TYRO, Va. -

Halloween is still six weeks away, but a Nelson County man is getting ready in a big way.

William Layton has grown what he thinks is the largest pumpkin in state history.  It hasn't been officially measured yet, but Layton believes it weighs more than 1,200 pounds.

It was raised above the ground, using a special blend of compost material.  The special growing technique helped the pumpkin survive an unusually rainy summer and other challenges.

"I broke the stem off of it and did some other things that would normally kill it, but it just kept growing," Layton said Monday.  "That's why I named the pumpkin 'lucky'."

Layton will take "lucky" to the Virginia State Fair later this month for an official measurement.

The previous state record was set by Layton himself in 2007, with a pumpkin weighing 1,138 pounds.