Sunshine, and lots of it.
That's what pumpkin growers across B.C. hoped for during the summer months.
And after dragging her heels, Mother Nature finally granted their wish.
At the Laity Pumpkin Patch, the gourds were supposed to planted on 18 acres by May 20, but the pumpkin growing season got off to a soggy start. The soil was so drenched during the late spring, the company tractor's tires were sinking into the ground.
Seeds were finally planted on one of the fields by June 12, and the patch's last field was planted in July.
After one of the chilliest Junes on record in the Lower Mainland, there was reason for concern.
But after that, summer took hold and spirits brightened at the family-owned and operated patch at 21145 128th Ave.
"Because we had such a nice summer and into the fall, we did get pumpkins from most of the fields and we got a good crop this year because of all the sunshine," said Heather Laity, who runs the patch along with husband Don and their family. "You need high temperatures; they just thrive in it. We need heat and it was a beautiful summer."
Courtesy of a two-and-a-half-month dry spell, the sun-baked patch has had less rot than any other year.
But as the rain poured down last Tuesday, Laity said, "If we could have had a couple more weeks of sunshine it would have been perfect."
The pumpkins that are left over are picked over by the birds, thousands of which flock to the pumpkin fields during the fall and winter months to feast on the remnants.
The patch opened to the public Oct. 3 and had a strong Thanksgiving weekend with many visitors thanks to the abnormally warm weather.
"The sunshine brings everybody out," Laity said.
The patch is opened until Oct. 31, and weather plays a huge role on how many visitors will be buying pumpkins during that period.
Hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 1: 30 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from 9: 30 a.m. to 5 p.m.