As soon as the seeds germinate and start to grow, pumpkin patch employees start to fertilize and spray for disease.
“Pumpkins are very susceptible to disease in the South,” said Mark Foshee, the land manager. “But, we do our homework, so the pumpkins resist the contamination.”
Keeping the weeds down and the animals away from the pumpkins reaps benefits when the pumpkins are harvested in October.
“The perfect time to harvest the pumpkins is really the whole month of October,” Foshee said. “They’ll have reached full maturity and then core of the wall will be really thick. This makes them last a lot longer on your front porch.”
Many students said visiting a pumpkin patch is more exciting than just picking up a pumpkin at the store.
“I would rather pick a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch,” said Maconica Holloway, senior in communication. “I get to pick the shape and size of the pumpkin. I think the atmosphere of the pumpkin patch represents the very essence of fall.”
This year the pumpkin patch is opening at night for a corn maze where the public can find its way through the maze with only a flashlight.
A hayride and some rides on the pumpkin patch will also be offered Halloween week.
“The pumpkin patch is a great place for a date and pictures,” Foshee said. “There are plenty of good photo opportunities. It is just a great place to come in the fall.”
Katie Namen, junior in nutrition science, said visiting a pumpkin patch and carving a pumpkin are family traditions.
“I always carve a pumpkin every year,” Namen said. “It is something my family has done for forever. This year I am planning on going back before Halloween so I can pick out my pumpkin and carve it. Even though I’m not at home, I still like to keep our family tradition.”
Other than tradition, Namen said the patch is great for many other reasons.
“It’s fun for me and my friends,” Namen said. “I get to pick out the perfect pumpkin, and the pumpkin patch itself is beautiful.”
Admission into the pumpkin patch is free, but different activities range in price.
The corn maze costs $5 a person, and the hayride is $3 per person.
The patch’s pumpkin launcher is three shots for $1.