Garden Lifestyle

6 Ways to Reuse Halloween Pumpkins

Instead of throwing that Halloween pumpkin away, put it to good use

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

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

  1. If a pumpkin is still in good shape without any signs of mold, reuse it for some delicious meals. Remove any candle wax, cut it in half, place it in a baking dish (cut sides down), and bake it 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.
  2. Turn the pumpkin 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.
  3. Turn a jack-o’-lantern’s face around, and use the uncut side 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.
  4. Make a bird feeder by slicing the top off the pumpkin at the point where there are no holes. 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.
  5. Place the pumpkin outside as is, and let the squirrels and other wildlife have a long-lasting, nutritious fall feast.
  6. 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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