It’s Pumpkin carving time

Get ready to scare off passing ghosties and ghoulies (or just those trick-or-treaters) on October 31st and start carving your homegrown pumpkins.

This is one gardening job all the kids can get stuck into. Choose your biggest, ripest pumpkins (they should sound hollow when you knock them) and cut them away from the plant with about 5cm of stem.

Then, carefully using a sharp knife, remove a circle out of the top with the stalk attached to make the ‘lid’ of your Halloween lantern. Scoop out flesh and seeds with a spoon or ice-cream scoop. Seeds can be saved for planting next year, or roasted with a little paprika for a spicy snack. Set aside the flesh for later to cook into a range of delicious pies or soup.

Next, draw the face on the outside of the pumpkin with a washable felt-tip pen, using straight lines as they’re easiest to cut. If you’re feeling ambitious, download special templates ( for a splendid variety to choose from.

Finally place a tea-light or two, in the bottom of the pumpkin, light it and replace the lid. Then all you have to do is brace yourself for the first cry of ‘trick or treat’…

And don’t forget you can join our Free Pumpkin Hunt all through half term until Sunday 1st November.

Pumpkin Hunt