Will freeze hurt Halloween pumpkins at Young’s Dairy or your home?

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Weather Advisories could affect plants and crops

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The first frost and freeze alerts for the season will likely end the growing season, but don’t be too worried if you haven’t bought your pumpkin for Halloween yet.

The temperature will fall into low 30s by Thursday morning, Stormcenter 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said, which could cause a widespread frost and freeze in some areas. A freeze warning has been issued for Champaign and Clark counties.

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Young’s Jersey Dairy in Clark County had a bumper crop of pumpkins due to the good growing conditions in August and September. It still has hundreds of pumpkins on the property and out in the fields.

Farm Manager Stuart Young said he’s not too worried about them because the fruit can handle weather in the low 30s.

“The ground is going to protect the pumpkins out in the field,” Young said. “If it was going to be 26 or 27 (degrees) for several hours and we could actually freeze them, then I would be concerned.”

If it froze, it would create a ring around the top of a pumpkin, he said, and in the next five days the top would fall in.

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Young will take some precautions with pumpkins already picked, including some sitting on a wagon, covering them up because they don’t have the ground to keep them warm. Those pumpkins might have frost on them in the morning, he said, but that’s OK because it won’t damage them.

This season’s pumpkins are pretty thick, he said, and it will take a lot to freeze them all the way through.

“The weather conditions were just ideal for growing really big, heavy, thick, pumpkins,” Young said.

The dairy also grew several different crops this year, including alfalfa and corn.

“Tonight will put the alfalfa into dormancy, which is good,” Young said. “And the corn is done. A lot of corn has been harvested in the area.”

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The cold shouldn’t affect business there, he said, people will still visit the pumpkin patch and corn maze as the weather dips lower.

The freeze and frost advisories concerned Young’s Jersey Dairy visitor Rose Campbell-Blake. She buys pumpkins every year.

“I usually bring them in every night but this year we’ve got about 20 so I haven’t been bringing them in,” Campbell-Blake said.

But she might do so because of the advisories, she said.

The weather is expected to warm up Friday, with temperatures hitting the lower 60s, Elwell said. Showers are expected to start Friday evening and last through Saturday morning.

Temperatures then likely will fall into the 40s Saturday, Elwell said, and stay there on Sunday.

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