Wet summer may impact pumpkin prowess this fall

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KPLR) - It was a perfect weekend for apple picking at Eckert’s in Belleville, IL.  However, the pumpkins still have a little ways to go.

The cloudy and wet summer weather experienced across Illinois this year was not ideal for pumpkin growing in the nation’s largest pumpkin growing state.

However, at Eckert’s, the news is much better.  While they did receive a lot of rain, it was well-timed and with decent intervals of dry weather between to allow for proper germination.

According to Chris Eckert, September weather is just as if not more important to the ultimate quality and size of this year’s crop.  “September is critical because pumpkins do most their growing in September.  That’s when they really size up.  To get that size they suck a lot of water out of the ground.  So if we have a dry September that can be really damaging to the overall size of the pumpkins,” says Eckert.

Eckert says the quality this year is quite good thanks to some well-timed rain in early September.

The price of pumpkins has not changed at Eckert’s in five years.  They are still selling for 49 cents per pound.  Between September 28th and October 4th, they will have a special half-price pick your own pumpkins.