Steve Reiners, professor of horticulture at Cornell University and a New York state vegetable industry expert, says the 2019 season has some of the best quality pumpkins he’s ever seen.
“The 2019 growing season started cool and rainy but a warmer, dryer summer ensured that New York growers will have plenty of pumpkins this year. Our yields are about average, but the quality of the pumpkins is about the best I have ever seen. I’ve also noticed that we’re seeing many more odd and unique gourds being grown this year, with some farms having upwards of 50 different kinds. It’s a lot of fun to see the variety.
“When choosing your pumpkin, look for one with a sturdy, hard stem with no soft spots on the fruit. You can buy ones that still show a little green as they will continue to ripen on your porch. A good pumpkin bought today should easily last until Halloween, if not Thanksgiving.
“Many people are not aware that New York grows more jack-o-lantern type pumpkins than any state in the country. If you plan to cut them for jack-o-lanterns, wait until a few days before Halloween. Once you carve them, they will only last about seven days.”