With temperatures rising above 80 degrees, this week’s unusually warm weather in Southwest Virginia has not taken a toll on the pumpkin patch, farmers say.
“We’ve had an exceptionally good season with just about the [right] amount of rain followed by some great sunshine,” said Susan Sink, owner of Sinkland Farms in Christiansburg.
Warm weather does not have a negative impact on pumpkins, Sink said. Since pumpkins are largely made of water, she explained, gray skies and rain is the worst kind of weather for them.
“That brings on a lot of fungus and other diseases that really affect the longevity of the pumpkin,” Sink said.
The sunny weather has also helped vines grow in the pumpkin patch, which can help protect the pumpkins from problems like sunburn, Sink said.
“Believe it or not, pumpkins get sunburn as well as humans,” she said. “And so some of the skin you see, the outer skin, may turn brown.”
Other vegetation on the farm is thriving more than usual for this time of year, Sink said. The lack of frost so far this season has extended the life of this year’s corn maze, she added.
“All of the vegetation here, particularly the corn maze, and the grounds are still thriving and green,” Sink said.
Sinkland Farms is open for two more weekends this season, Sink said. The farm is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m., she added.