Pumpkin shortage – the five fruits and vegetables to carve instead

TikTok user shares hack for pumpkin carving

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The demand for pumpkins has increased this year, but there’s also a shortage of pumpkins caused by a mixture of poor weather in August and a lack of HGV drivers and pickers. Not enough sunlight and warmth over the summer has apparently meant that some pumpkin crops failed to ripen. In fact, the Dorking Pumpkin Show has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to a reduced yield of pumpkins, squashes and gourds. Struggling to find anywhere to buy a pumpkin in the lead up to Halloween? Don’t worry, the experts at GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have revealed the five fruits and vegetables to carve instead.

Brits are being encouraged to get creative with their Halloween displays after experts have predicted a shortage of pumpkins this Halloween.

In America, pumpkin prices have skyrocketed to reflect the difficult harvest, and the same could be true in the UK as Halloween approaches.

Low temperatures throughout August in the UK coupled with a lack of HGV drivers and pickers in recent months means there may simply not be enough pumpkins to go around.

To make matters more difficult, the demand for pumpkins is 15 percent higher this year.

If the pumpkin shortage and steep prices do come to pass in the UK, the fun isn’t automatically spoiled.

According to Garden Buildings Direct, experts are urging people to consider carving other fruits instead.

A spokesman for GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk said: “While it might be too early to predict how abundant pumpkins will be this season, it raises a good opportunity for people to consider exploring other ideas to decorate their homes and gardens this Halloween.

“In the 19th century, people used to hollow out turnips into lanterns or carve them with scary faces particularly in the Scottish Highlands and parts of Ireland to celebrate Halloween, and there are many other fruits and vegetables to be considered alongside pumpkins to add variety to your Halloween display.”

The five fruits and vegetables to carving instead

It shouldn’t be too hard to find a pumpkin over the next few weeks, but there are a few alternatives if you really struggle.

The experts at Garden Buildings Direct warned: “As with all fruit and vegetable carving, please take extra care when producing your decorations and children must be supervised by an adult.”

You could always use paint if you use a fruit that isn’t orange to fake the pumpkin look.


Pineapples might seem a little too tropical for Halloween, but they can be effective.

This fruit can make scary faces that compete with pumpkins when carved and lit up from the inside.

The green leaves at the top add to the horror look, Garden Buildings Direct’s team reckons.


Oranges are similar in colour but clearly smaller than pumpkins.

You probably didn’t realise, but oranges can still be carved into effective lanterns or spooky faces.


Watermelons are a suitable alternative to pumpkins because of their similar size.

The experts said: “These fruits can make effective decorations with their ghoulish green exterior and pinky-red insides signalling gore!”


Avocados can be transformed into spooky-looking faces when carving to the centre of the green fruit to display the stone inside.


Recreate and celebrate the past by turning your humble turnip into a Jack-o’-lantern.

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