Go pumpkin picking this Halloween
95% of the UKs fruit and 50% of vegetables come from abroad and pollution caused by food miles is real. An effortless way to reduce these food miles is to pick your own food.
Search Google for pick your own pumpkins, strawberries, blueberries or even carrots and you’ll find PYO farms that specialises in growing fruits and vegetables with one core goal. So, people can come and pick their own produce.
But that’s not the only reason to go pumpkin picking. Alongside the experience of being outdoors picking your own veg, there can be cost savings too.
It’s said that supermarkets waste up to 40% of all produce. Why? Because they are ugly.
You heard that right. Supermarkets won’t allow ugly fruit or vegetables on the shelves. And the cost of all of that waste must be accounted for.
By going to your local farm to pick your own pumpkins, there’ll be no waste or transport costs. What there will be, is a farm owner ready to offer you the best deal on all the produce you pick.
Forget shopping locally. Get down to your local pumpkin patch and pick your pumpkin straight from the field, locally.
Below we’ve highlighted the best places for going pumpkin picking in:
And if these farms aren’t anywhere near you, there is another option. Create your own pumpkin patch in time for Halloween!
What is a pumpkin patch and why are they used?
As you look through some of the pick your own pumpkin farms, you’ll notice the majority will have a so-called pumpkin patch.
A pumpkin patch used to describe a small plot of land that was used to plant pumpkins. Nowadays, it’s simply a phrase used to describe where picked pumpkins are stored.
It’s all about the timing of Halloween. Most pumpkin farms will see their produce ripen around September, but September and early October are prone to overnight frosts. As big as pumpkins might be, they are extremely fragile. Even a small amount of frost can damage them.
As a result, many farms will harvest pumpkins before the end of September, ready for Halloween, ensuring they don’t get damaged. They store them in their pumpkin patches, ready for us to come and pick the biggest, best and the ugliest ready for Halloween (or soup)!
Pick your own pumpkins in Cheshire
Address: Winwick Lane, Croft, Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 7ED
Google maps directions to Kenyon Hall PYO farm can be found here.
Kenyon Hall Farm focuses on two things. The first, is their farm shop that contains produce from their farm. The second, is their pick your own experience.
You can pick pumpkins at Kenyon Hall Farm during October. At the same time, you’ll be able to pick fruit such as blackberries as well as vegetables such as sweetcorn.
This is one of the better established PYO farms in the UK and it’s attracted hundreds of positive reviews on both Google and Tripadvisor over the years.
Vegetable picking, a farm shop and a café? Perfect.
Pick your own pumpkins in Cornwall
Address: Connor Downs, Hayle, Cornwall, TR27 5JQ
Trevaskis PYO farm is one of the most well known in Cornwall. Each year they go out pumpkin picking and price their pumpkins from £1.95 according to their most recent website update. This is extremely competitively priced. Many pumpkin patches will charge £4-8 for larger pumpkins.
This PYO farm is set in 28 acres, so if you are looking to pick your own pumpkins, why not pick something else too?
They regularly update their pick your own vegetables and fruits page, to let customers know exactly what is and what isn’t in season.
Alongside pumpkin picking, they have some unique fruits and vegetables. These include the likes of white currants and tayberries.
If you’re planning to visit the farm to pick your own pumpkins, make sure you gear up. 100s of people traipse through these fields every single day (from 8am-7pm), so they get extremely chewed up and muddy.
Take a set of wellies, gloves and waterproofs if you want to make the most out the experience.
Pick your own pumpkins in Devon
Address: Lifton Farm Shop, Lifton, Devon, PL16 0DE
Directions via Google Maps to Lifton Farm can be found here.
Like many fruit and veg picking farms, Lifton Farm Shop got its name by being one of the best strawberry picking fields in Devon. 20 years later and they are still going strong.
If you are looking to pick your own pumpkins ready for Halloween in Cornwall, this is the place. Pumpkins are ready for picking in October, and that carries through until November.
They also do PYO strawberries in June.
As well as offering a pick your own experience, their organic farm shop and restaurant has 100s of positive reviews on Tripadvisor.
The shop and restaurant are open all year round, offering a range of fruit and vegetables including leeks, parsnips, blackcurrants, raspberries and much more!
Pick your own pumpkins in Essex
Address: Marsh Farm Road, South Woodham, Ferrers, Essex, CM3 5WP
Directions for Marsh PYO farm can be found here.
If you live in South Woodham, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard of March Farm Adventure Park. Unlike many farms that offer you the chance to pick your own pumpkins, it’s a day out.
It’s worth checking out their website so you can plan your day around all the attractions they have to offer.
This includes animal farms, play areas and a range of areas to pick your own fruit and vegetables. All set in 30 acres of farm land and surrounded by a further 300 acres.
Their pumpkin patch allows adults and children to pick their own pumpkins from the 24th October until 31st October every year.
