Pumpkin seasons begins in West Tennessee

HARDEMAN COUNTY, Tenn. — With the first day of fall passing last week, many pumpkin patches are opening their doors to the public.

“So far so good. We just opened up our doors on Saturday, so we’ve had a couple of days under our belt,” said Bart Gilmer, owner and manager of Falcon Ridge Farms.

But crop totals may be a little smaller than usual.

“This year has been a little bit strange. I think all of the excess rain has had a bit of an effect on them,” Gilmer said.

While many farms begin planting in June, the rainy and humid weather may have some negative effects on the crops.

“The rain brings in things like downy mildew, powdery mildew, and diseases that pumpkins get,” Gilmer said.

While it isn’t uncommon for these mildews and diseases to arrive, it was the timing that hurt.

“It’s something that they get every year, but it got in here earlier this year with all the rain, so that affected them,” Gilmer said.

However, there are still plenty of pumpkins to go around, with lots of options.

“One of my favorites are, there’s one called Knucklehead that is shaped like a jack-o-lanterns, but has little warts all over it,” Gilmer said.

Different weather conditions during growing season can lead to different pumpkin variations, due to how weather-sensitive the crop is.

“Pumpkins are my favorite thing that we grow because you can go out there every year and you’re going to see something different,” Gilmer said.

So go grab your pumpkins while they’re still in season. There’s a variety to choose from.

Falcon Ridge Farms says they won’t be raising prices this year and will be open until Oct. 31.

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