You can use the hollowed-out squash after the carving contests, and trick-or-treaters are finished, but what else can you do with it after that?
There are a variety of uses for jack-o’-lanterns and adorned pumpkins after Halloween. Your pumpkins can be used to feed your pets and make crafts to play games with your friends and family.
The Best Ways to Grow Vegetables in Pumpkins
Your Jack-o-smile lanterns have morphed into an unsettling grimace of pain, and he should find a new function other than terrifying Amazon delivery men. Recycling “Old Jack” can be a fantastic addition to your garden and yard.
The decomposition of pumpkins, rich in vitamins and minerals, can enrich the soil for future fall and spring gardens. A jack-o-lantern can be used to sow seeds if you reside in a warm place like the South or Southwest, where frost is still far away.
To reduce fungus growth, wash and dry your pumpkin if it isn’t too squishy from using bleach or another chemical. Next, make drainage holes in the pumpkin’s bottom by drilling or puncturing 2-3 holes.
Third, add soil to the pumpkin. Fourth, follow the instructions on the seed package for planting and watering. When the pumpkin’s outer shell becomes soft or has a strong rotten smell, stop watering and tending the plants. Be thankful for the smell of decay. Composting the pumpkin is what you’re aiming for.
Dig a hole in your garden or large pot and bury the pumpkin, leaving the top exposed when it reaches this stage. After harvesting your fall crops, thoroughly mix the soil to spread the remaining pumpkin and allow oxygen into the soil to complete decomposition.
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Composting Pumpkins: A Guide for Homeowners
Composting your pumpkin right away after Halloween is a terrific idea if you like to do so. Composting a pumpkin is a great way to get rich compost for your spring garden.
Composting consists of only three steps, as described on our page on leaf composting: Use a food processor to reduce the size of the vegetable or other green stuff. Applying a nitrogen-rich substance. Regularly turn the compost mixture to allow fresh air to enter.
Composting can’t begin until you’ve selected a location. You might buy an actual composter with a convenient turning mechanism, or you could designate a certain part of your yard as a compost area.
To avoid irritating sensitive nostrils, make sure it is in a location that is not in the way. To decompose, bacteria like rot must flourish.
Step One: Grind the Pumpkin Finely
It’s pleasant and easy to prepare the pumpkin for decomposition. Despite this, the rot can take some time to entirely decompose the pumpkin.
You may use a knife to cut the procedure down to a more manageable size or…The pumpkin stamp is doable.
It’s a lot of fun to compost.
It’s a good idea to put the pumpkin in the compost pile and stomp on it if you don’t mind a little squashing yourself. Play the freeze dance game with your kids if they want fun.
Make sure the pumpkin is split open so that the kids may easily tread on it before putting it in the compost pile. As a second step, instruct the children to enter the room while the music is playing and freeze when the music stops.
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Step 2: Carbon to Nitrogen Ratio
If you don’t know anything about science, don’t worry about this bit. Is 30:1 a good ratio of Carbon to Nitrogen? Cornell Composting Science and Engineering says so.
A carbon-based material is essentially a dried-out material such as dried leaves or grass hay. The pumpkin serves as the equation’s nitrogen.
Nitrogen-rich fresh materials like vegetables (particularly pumpkins) are ideal. Because of this, they are an excellent source of nitrogen for composting.
Put dried leaves into the compost corner before the pumpkin, or add them to your composter if you have one if you’ve raked them up. Add the smashed pumpkin to the leaves and mix well.
Step 3: Introducing Oxygen
Rot, it turns out, is a living organism. Those microbes that make it are, at the very least.
Once every two to four weeks, add oxygen to the decomposing mixture to keep it moving along smoothly and efficiently. Composting can be as easy as turning the pile with a shovel or as complex as cranking the composter’s handle.
Compost might take up to three months to decompose completely. Thanks to Jack’s long decomposition period, he’ll be ready to assist the garden in the spring.
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Providing Animals with Pumpkin Meal
Halloween isn’t just a big deal for my children. During the Halloween season, my animals like nothing more than chowing down on leftover pumpkins and discarded Jack-o-lanterns.
