Rainy summer helped pumpkins grow larger
Six different sizes of pumpkin will go on sale at Tesco from October 2.
Pumpkins will be larger than usual this year after the rainy summer provided perfect growing conditions for the squash, farmers have said.
Oakley Farms, based near Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, is one of Europe’s biggest suppliers of pumpkins, growing around five million each year.
Steve Whitworth, commercial manager at Oakley Farms, said the wet weather in July and August was “perfect” for growing pumpkins.
“We had a pretty good growing season for pumpkins this summer with a really hot June, which really helped the plants along,” he said.
“The rainy July and August may not have been great for sun lovers or BBQ fans but from a growing point of view for pumpkins, it was perfect.
“The weather gave us the right amount of rain with sunny intervals especially compared with the challenging conditions we encountered during last year’s heatwave, which was officially the hottest UK year on record.”
The grower is a supplier for Tesco, where the pumpkins will go on sale across the UK from October 2.
Tesco pumpkin buyer Lucy Moss said: “The good news for Halloween fans coming from our main pumpkin growers is that the fruit will be larger than normal in all size variations this year as a result of very good growing conditions across the summer months.
“This year we have six different sizes and based on last year’s performance, we expect the carving variety to continue be the most popular.
“Each of the six different size categories will be larger than usual this year so fans will definitely get value for money.
The six categories of pumpkin at the store are: Carving – standard size; culinary; munchkin; novelty including devil (red) and ghost (white) types; large and giant.
Tesco said that last year there was a tenfold increase in people searching for pumpkin recipes from September to October on its Tesco Real Food website.
Ms Moss added: “It’s good news, from a food waste point of view… so nothing should go to waste.”