3:24 PM 1st November 2023
How To Use Leftover Pumpkin In Your Garden
Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay
Pumpkins are an iconic emblem for Halloween, but once carved last little more than a few days. Approximately 15.8 million pumpkins go to waste after being carved and are often discarded.
However, gardening experts at MyJobQuote have shared that avid gardeners can show the planet a little love this Halloween by repurposing their pumpkin in the garden. What’s more pumpkins contain so many nutrients that by doing so, you can get stronger plant growth and healthier soil.
Fiona Jenkins, Gardening Expert at MyJobQuote shared:
“Repurposing your pumpkins for the garden reduces the carbon footprint used for disposing pumpkins and benefits the health of your soil! Pumpkins have super high potassium levels which helps to improve overall soil health and promotes plant growth.
"It's not just the shell that can be used in the garden, either - there’s uses for seeds too!"
If you’ve plenty of orange flesh to spare, save it for your compost pile. Pumpkin flesh is quick to degrade and rich in nitrogen, making it the perfect material for promotion of compost while adding nutrients to your soil. Be sure to remove any seeds before adding to your compost soil, or you’ll have pumpkin starters growing in your compost bin!
If you don’t have a compost pile or bin, don’t worry - dig holes for the pumpkin flesh and cover well with soil. It’ll degrade naturally over the course of winter. Planting pumpkin flesh also reduces the need for chemical pesticides, adding a natural resistance to certain pests and diseases to soil around your plants.
Food for wildlife
Repurposing your leftover Halloween pumpkin can also benefit autumn wildlife in need of food after hibernation such as squirrels, birds and other critters. Don’t leave them in the garden if you’re aware of a nearby hedgehog family, though - it can be dehydrating and dangerous for them to digest.
If you’re not fond of attracting small animals to your garden, farms will often take leftover pumpkins as animal feed donations for pigs and other animals. Be sure to remove any candle wax before putting it out if you’ve used it as a lantern.
The cold snap has started and pumpkins can keep soil warm to prevent freezing of roots by using smashed pumpkin parts as a natural mulch in your garden. Leave smashed pumpkin pieces around the base of your plants or in between rows and this will help to retain soil moisture, suppress weeds and release nutrients into the soil as they decompose.
Natural bird feeder
Hollow out the pumpkin, attach some twine and attach to a nearby fence or tree to use as a natural bird feeder. If you still have them to hand, repurpose seeds from inside the pumpkin as bird feed as these are highly nutritious for birds. They’ll appreciate the food source and you get to see more birds visit your garden!
Regrow pumpkins next year
You have a bunch of seeds leftover - ever tried growing your own? Clean them thoroughly to remove any pumpkin flesh and leave to air dry before storing them in a cool, dry place in an airtight container and they’ll keep until its time to plant in April or May time. They require plenty of space but make great companion plants to compact bush varieties such as those with small fruits. Come October, they’ll be ready to harvest and carve once again.
Information supplied by https://www.myjobquote.co.uk/gardener