Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Eye-popping 1,600-pound pumpkin on display in Dunedin yard

Tristen Liggett, 13, and his father, Dan Liggett, 41, show off the 1,633-pound pumpkin they are displaying in their front yard in Dunedin for Halloween. Dan’s parents, Bob and Jo Liggett, grew the pumpkin at their Ohio home before it was transported to Florida. Story, 7B

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Tristen Liggett, 13, and his father, Dan Liggett, 41, show off the 1,633-pound pumpkin they are displaying in their front yard in Dunedin for Halloween. Dan’s parents, Bob and Jo Liggett, grew the pumpkin at their Ohio home before it was transported to Florida. Story, 7B

DUNEDIN — It weighs as much as five refrigerators and is almost as big as a Smart car. It took eight men to move it a few feet.

The object in question? A 1,633-pound Midwest-grown pumpkin that sits in Dan Liggett's front yard.

The pumpkin has been at Liggett's home, 1532 Santa Clara Drive, since Tuesday. Liggett, 41, drove eight hours to Dalton, Ga. — about 40 minutes outside of Chattanooga — and got the gourd from his parents, who grow large pumpkins as a hobby.

"A lot of people take pictures as you're driving," he said.

The giant pumpkin is rooted in tradition. Liggett's parents live in Circleville, Ohio, a city of 13,000 with an annual pumpkin festival that attracts hundreds of thousands of people.

"The whole town shuts down for four days," he said.

Liggett's parents, Bob and Jo, took second place in this year's pumpkin contest, bested by a pumpkin that weighed 1,666 pounds. The couple has grown pumpkins for more than 20 years.

Liggett said his parents start the growing process in April, relying on fertilizer and specialty seeds.

Liggett and his siblings take turns displaying the largest gourd from his parents' crop. Eventually, he said, his parents will stop growing the pumpkins, which is one reason he wanted it in Dunedin both last year and this year.

Jane Morse, a horticultural extension agent with the University of Florida and Pinellas County Extension, confirmed that Liggett's pumpkin is a standout.

"Wow! That's pretty awesome," she said after hearing the pumpkin's weight. "That is quite a whopper."

Morse said it takes a lot of patience to grow large pumpkins.

"I don't think many people would even try," she said. "It takes some know-how."

And disposing of the pumpkin isn't easy.

The pumpkin sits in his yard, and if he leaves it in Florida's heat for more than a few days, it'll start to form mold inside.

Liggett thinks he'll keep it whole until Tuesday and use a chain saw to cut through the pumpkin's walls, which he estimates are at least 9 inches thick.

Then, he'll collect all of the seeds to mail back to his father for next year's pumpkin crop.

Last step? He fills up his own trash can and several others with the fruit's flesh.

Last year, it took 11 trash cans.

"I basically used all my neighbors that I could," he said.

Until then, the pumpkin will be in the Liggett family's front yard. Last year, hundreds of trick-or-treaters swarmed the house on Halloween.

Liggett welcomes the chaos.

"It's the ability to share something most people haven't seen," he said. "It's just fun."

Contact Ayana Stewart at astewart@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4153. Follow @AyanaStewart.

Eye-popping 1,600-pound pumpkin on display in Dunedin yard 10/30/15 [Last modified: Friday, October 30, 2015 10:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  2. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  3. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  4. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  5. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)

    Airlines

    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]