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A Grandfather’s Legacy: Alex Carr’s Giant Pumpkins Delight Community

A Grandfather’s Legacy: Alex Carr’s Giant Pumpkins Delight Community

When Alex Carr, Medical Technician, is not spending his time working with specimens in Mount Nittany Medical Center’s laboratory, he enjoys playing in the dirt with his dog Lizzy, and growing enormous pumpkins.

Growing up, Alex was inspired by his grandfather’s gorgeous garden. After his recent passing, Alex hated that the once thriving and lush piece of property looked so desolate, and he wanted to do something to make his late grandfather proud. He decided that he would grow pumpkins.

With the help of his father, Alex started the pumpkin planting process. In April, he wraps the seeds in wet paper towels so they sprout. “The key to success is starting with special seeds with good genes,” said Alex. “Once the seedling sprouts, I transfer it to a pot, and then plant it in the ground at the end of May.”

With lots of water, fertilizer, pruning, covering of the vine, shade, and love, pumpkins grow very quickly, and are typically ready to harvest at the end of September. “I love watching how fast the pumpkins grow,” said Alex. “Sometimes you can see them put on weight overnight! During their peak growth, they can gain up to 50lbs. in one day.”

In the past, Alex has entered his larger than life pumpkins in a local pumpkin weigh-off. This year, he made the decision to surprise his niece and nephew by taking the pumpkins to their house instead, and they were overjoyed when he dropped them off. Alex had to transport the pumpkins with a special pumpkin ring, and lift them with a large piece of equipment.

The largest pumpkin is named Bonnie and weighs an impressive 768lbs. The second largest is Clyde and weighs 643lbs. Nosey, the smallest weighs 414lbs. In total, Alex grew 1,800lbs. of pumpkins this year, which could make more than 500 pumpkin pies.

Alex said, “This year we hope to carve and display the pumpkins for everyone to enjoy!”