Monster Pumpkin Weighing 2,350-lbs is Crowned Largest Grown in North America

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A Minnesota grower drove his gigantic gourd all the way to California to capture first prize at the World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off with a whopping beauty weighing 2,350-pounds.

A Minnesota grower drove his gigantic gourd all the way to California to capture first prize at the World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off with a whopping beauty weighing 2,350-pounds.

The pumpkin was a mere 274 pounds shy of smashing the world record of 2,624 pounds, set in 2016 by Mathias Willemijns of Belgium at the Giant Pumpkin European Championship in Ludwigsburg, Germany.

Keys to growing giant pumpkins include superior seed lineage, treating with fertilizer every other day, constant moisture, and burying the vine in the soil to promote rooting.

The Star-Tribune reports that a single crack in the pumpkin during the cross-country drive would have disqualified him from the contest, but “Gienger fitted a trailer with a pallet, tarps and soil to keep Tiger King from bouncing around, and he watered it every time they stopped for gas.”

Due to the COVID pandemic, the event was live-streamed, and normally the winning pumpkin is sent to a botanical garden. That, too, was cancelled, but in a happy coincidence for the Minnesota winner, this year happens to be the 100th anniversary of Anoka’s Halloween celebration, so it will make a perfect celebrity as the legitimate Great Pumpkin.

The first championship weigh-off in Half Moon Bay was held in 1974 when the mayor challenged the citizens in Circleville, Ohio, to a competition because they proclaimed themselves the “Pumpkin Capital of the World”, a title they lost that year.