Heavy rain is mostly good for Southwest Virginia pumpkin growers, but it’s a careful balance between just enough and too much.
Sinkland Farms is just outside of Christiansburg in Montgomery County. Here you’ll find horses, turkeys, chickens, but their biggest seller is pumpkins.
“In this field we have 7 different types of pumpkins planted,” said owner Susan Sink.
They have 10 acres of pumpkins. Some are ready to go, and others still getting there thanks to Mother Nature.
“I would say I do not remember a rainier season,” she said.
Spring, summer, and now early fall rain has both good and some bad effects on pumpkins. The good: well, it’s no surprise, means bigger pumpkins.
“The majority of pumpkins here weigh 20 plus pounds. We have a great many that weigh 30 to 40 pounds. Our giant pumpkins can weigh up to 200 to 300 pounds,” said Sink.
But as with any crop, too much rain is a bad thing.
“You will find the pumpkins grow very, very fast, and actually begin to rot in the fields,” she said.
But that hasn’t been a big problem for Sinkland. They grow their pumpkins on a hillside to make sure they don’t sit in water.
“Now we need sun so all these pumpkins will turn orange and be ready for Halloween on October 31st,” she explained.
Despite the minor impacts heavy rain can have on pumpkins, Sink says she’ll have around 15,000 pumpkins for people to come and pick off the vine.
Sink gave us a little inside tip on picking the best pumpkin. She says you should look for a long, green stem because that means your pumpkin will stay fresh longer.