QC pumpkin crop doing well despite summer’s dry weather

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 10:32 AM CDT
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LONG GROVE, Iowa (KWQC) - The drought conditions in eastern Iowa and western Illinois this summer haven’t had much of a negative impact on the pumpkin crop.

“Every crop needs water to grow. Pumpkins have a more unique system to produce, based on how their stems and roots grow.”

Pat Dierickx is the co-owner of Pride of the Wapsi, and has been growing pumpkins for two decades.

The seeds for the fall and Halloween staple are planted in spring, usually during late May or early June. This year, Dierickx has about 12 acres of field covered in pumpkins.

“Pumpkins in an ideal situation grow very well in a more dry, arid region, because that minimizes the amount of disease that can affect the crop,” said Dierickx.

Like with any plant, water is needed to sustain life, but the drought conditions this summer have been anything but detrimental.

“Ideally, I would have gotten a few more showers in August than we got. That helps grow the pumpkins. But these rains that we’re getting from last week, looks like though this week, are going to help. Pumpkins are going to continue to grow and develop until we have a frost,” said Dierickx.

While there are plenty of pumpkins ready for picking, there are still some green and yellow gourds that need to mature.

Dierickx is confident they will be primed for picking by early October.

“Minimal leaf tissue diseases, minimal stem diseases, minimal bugs. And it’s really, we couldn’t as for better weather for these to grow and produce. The crop, health wise, looks fantastic.”

For more information on Pride of the Wapsi’s hours of operation, and the many family-fun activities to do, click here to go to their wesbite.