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Cooler temperatures mark the start of Calif. pumpkin season

As temperatures dip into the 80s and the aroma of pumpkin spice fills the air, the fall season is upon us. Halloween is turning into Christmas. You can now find pumpkins and fall harvest décor items in stores before Labor Day, when traditionally, retailers would wait until after the last summer holiday of the year.08-22-18-Kratos

“Every year is different, you never know when the start of pumpkin season will begin,” said Ryan Van Groningen, president of Van Groningen & Sons Inc. in Manteca, CA. “A lot of it has to do with the weather. If it feels like fall outside, it is time to start promoting pumpkins and all the fall harvest décor along with it.”

Being first to market is another reason that pumpkin season is starting earlier as well. “If your stores are the first to showcase pumpkins, customers remember to go back there when they are ready to purchase,” said Van Groningen.

Van Groningen & Sons anticipates a great crop of pumpkins this year, including all the smaller decorative items like gourds and mini pumpkins. Last year, growers struggled in California to combat extreme heat during the growing season as well as a late season (September) heat wave that ruined product ready for harvest. Growers are optimistic this year that temperatures will remain at normal or slightly below average temperatures, which will bode well for a good set (bloom) of pumpkins.

“This will be a very exciting season to offer ample promotions so no one will be left without a pumpkin,” he said.