BARNESVILLE, Oh. (WTRF) — Pumpkin growers across the area are pumped up for the annual Barnesville Pumpkin Festival and say they’re more than ready for Wednesday’s weigh-in at the heart of the village.
They’re hoping that the fruit, they’ve been growing for that past few months, will be crowned the biggest pumpkin of them all.
So what’s it really like to grow a giant pumpkin, like Wheatie?
The Stephens Family in Barnesville will tell you it take some fans, fertilizer and a whole lotta love.
Fans are used to prevent moisture and things that just get soggy and get bad you just want to keep them dry the best you can. Fertilizer just like we need food to survive that’s the plant’s food itself everything that they get will come from that and other things around that we’ve thrown on other than fertilizer.Daniel Stephens Jr., grows gigantic pumpkins
Bugs like that get used to it. It is like a cockroach. You need to spray them religiously every seven days.Daniel Stephens Sr., grows gigantic pumpkins
Just like an infant cries in the night and needs taken care of. Sometimes we have to come out here and check it throughout the night and in the mornings sometimes we’re out here 9 to 10 hours a day just to make sure the plant will make it in the pumpkin.Daniel Stephens Jr., grows gigantic pumpkins
It gets frustrating at times, but here in a few days it will pay off.Daniel Stephens Sr., grows gigantic pumpkins
The hot weather and abundance of rain this summer made the weeds impossible at times for pumpkin growers trying to perfect the giant pumpkin.
Dan Stephens Sr. and his son Daniel say they lost a gigantic gourd in their pumpkin patch, but this father and son duo credit those same weeds that grew from all of the rain one of the reasons why Wheatie survived.
So, because of the weeds itself and because it still got as big as it did we named it Wheaties because it ate its Wheaties technically.Daniel Stephens Jr./ grows gigantic pumpkins
Dan Senior says although he won’t share his entire pumpkin secret recipe on how to grow a giant pumpkin, he will divulge some of his secret ingredients.
Slight hillside and sandy loomy ground, I’m telling you the best thing to do is get your ground checked is all I can tell you.Daniel Stephens Sr., grows gigantic pumpkin
They say to get that ginormous pumpkin a grower must look at the family tree or phylogenies as it is referred to in the pumpkin world.
So you compare the phylogenies of multiple seeds and select which ones you like the best and then take your chances. Just like all living things Things need to come together to procreate and just the same plants need to do as well there is a male and female flower that needs to be pollinated to get your pumpkin.Daniel Stephens Jr., grows gigantic pumpkin
I don’t know how to explain it. Everybody told me when I started it if you win or get up there close it’s like an addiction. To tell you the truth, that’s all you think about. It’s really strange.
Daniel Stephens Sr., grows gigantic pumpkin