Pumpkin Crops suffer this fall due to summer weather

If pumpkin picking is on your list this year, your local patch might look a little different.
Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 3:43 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s that time of year again when people start carving out some time for fall fun and festivities.

If pumpkin picking is on your list this year, your local patch might look a little different.

“We’ve got as many pumpkins count-wise. We don’t have quite the size,” Kevan Evans of Evans Orchard and Cider Mill said.

October is peak pumpkin picking season for folks, but thanks to slightly wetter and cooler conditions, certain species of pumpkins struggled to grow to their full potential.

“We’ve found that the pie pumpkins, the orange ones, we are short of. We have plenty of these white and tan ones and warty ones, so we have got more of those this year than we do orange. So we are having to scramble a little bit to find some more orange things to fill in our crop,” Evans said.

From June through August, Kentucky saw temps around two degrees below average for the state. On the other hand, rainfall totals were above average for the summer months here in the Commonwealth. Both of these anomalies can affect the pumpkin crops directly.

“Pumpkins are really disease-prone, so you have got to keep a fungicide on them, or you are going to have some weak-looking pumpkins,” said Evans. “Pumpkins can get that pale yellow-orange look to them.”

Unlike this summer, in the month of September, rain totals have been below average so far. With the lack of substantial rainfall in the Commonwealth, the crucial final stages of pumpkin growth are looking different.

“It’s gotten dry here, so it’s not really finishing them off the way we want them to. So it’s showing in our crop yield,” Evans said. ”We have just got to adapt so we can find out what grows. We may adjust our planting times and things like that to make sure everything works.”

But no matter what the pumpkin picking looks like, whatever you may find at your patch will be perfect for your next autumn adventure.