Despite dry summer, pumpkin crop 'decent'

Sunday, October 14, 2012

SIKESTON, Mo. -- Summer's severe drought mixed with the heat might not have created the largest pumpkins this fall, but there are still plenty to go around.

"We've got nice pumpkins but they're not as big," said Kevin Johns, who owns Cates Orchard in Dudley with his wife, Janet Cates Johns. "We've had a decent crop -- not as good as crop as in years past, though."

Part of the reason for that was the dryness from the summer's severe drought, Johns said. The pumpkins didn't get a good stand, he added.

"The heat made blooms fall off," Johns said.

It also seemed as though there was a lot of bug pressure from insects, Johns said, adding it may have been because of the mild winter.

"We also have birdhouse gourds and swan gourds, and they've done really good this year," Johns said.

Customers are ready to decorate their lawns and eat the fall fruits and vegetables, Johns said.

"We've been really busy,"he said.

The variety of pumpkins grown by Cates Orchard include Houdini, Atlanta Giants, full moon (white) and cow (or cooking).

Causey Nursery in Sikeston doesn't grow its own pumpkins; the nursery gets its pumpkins from a Missouri supplier, owner Valerie Causey said.

Causey said she's also been selling a mum-pumpkin combination decoration.

"We've been cutting the pumpkins out and sticking mums in them," Causey said, adding the pumpkin serves as a pot or vase for the mums.

Both Causey and Johns said they expect even more people to get their pumpkins during the next week or so.

"The children are really getting into with it getting cooler," Causey said. "Everybody is ready for fall."

Pertinent address:

Sikeston, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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