A Great Pumpkin is a Family Affair

A father and son are the newest members of Gandy's Garden Army for the big pumpkins in their garden. News19's Deon Guillory introduces us to them.

Lexington, SC (WLTX) -- Summer is not over yet, but some are looking forward to fall.

In this week's Gandy's Garden of the Week, A Lexington father and son make their love for Halloween a giant family affair.

"We thought it would be cool to grow big pumpkins," said Gavin Hartman.

7-year-old Gavin Hartman and his dad Adam have a love for gardening. Their specialty - pumpkins, great, big pumpkins.

Gavin Hartman said, "We didn't know they were gonna grow like this. So, we just started experiment and this is what happened."

Adam Hartman said, "This one is about 515 pounds and the orange one over there is about 525."

Adam Hartman says he's been growing pumpkins for six years and this is the biggest they've ever grown.
He says he starts growing them inside in the last week of April and tries to get them in the ground a week later.

"The plant grows a certain direction, so, if you just randomly throw a seed in the ground, you wouldn't know which way the plant is gonna grow. So if you start it indoors, you'll know which way the first leaf is gonna go so you can plant it according to that direction," Adam Hartman said.

Hartman says the July heatwave really took a toll on the plants.

"I've got this 30 percent shade netting over the entire structure here. I've got misters that go off every seven minutes from 11 to 5:30. You do everything you can to combat the heat," said Hartman.

So far it's working. With three great pumpkins, he says each grows 20 pounds a day.

News 19's Deon Guillory asked, "What got you into gardening?"
Adam Hartman replied, "We just love Halloween."

Gavin Hartman added, "We just like to make stuff and make big Halloween props and we like to have big parties out here."

But before that, they hope to make a way off in North Carolina at the end of September.
Until then, they will spend more time together making sure their pumpkins get even bigger as the newest members of Gandy's Garden Army.

The Hartman's hope to take their great pumpkins to the South Carolina State Fair in October.
They hope the pumpkins last that long once they are taken out of the ground for that September weigh in. 

(© 2016 WLTX)


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