A rainy summer has made for perfect conditions for pumpkin growing, say farmers - with predictions that they will be bigger than usual this Halloween.
At Oakley Farms, based near Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, the team grow around five million of the squashes every year, making them one of the biggest suppliers in Europe.
Commercial manager Steve Whitworth 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 barbecue 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 went on sale this week.
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."
Tesco said that last year there was a 10-fold 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.”
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