In other words, as long as they aren’t painted or coated in any kind of chemical. Pumpkins are a beloved seasonal treat for many farm animals, including chickens, goats, pigs, turkeys, sheep, horses, and cows.
We try to make it as easy as possible for the animals to eat it by smashing it up as much as possible. Most animals find it distasteful if the pumpkin is rolling away from them.
If you have a goat or two, or if you know someone who does, check if you can give them an additional pumpkin treat. Aside from humans, pumpkins are also a favorite of the wildlife in the area.
In my neck of the woods, deer and javelinas are known to be particularly fond of pumpkins. Animals may come onto your home if you leave pumpkins out.
How to Make Bird Feeders with Pumpkin and Peanut Butter
The birds that migrate south over the winter will appreciate a snack made from a pumpkin that hasn’t quite reached composting maturity. Making these bird feeders is a lot of fun, and it’s also good for the environment.
Make sure the outside of the pumpkin is clean. Make palm-sized slices out of the pumpkin. If the pumpkin is still solid enough, you can use a knife to cut out various shapes such as stars, hearts, and geometric shapes.
Apply a thick layer of peanut butter to each piece of pumpkin. Fill a deep baking sheet or pie dish halfway with birdseed. Dredge the peanut butter-coated pumpkin in birdseed using a rolling pin until it is completely covered.
Poke a hole in the middle of the pumpkin and attach a string to the string by tying one end to the pumpkin and the other to a tree branch.
How to Make a Jack-o’-Lantern Bird Feeder from a Pumpkin
It is possible to construct a Halloween bird feeder if you don’t have enough peanut butter or simply want a bird feeder that lasts longer.
However, this is the simplest method to get started:
The side of the pumpkin should have a large hole cut out of it (here is where Jack’s face may be starting to collapse). Make sure it’s big enough to hold bird seed and big enough for the birds to go in and out.
Each pumpkin segment should have a hole wide enough to thread string or yarn through. Do not get too close to the top, or you’ll have holes ripped through your fabric.
Thread a different strand of yarn or twine through each hole until it reaches the halfway point of the thread. In one hand, hold the two yarn ends. A minimum of one foot should separate the pumpkin from the yarn ends. Double knot all six ends of the yarn.
Put birdseed in the pumpkin’s cavity. Using a branch, hang the pumpkin. Make sure no seeds are escaping. Whenever you run out of seed, replenish it and discard the pumpkin.
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Soccer for pumpkins
It’s a great game for the whole family to play. Two teams are vying to reach their own goals in this game without shattering the pumpkin. Hands are strictly prohibited, just like in regular soccer. Each team has a specific objective for the game.
Depending on the number of players, they may or may not have a goaltender. Teams must attempt to transport the pumpkin to their destination while avoiding its damage. Losers are the ones who manage to squish the pumpkin.
Lift the Pumpkin
The Pumpkin Lift game can be played if you have more space. Get a long wide board and a huge tin soup can (fulcrum) or something similar to use as a fulcrum and lever.
Use the lever and fulcrum to see who can get the pumpkin to fly the farthest or the tallest. Pumpkin height and travel distance can be improved by changing the arrangement. Watch out for swarms of whirling pumpkins.
Target Practice with Pumpkins
Archery and target shooting enthusiasts will find that pumpkins make excellent targets. When setting up targets and firing equipment, follow all safety precautions and guidelines.
Is It Possible to Make Pumpkin Pie with My Jack-o’-Lantern?
Despite being pumpkins, it is not a good idea to use Jack-o-Lanterns for pie. It’s difficult to properly cook a pumpkin chopped open and allowed to dry out.
There’s also the fact that carved Jack-o’-Lanterns are exposed to various diseases, fungi, and pollutants as they sit in your doorway. Sugar pumpkins, smaller and sweeter than regular pumpkins, are commonly used in pies.
But if you have a pumpkin that has not yet been carved, you can still use it to make pumpkin pie. Larger pumpkins are rarely used in pies due to their size and flavor.
Most canned pumpkin is a winter squash, like butternut squash, rather than a pumpkin.
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Jack’s Purpose Has Changed.
Using your old Jack-o’-lanterns to make new memories extends beyond Halloween, so you’re doing more than just decreasing waste. Find different ways to use your pumpkin after Halloween and start new fall rituals.