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Breaking down the fall pumpkin outlook in North Carolina

Some 4,000 acres of pumpkins will be harvested in 2022 from the North Carolina mountains.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Pumpkin season is here and, thanks to ideal weather conditions, you may have an easy time finding your favorite jack-o-lantern.

It may come as a surprise to know North Carolina ranks in the top five states for pumpkin production across the nation.

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Some 4,000 acres of pumpkins will be harvested in 2022 from the North Carolina mountains, which give North Carolinians access to a wide variety of high-quality pumpkins according to Ashe County Extension Director Travis Birdsell. 

 🌩️ If you like weather, watch Brad Panovich and the WCNC Charlotte Weather Team on their YouTube channel, Weather IQ. 🎥

He said pumpkins are being shipped from the mountains and will soon stock bins in local stores and markets.  

Credit: Upper Mountain Research Station
Harvesting pumpkins - Ashe County

Despite some challenges with the weather, there will be a great supply of pumpkins this fall.

Here’s a breakdown of the advantages versus disadvantages of the weather:

Advantages of the weather

  • Moderate rainfall in July
  • Highs in the 80s and upper 60s overnight

Disadvantages of the weather

  • Dry spell in June
  • Too much rain in August

Growing pumpkins from the first seed in the ground during the late spring comes at the mercy of Mother Nature. Bugs become problematic during a dry spell, and wetter conditions can lead to diseases such as fungus coupled with warm temperatures.

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The challenge during the growing season is to find the perfect balance of wet versus dry days.

You’re encouraged to start shopping for specialty pumpkins in late September for decorating since a high demand for the heirlooms could be in short supply.

Contact KJ Jacobs at kjacobs3@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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