897-pound pumpkin sets S.C. record

As they hoped, a Lexington, S.C., couple's giant backyard pumpkin has set a state record for weight.

Frank and Tina Finders' pampered pumpkin weighed in Friday at 897 pounds, beating the previous best of 737 pounds.

“I was hoping for 1,000, but 900 pounds is awesome,” Frank Finders said.

The newlyweds – who have matching tattoos of a flowering pumpkin vine on their shoulders – had been waiting for this moment for nearly four months, keeping their pumpkin moist and shady.

Two plastic owls scared curious crows from their garden.

“You ever seen something that big?” Tina Finders said, grinning.

The two planted their garden April 7, using seeds with a pedigree.

Frank Finders said they didn't use chemical fertilizers but probably invested $500 to $700 in cow manure, compost, seaweed and calcium, among other things.

At the height of the growing season, the pumpkin was putting on 60 pounds a night. It was practically growing before their eyes.

Tuesday, it stopped.

With the tape measure registering 186 inches around, Finders realized their “obsession” was as big as it was going to get. So, on Thursday night, they hoisted the behemoth onto a rented trailer and drove to Columbia.

“Why do this?” Frank Finders pondered Friday, as if it were a silly question. “Once you start, you can't stop.

“Once you've got one growing, you want it bigger and bigger and bigger.”