The pricing of their pumpkin patch experience is a little different to other farms. The main reason being that the £12.50 entrance fee, is the entrance fee to the adventure park (allowing access to all the attractions and not just a chance to pick your own pumpkins).
Each child entry will be given a free pumpkin.
The adventure park has over 80 positive reviews on Google.
Their Youtube video gives a better idea of what is on offer.
Pick your own pumpkins in Hampshire
Address: Strawberry Field, Breach Farm, Andover, Hampshire, SP11 6DQ
Directions to Bourne Valley PYO farm can be found here.
As the address suggests, Bourne Valley in Hampshire originated as a strawberry picking farm.
As the popularity of the PYO experience continued to increase, they realised they needed to add more and more fruits and vegetables to their local pickers.
Each year, they announce on their website when pumpkin picking will begin. If you are planning to travel to Bourne Valley, check out some of the other fruits and vegetables that are on offer here.
According to their website update from last year, after pumpkin picking has commenced, they are priced at a reasonable £2.50 each.
Pick your own pumpkins in Kent
Address: Cheesmans Green Lane, Sevington, Ashford, Kent, TN24 0LL
Dan Mackelden Ltd is an agricultural business in the heard of Ashford, Kent. They opened their pumpkin patch (aptly named ‘Pick your own pumpkin’) in 2014. The season starts in October, like it does for most of the other pumpkin patches in the UK.
Unlike other PYO farms though, this farm focuses purely on pumpkins. As you can see from their Facebook page which has over 300 positive reviews.
As this is a working farm, expect to get dirty. Make sure you are dressed appropriately (they suggest taking wellies and a decent set of gloves at the very least).
This pumpkin patch is great for those on a budget. Instead of charging an entrance fee, they only charge for what is picked. The pricing is fair, with the smaller pumpkins costing as little as £1. Prices rise, and if you can find one of their so-called “monster” pumpkins, you’ll be looking at anything up to £4.
Their Facebook page is extremely active, and they suggest you check there before visiting. They regularly update the page with weather reports and to let PYO enthusiasts when the best time to come and pick your own pumpkins is.
It’s worth bearing in mind that as there are other animals on the farm, they do not allow dogs.
Pick your own pumpkins in the Midlands
Address: Cattows Farm, Swepstone Road, Heather, Leicestershire, LE67 2RF
Directions to the PYO pumpkin experience from Cattows Farm can be found here.
Cattows Farm Shop is in Leicestershire, East Midlands. It’s typically known for strawberry picking (which has been going on here for over 30 years), though over the years, they have upped their PYO experience with the addition of allowing people the chance to pick their own pumpkins towards the end of the year.
And, they have some big news. This year’s pumpkin patch is going to be the biggest one they have ever had. According to their website, they have ordered over 11,000 seeds!
Pick your own pumpkins in Pembrokeshire
Address: Brooksgrove Lane, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA61 1XR
Directions to Brooksgrove PYO farm can be found here.
Pembrokeshire is home to a handful of pumpkin picking farms and Brooksgrove Farm is one of them.
Check out the size of their patch!
Like many pumpkin picking farms in the UK, Brooksgrove are seeing a bigger and bigger demand for their PYO experience with each passing year.
Maybe one of the reasons they’ve been seeing the increasing demand is since they don’t charge an admission fee. The actual prices of the pumpkins are reasonable too, starting from £1 and rising to £4 for the larger veggies!
Brooksgrove has been going for just over 4 years now.
When you go to pick your own pumpkins, you’ll have the opportunity to pick a range of other fruits and vegetables. Just this year, they added gooseberries and raspberries to their range.
Like many farms, the core of their business focuses around strawberry picking. Though, this is more of a focus in the summer months.
Pick your own pumpkins in the Suffolk
Address: Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze, Undley Road, Beck Row, Suffolk, IP28 8BU
Directions to Undley Pumpkin Patch (also known as Pumpkin Patch Ltd) can be found on Google Maps here.
If you live in Suffolk, the Undley Pumpkin patch is certainly one that is worth checking out. Not only does the patch have a huge array of pumpkins (in all shapes and sizes), but there are people on hand to offer advice on carving and even pumpkin recipes.
Upon arrival, you’ll be given a wheelbarrow so you can pick your own pumpkins. Unlike many of the other working PYO farms, Undley pumpkin patch allows all customers to bring dogs (as long as they are kept on a lead at all times).
Although entrance to this PYO farm is free, you’ll have to pay a fee for each picked pumpkin that you want to take home. Prices are always based on size.
The smallest in the patch for 50p, and the largest go for up to £8.
Trust me when I say there’s plenty of pumpkin picking for everyone to get involved with.
As well as the pumpkin patch, Undley also has other attractions. This includes a free crafts area for children, donkeys, bounce and climb and pet balloons. So it’s really a full day and family experience.
Pick your own pumpkins in Surrey
Address: New Haw Road, Addlestone, Nr. Weybridge, Surrey, KT15 2BU
Google Maps directions to the Crockbridge PYO farm experience can be found here.
