Pumpkin growth slowed due to summer weather

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – This fall season, you may see a larger variation of pumpkin colors and sizes.

Many pumpkin patches across Wichita have experienced some difficulty with pumpkin growth due to heavy rain in early summer and warmer temperatures in early fall.

The rain in June caused some Wichita pumpkin patches to flood and even damaged several pumpkins forcing the owners to replant.

“The rain just caused a lot of compaction in the soil, and when it did dry out, the ground was so hard that it was hard to get a good stand of pumpkins, and we had to replant three times,” said Carroll Walter, owner of Walter’s Pumpkin Patch. “So normally, we try to have them in the ground by June 10th, this year the last time we planted was July 12th.”

The farmers said they are experiencing a decrease in the amount of pumpkins that are available for customers since they lost a month’s worth of pumpkin growth.

One newly opened pumpkin patch owner says she had a rough start, losing 25% of her pumpkins because of the rain. Now, the warmer temperatures are causing another set of problems.

“We finally were able to plant our pumpkins and because we had so much rain, what we have to deal with now is all the weeds,” said Kara Smith, co-owner of Cedar Creek Farm & Pumpkin Patch. “They took over, we have seven acres, and we had to hand weed all of them. We would come out, put our head lamps on, and work till 2 o’clock in the morning getting these weeds because we’re so green to all of this so we’re really on a learning curve, so it was very difficult.”

The farmers say they were noticing the pumpkins were having a hard time finishing out their growth because the weather has been so warm.

“So they should be putting on, some varieties could put on two to four pounds a day and they should be 75-100 pound pumpkins, whereas, the biggest ones we have are probably 50 right now, 55,” said Smith.

Both farmers have seen quite a bit of their green pumpkins turning orange over the last few weeks, but they still have several green pumpkins that they are hoping will turn orange in the coming weeks.

LOCAL PUMPKIN PATCHES:Hours Of Operation:
Walters’ Pumpkin PatchMon-Sat: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sun: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Cedar Creek Farm & Pumpkin PatchMon: Closed
Tues-Thur: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Fri – Sun: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Klausmeyer Dairy Farm & Pumpkin Patch Mon-Fri: Closed
Sat-Sun: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Applejack Pumpkin Patch Mon: Closed
Tues-Fri: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sat: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sun: noon – 6 p.m.
Meadowlark Farm Orchard & CideryMon-Tues: Closed
Wed-Sat: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun: noon – 5 p.m.

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