Pumpkin patches prepare for potential freeze

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With first freezing temperatures expected to come later this week we might end up with some frozen pumpkins.

OAKLAND, Neb (KCAU) – Halloween is still weeks away but one of the most important features of the fall holiday may be in danger. It wouldn’t be fall without carving a pumpkin and creating that perfect jack o’lantern. With first freezing temperatures expected to come later this week we might end up with some frozen pumpkins.

“I just think it’s an iconic thing. I think everybody loves pumpkins and everybody loves a pumpkin drink and a pumpkin bar. There is something about it,” said Terry Wallerstedt

Terry Wallerstedt is the owner of Harvest Moon Farm, where many people go to pick the perfect pumpkin each fall.

“I love this season because I just get to see so many people and we get so many families on the farm,” said Wallerstedt.

Several Siouxland farmers bring their pumpkins out to Harvest Moon Farm to sell each year. They said a big frost early in the season can hurt their crop.

“It actually freezes them. It does depend on how long it stays below freezing temperatures,” said Carol McCullock.

Carol McCullock and other farmers are making sure their pumpkins are off the vines and out of the field so they can be safely protected from the cold.

“It’s gonna hurt it, especially if we get three or four days right in a row,” said McCullock.

On or off the vine, once a pumpkin freezes, it begins to rot. It’s why many area pumpkin patches are already preparing.

“We cover them up with tarps. And then depending on how low the temperatures are going to dip, we will also cover that up with blankets,” said Wallerstedt.

If you have already bought your pumpkin and you’re worried about the freeze as long as you take it inside before Friday you will be okay.

“Don’t set pumpkins on concrete if you have concrete steps because concrete seems to make them rot faster,” said Wallerstedt.

Another useful tip is to spray or wipe the pumpkin with antiseptic and that will make sure bacteria doesn’t grow as fast making pumpkins last longer.

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