Crockford Bridge is a true PYO farm, with dozens of different fruits and vegetables to choose from.
If there’s one thing that can be said for Crockford Bridge Farm, it’s that they embrace Halloween more than any other PYO farm in the UK. Check out their Halloween and pumpkin picking page here.
As you can see, they offer face painting, apple bobbing and pumpkin carving as part of the experience. And, admission is only £1 per child.
Their pumpkin patch offers pumpkins of all sizes, and over the years, it seems like their crop is getting bigger and stronger. And their pumpkins are now anything from 1lb to 28lb in size which is absolutely huge!
Perfect for carving or eating.
The site is not only home to the Crockford Bridge Farm Shop, but a range of other shops too. This includes a garden centre and a top-quality ice cream parlour that features some of Crockford Bridge’s fruit in their ice cream!
It’s basically a rural shopping centre, for those that love organic food, new experiences and the outdoors.
Pick your own pumpkins in Warwickshire
Hatton Country World
Address: Dark Lane, Hatton, Warwickshire, CV35 8XA
Directions to the Hatton Country World PYO experience can be found here.
As someone that lives within a reasonable distance of Hatton Country World, I can honestly say that this is one of the best attractions in Warwickshire for children.
That’s backed up by the fact that over 200,000 people visit every single year, and over 10,000 of those people are members. They now have over 140 reviews on Google and this number continues to grow each month.
It’s certainly worth spending a little bit of time planning your visit to make sure you make the most out of your day.
Their attractions include falconry, inflatable play areas, farmyard play areas, animals, and of course, the chance to pick your own pumpkins during October.
Their legendry inflatable play area even gives children the chance to have a water fight, so take some extra clothes!
Oh, and don’t forget to visit their sweet shop, offering all your childhood favourites, as well as toffee that’s made on site!
Although not traditionally a PYO farm (though they do pick your own potatoes in September as well), this year Hatton Country World will be having a pick your own pumpkin week. This will take place 21st-29th October. Check their website closer to the time to check that the dates haven’t changed.
You can check out all the different pricing options for members/non-members here. If you plan to visit regularly, this can save a lot of money.
Create your own pumpkin picking patch
Step 1 – Buy quality pumpkin seeds
Your pumpkin patch is only going to be as good as the seeds you buy. One of the main reason fruit and vegetables fail to grow and ripen is down to the quality of the seed. If you invest in quality seeds right from the start, you’ll stand a much better chance of producing a good crop in time for Halloween.
A popular pumpkin seed to buy is the Jack-O-Lantern seed. Check them out at Ma href=”https://www.sowseeds.co.uk/products/jack-o-lantern-pumpkin-vegetable-seeds” target=”_blank”>SowSeeds.
Step 2 – Start by planting indoors
All plants are extremely fragile in their early days.
Too much rain, or even a small patch of frost, could wipe out the whole crop. Being in the UK where it’s wet, cold and windy; there’s a good chance of this happening.
For this reason, it’s a clever idea to use seed pots to get the pumpkins going, even if it’s just for the first week. The longer you can leave the pumpkin seedlings indoors, the better chance they have of surviving.
That said, usually 2-3 weeks is more than enough. Anything longer than this and the seedlings become too big for the pot and won’t grow correctly.
This leaves them with a slim chance of surviving when their tossed outside. Even if they do survive, it doesn’t give them much of a chance of getting to full capacity.
Step 3 – Outdoor planting area
Highlight an area that you’d like to use. The size of this area will depend on the number of pumpkins you want to grow. But bear in mind the vines from pumpkins can grow more than 15 feet long. So, give them plenty of space.
The number one rule is to find an area that drains well.
Sitting water will drown seeds and small plants. And to help to protect the plant in its initial growth stage, try and plant it somewhere where there is some protection against the wind and frost.
Step 4 – How to plant your pumpkin seeds
Once you have seedlings, dig a small ditch to plant them in. Each seedling will need to be 1-2 inches below the surface of the soil. Try and keep the pumpkin seeds/seedlings at least 1 feet apart. This will ensure that one seed, isn’t fighting for nutrients in the soil and water, with another.
Step 5 – Watering seedlings
Like many vegetables, pumpkins contain a huge amount of water. Upwards of 80%.
So, it’s important to water them heavily, and regularly.
To ensure that you don’t overwater, constantly check that the soil around the plant is moist. There should never be standing water, but the soil shouldn’t be dry either.
Step 6 – Picking pumpkins
Planning the grow to time with Halloween isn’t easy. But, remember that pumpkins can be kept for at least a few weeks if they are stored in a cool dry place. If you plan to use a shed to store them, make sure you have something to protect them. Pests like ripe vegetables just as much as we do!
The average pumpkin seed will be ready to be picked 90-120 days after it’s been planted. The longer they are allowed to grow, the bigger they are likely to be.
However, bear in mind that most PYO farms that allow pumpkin picking will pick their pumpkins well before the start of October. This ensures that the pumpkins are not damaged by overnight frost.