CLEVELAND - Heat and drought have certainly taken their toll on local crops this year. But, the weather over the next few days could make or break your Halloween display.
“A lot of wilting plants," said nursery owner Larry Secor on Perry Township. "We need some rain awful bad out here."
The pumpkin vines in his 20-acre Lake County farm are definitely showing signs of stress. Leaves are drooping. Some plants stunted. But under the leaves, there are signs of hope.
Secor points to a small light green orb attached to one of the vines.
"There's a pumpkin there starting to grow,” Secor said.
This is the time of year when the bright orange blossoms give way to what hopefully, by October, will become that giant jack-o-lantern.
From this field, Secor hopes to harvest about 10,000 pumpkins. But without about an inch of rain in the next few days that won’t happen.
"They're (the plants) trying to make that big pumpkin right now," he said. "If we don't get some rain on them, we'll probably lose half of them."
It has been a difficult year for Secor and other Ohio farmers. A late frost killed off all the local peaches, cherries, raspberries and most of the apples, and now the drought is hurting summer crops.
For Secor, a bumper pumpkin crop will turn around some withering financial loses. But it’s all up to Mother Nature.
"It’s got good color on it,” said Secor of one pumpkin. "That should end up a 20 to 30-pound pumpkin, if we get a drink."
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