ST. LOUIS – Whether you use them for carving or cooking, pumpkins are the symbol of fall. Did a summer full of drought, heat, and floods impact the upcoming harvest?

At Thies Farm and Greenhouses on Hanley Road, they are about one month away from pick-your-own pumpkins.  

“We plant a bit of a later crop, so we still have a lot of green pumpkins,” said Dave Thies, co-owner of Thies Farm and Greenhouses.

Thies said his crop looks good, but it’s not the case for others.

“I’ve talked to several growers in the Midwest and it ranges from totally lost to the flooding to having one of the best crops they’ve ever seen,” he said.

Thies said the heat and drought early in the summer may have not impacted the crop as much, but it was still early in the growing season.

“Pumpkins actually like it a little bit on the dry side and they do like warm weather,” he said. “So, in a lot of ways, I don’t think this summer was too bad for pumpkins.”

However, July’s heavy rains are a different story. It has farmers like Thies worried about the crops rotting.

“We’ve put a fair amount of fungicide preventative on ours to make sure,” Thies said. “But when you have that much rain and that much heat and humidity, you’re bound to have fungal problems.”

The extreme heat limits the action of pollinators which can lead to a smaller harvest. It may lead you to find larger pumpkins when it’s time to pick your own.

“What you lose in number of pumpkins, you might gain in size,” Thies said.

If you are feeling fall, Thies Farm will start pick-your-own apples this weekend with the favorite Honeycrisp variety. Fall is also a great time to plant and Thies has plenty of perennials and chrysanthemums for sale.