Once Halloween has passed, and the spooky decorations begin to come down, don’t just toss away your pumpkins.
Your jack-o'-lantern is still useful to you and nature. Give it a second chance with these pumpkin recycling tips.
Pretty pumpkin planters
Take your carved-out pumpkins and fill with potting soil. Place weather friendly flowers or plants inside the hollowed out vegetables and place around your yard. The cool air will keep the pumpkin from deteriorating too much.
Perfect for fall potting:
- Ornamental Kale
- Decorative cabbages
Feed the “neighbors”
Make sure the wildlife take advantage of a little trick-or-treat by tossing your old pumpkin out into the woods, or in a spot designated already for feeding the surrounding wildlife.
Perfect idea for bird watching as you lounge in the backyard, place the unwanted seeds into the bird feeder and check out your feathered friends.
Save the seeds!
Grow your own pumpkin patch! Dry out the remaining seeds from your jack-o'-lanterns and save for a big patch of pumpkins next year.
You’ll need to save the seeds from several different pumpkins, however. Pumpkins come in male or female and can’t reproduce without seeds from each.
Make sure you’ve got a variety of seeds from several pumpkins to ensure you’re growing a patch of pumpkins instead of a yard full of vines.
Before tossing out into the trash, rethink and recycle that pumpkin into the compost. Pumpkins make great fertilizer for next year’s garden when composted.
Make sure to break it down into smaller pieces and remove the seeds. You don’t want a new pumpkin patch taking over your garden next year!
Just eat it
If you’ve got the time, then saving the pumpkin insides for a delicious meal later is the way to go. Pumpkin flesh can be scooped and refrigerated for later, or even frozen for several months.
From soups to breads to traditional pumpkin pie, saving your Jack-o-Lanterns to feed your family can be a real fall treat.
You can also save those pumpkin seeds and toast them for a delicious and healthy snack
Twinkle VanWinkle has more than 22 years of professional cooking under her apron strings. She baked 300 apple pies for the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and appeared on Food Network's “The Best Of...” Along with producing dynamic lifestyle content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.
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