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The costumes are all put away and the best of the candy has been eaten. Halloween is over. So, what are you going to do with your pumpkins? Nobody wants to be the one house on the block that lets their jack-o-lanterns rot on the stoop until Thanksgiving, but you don’t have to toss them in the garbage right away, either! Here are seven fun things to do with your old pumpkins.
Carved pumpkins will rot quickly, so it’s best to get them off your stoop and put them to work as soon as possible.
Pumpkins are full of nutrients, which makes them a great fertilizer. Just make sure you remove the seeds before you add them to your compost pile (unless you want baby pumpkins cropping up in your garden next year).
No compost pile? No problem. Simply bury your jack-o-lantern in your winter garden. It will decay quickly and enrich the soil.
You may be done with your jack-o-lantern, but the leftovers are a delicious snack for animals like deer, squirrels and birds. Place your pumpkin in a spot where you don’t mind a little wildlife activity and let the feast begin.
If you didn’t use a knife on your pumpkin this Halloween, there’s a ton you can do with it now. However, only cook and eat your leftover pumpkin if you used non-toxic paint and materials to decorate it.
This is an easy and popular pumpkin dish. Simply cut your pumpkin in half or in quarters, scoop out the seeds and guts, and place your pumpkin face down in a baking dish that’s filled with 1 cup of water. Bake for 90 minutes or until the pumpkin flesh is tender, then scoop it out and puree it in a food processor. You can use this to make pumpkin pie, cake, muffins or bread!
If you’re looking for a healthy snack to munch on for the rest of fall, look no further than your pumpkin! All you need to do is wash, drain and toast the seeds, then add the seasoning of your choice. For specific instructions, try this recipe from FitSugar.
Post-Halloween pumpkins make for a unique addition to your winter garden. To convert it, cut a large hole at the top and hollow out the center. Then drill a small hole at the bottom for drainage and fill the pumpkin half-full with potting soil. Add some seasonal plants like pansies or thyme, water thoroughly and enjoy your seasonal planter!
One fall holiday is over, but there’s another one right around the corner. Upcycle your Halloween pumpkin by turning it into a Thanksgiving centerpiece! As long as your pumpkin wasn’t damaged or munched on by animals during its stint on your doorstep, it should last for a few months before it starts to rot. If you want to give it a nice shine and preserve it better, rub some Vaseline into a rag and buff the surface.