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Garden Lifestyle

6 Ways to Reuse Halloween Pumpkins

Instead of throwing that Halloween pumpkin away, put it to good use. There are plenty of ways for recycling that winter squash instead of letting it go to waste.

Leaving pumpkins for the squirrels is just one way to reuse leftovers from Halloween.
Photo/Illustration: Jodi Torpey

The pumpkins that caused so much excitement at Halloween are typically tossed away after the fun is over. But that old gourd can still be put to use. Here are a few deas to reuse or recycle those big orange fruits:

If pumpkins are still in good shape without any signs of mold, reuse them for some delicious meals. Remove any candle wax, cut in half, place in a baking dish (cut sides down) and bake in a 400-degree oven for an hour or until fork-tender. Let cool and scoop out the flesh to puree or mash for recipes, like pumpkin soup. As an alternative, cut it into chunks for a skillet of braised pumpkin with tomatoes and fresh herbs.

Turn old pumpkins into a rich soil amendment for next season’s vegetable garden. Cut the gourd into small pieces and either add them to the compost pile or bury them in a trench dug right into the garden bed.

Turn the Jack-‘o-Lantern face around and use the uncut side of the pumpkin as part of a fall container decoration. Plant around the pumpkin with fall flowers and ornamental grasses or add other fall fruits and vegetables to complete the display.

Slice the top off the pumpkin to where there are no holes to make a bird feeder. Add some string so the feeder can hang from a branch or plant hanger. Fill with bird seed meant to attract your favorite feathered friends.

Place pumpkins outside as is, and let the squirrels and other wildlife have a long-lasting, nutritious fall feast.

Line the pumpkin with weed fabric or row cover and fill it with potting soil. Then plant pansies, mums and fall greenery to make an attractive fall container.

What are some of the creative ways you reuse your pumpkins after Halloween?

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