“My grandad still has an allotment and he’s 87. Gardening has always been in the family.”

Pic by Michael Scott/Caters News: Chris Evans, 21 from Wednesbury holds a standard sized marrow against a giant one that needs to be transported via wheelbarrow.

Even as a schoolboy, Chris’s passion for veg was so strong that he had an allotment patch at school.

“I had a greenhouse and polytunnel at school so when I wasn’t in lessons I did that.

I’ve always had green fingers. Some people think it’s great but others take the micky, you know how it is 

“I like seeing something growing from a small seed to something huge. It’s remarkable.”

Chris says that he has a special technique to help the growth of his giant veg.

“I stroke the leeks to make them look presentable. If you leave they get stiff and crack and split. I also do it to calm them. It’s like straightening a girl’s hair. 

Pic by Michael Scott/Caters News: Chris Evans, 21 from Wednesbury looks through the leaves of his giant leeks.

“I usually play music too while I potter around them. I talk to them sometimes as well. I usually tell them to grow and that I want them to a be a decent size. I refer them as my ‘babies’. Sometimes I walk in and say ‘come on my babies’.

“There are more downsides in gardening than achievements so when you do get an achievement it’s amazing. TV makes it look easy but isn’t. You get in what you put out.”

Chris first got an allotment when he was 18 and has been busy growing his giant veg ever since.

“I set the baby leeks in September and then all the way until April but then I plant them into my poly tunnel providing that the weather is right.”

Chris estimates that the cost of his hobby is a cheap £100 a year with £50 a year for the allotment and £50 a year for the seeds.

Pic by Michael Scott/Caters News: Chris Evans, 21 from Wednesbury with a massive beef tomato next to a standard sized one.

A full-time carer for his sick parents and suffering a debilitating eye condition of his own, Chris said his beloved allotment patch gives him the peace and quiet that he needs.

“It’s my time away, I’m in my own little world.

“It’s peaceful, it’s relaxing, it lets you zone out and enjoy yourself. 

“Sometimes I can just sit here and watch nature go by. 

“I only get a couple of hours to myself so the vegetables let me wind down. It’s just me and no one else,” he said.

Chris is concerned that his eye condition, glaucoma, could hinder his ability to tend to his beloved veggies.

Pic by Michael Scott/Caters News: Radio helped to grow Chris Evans giant onions.

“My concern is that my sight will inhibit my gardening as I get older. 

“I should have this condition in my 50s, not now.

“If I’m sat at home I can’t see  the words on the TV. If I’ve got my glasses I’m fine,” he said.

“Sometimes I get thumping headaches and feel like my head is under terrible pressure.”

Chris is competing at this year’s Malvern Three Counties show where he has previously wowed judges but says that the recent hot weather over June and July has impacted his veggies.

He said: “I’ve had a poor year this year, the weather has caused a lot of problems to everyone.”

Pic by Michael Scott/Caters News: Chris Evans, 21 from Wednesbury with some of his prizes from previous shows.

Offering advice to would-be-gardeners, Chris said: 

“Always use top quality soil, I use peat based compost and good quality fertiliser and horse manure.

“Never give up. If you give up it’s not for you. Enjoy it as well”.