By Bill Roth
Anchorage Daily News

Palmer, Alaska (AP) – Dale Marshall of Anchorage broke his previous state record by nearly 600 pounds when the pumpkin he entered this year tipped the scale at 2,051 pounds during the Alaska State Fair weigh-off Tuesday.

“It was mind blowing,” Marshall said.

“I wasn’t even thinking 2,000 pounds. I thought it would weigh between 1,700 and 1,900 pounds using the tape measure method. In pumpkin growing land around the world that is an elite club to grow 2,000. Nobody has grown a pumpkin this size this far north in the world.”

Marshall said he thought weather was a big factor this year. “With all the sunny days I got plenty of heat in the greenhouse. The pumpkin is 89 days old. Nothing happens the first days. In 79 days, it grew to 2,051 pounds. That’s an average of 25 pounds per day. It grew 50 pounds a day in parts of July. Marshall said growing the pumpkin required at least 75 gallons of water a day, and as much as a couple hundred gallons a day.

“I still can’t believe it,” Marshall added.