Skip to main content

Tip Sheets

NYS growers have large, early crop: Pick your perfect pumpkin now

Media Contact

Lindsey Hadlock

Due to the ideal growing conditions in New York state, the pumpkin crop is early this year and consumers should act fast when picking says Steve Reiners, professor of horticulture at Cornell University and a New York state vegetable industry expert. Reiners shares advice on how to pick the perfect pumpkin that should last through the Halloween season if left uncarved.


Stephen Reiners

Stephen Reiners

Professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science

“Warm temperatures and abundant sun have resulted in some crops like pumpkins arriving earlier at farm stands.

“People should not wait too long to purchase their pumpkin this year. Even though New York yields are fantastic, other states will be looking to purchase our pumpkins. In most of the Carolinas for example, much of the crop has rotted from water soaked fields.

“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. 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.”


Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.