Will pumpkins make it to Halloween after heat wave? Here's how farmers are trying to help

Dustin Dorsey Image
Friday, September 9, 2022
Will pumpkins make it to Halloween after heat wave?
As the harvest season and Halloween approach, here's how farmers are helping pumpkins survive the heat.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- As the harvest season approaches, farmers are helping pumpkins survive the heat.

Just like us, pumpkins can get sunburned and essentially turn to mush if they are not taken care of properly.

But, despite the hot temperatures, the farmers at Spina Farms in San Jose say there should be no problem having pumpkins for your Halloween celebration.

It's hard to believe we are just under two months from Halloween, given this incredible heat wave we've been having.

Just like us, pumpkins aren't much of a fan of the hot weather, either.

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Across the region, extreme heat has tested many people who work outside, especially those who drive delivery trucks and working at farms.

"Pumpkins are different because it's sitting out there in the sun," B&T Farms Partner Gary Tognetta said. "It just melts it. Burns one side and then after a couple of weeks it will just deteriorate."

But Tognetta and the team at Spina Farms in South San Jose have been hard at work to make sure everyone gets their Jack-o-lanterns for Halloween.

Actually, the work to protect them from this heat actually started months ago.

"An old farmer told me, 'You've gotta build the house before you put the people in it,'" Tognetta said. "Meaning, build the plant frame. That's done early on in the growing stage. You get a lot of fertilizer and water."

Think of it like vines and leaves for grapes at a vineyard.

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The plant canopy for these pumpkins are the best way to keep them shaded and cool, even in this 100-plus-degree weather we have been having.

But, that still doesn't mean this heat doesn't take a toll.

The farm lost a fair amount of pumpkins last year due to the heat and lack of protection. This year is a different story.

"Without the plant coverage that we had this year, you could lose quite a few of them," Tognetta said. "But, here at Spina Farms we have great coverage of our plants and the pumpkins look amazing."

Ready to pick out, carve and have ready for Halloween night.

Spina Farms opens up at their new location on Santa Teresa Blvd. on Sept. 26, 2022.

Watch the latest AccuWeather forecast and take a look at recent weather stories and videos.