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Dustin Trychta: the man behind the gourd


The Daily Athenaeum

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Many WVU students have unique talents, but only one student is know for his pumpkin growing skills.

Dustin Trychta, a junior horticulture student, is known throughout the state as the man who grew “Pebbles” the giant pumpkin. What many people may not know though is all the hard effort and work that goes into growing these giant vegetables.

Trychtas current growing season began on April 10, 2017. In order to be able to plant prior to the last frost he constructed temporary greenhouses using pvc pipes and soil warming cables.

When he harvests his largest pumpkin this season it will be 113 days old, thanks to these greenhouses.

Besides his giant pumpkins, Trychta takes great pride in growing just about everything that he can get his hands on. Some of the other large plants that he has grown this season include a 38.6 pound cantaloupe, 10.77 pound cucumber, a couple 60 pound watermelons and a 2.5 pound carrot.

Not only are Trychta’s giant vegetables fun to look at but they also are competitive.

“Once the seeds are in the soil, it’s no holds barred until the prize money is handed out. Some sites have $5,000 plus awarded to the heaviest pumpkin, so every pound counts,” Trychta said.

Trytcha’s favorite part about growing giant vegetables is the harvest season, which stretches from finals in the spring semester thru midterms in the fall semester. While it is his favorite, he also said it is extremely demanding and takes up most of his free time, including his summers.

His largest Pumpkin will be on display in front of the Mountainlair from Oct. 15 thru Oct. 26 when he will perform a live seed harvest for National Pumpkin Day.

Trychta will also be demonstrating his talents at the Inaugural Pumpkin Regatta taking place from 11 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 at Hazel Ruby McQuain Park. The event invites teams to take part in a new competition in celebration of WVU’s 70th annual Mountaineer Week.

Participants in the event will race by rowing themselves through the water in giant pumpkins. Teams participating in the inaugural event include WVU Men’s Rowing Club,WVU Veterans Club, teachers from North Elementary School and WVU Horticulture Club, with which Trychta will participate.

For more information on the Inaugural Pumpkin Regatta, and Mountaineer Week, please visit

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