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Good grief, that’s a great — 1,734-pound — pumpkin

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PHOTO: WNEM

Holly, MI– Mark Clementz cultivated a 1,734-pound pumpkin this year.

“Two years in a row now, I’m state champ,” Clementz said.

The Holly resident said the pumpkin you see pictured on his truck is the mother of this year’s behemoth.

“Last year, I grew a 1,947 pound. It’s the Michigan state record. This pumpkin here is a sister to that pumpkin,” Clementz said in an interview with WNEM.

He has a couple of secrets he shared as to how he turns out the giant gourds.

One is that he makes sure they grow under sheltered netting held up by supports to keep the bugs away.

The other secret: “I have obtained some of the best seeds in the world and I’ve cross pollinated them myself,” Clementz said.

While Clementz’s has the largest pumpkin grown in Michigan this year, it wasn’t the largest grown in the United States. That honor goes to one grown in Rhode Island.

Clementz has some special help at his pumpkin patch operation, his grandson Jackson. They won $5,000 growing this year’s champ. But what to do with all that cash?

“Buy fertilizer for the pumpkins…to grow bigger and bigger,” Clementz said.

It’s a wise investment. But there is some sentimental value assigned to his pumpkins.

“This year, I had a contest on the internet to name this pumpkin, this 1,734, which is a sister to Tiny Schwarzenegger. And the contest winner, he came up with the name ‘TinyGotBack-inator,'” Clementz said.