Here are some ideas on what to do with pumpkins after Halloween.
Halloween, harvest festivals, and general autumnal celebrations lead to an abundance of everyone’s fall favorite: pumpkins. While you partake in pumpkin spice lattes and jack-o-lantern carvings, why not share some with the animals?
Squirrels, foxes, raccoons, and many other wild animals enjoy eating pumpkins. Break or cut them up to make it easy for animals to get to the good stuff!
Many people like to leave old pumpkins out for wildlife. Keep in mind that rotting pumpkins can disrupt the wilderness, so only leave the pumpkin where you feel confident that it will be eaten quickly. For best results, cut the pumpkin up and remove the seeds before placing them in the woods for animals It’s recommended to remove the seeds, or else you might grow a pumpkin patch in the woods!
Some farms, zoos, and animal parks accept pumpkins to use as animal feed. Call ahead to be sure they accept them before you drive over!
If you have a compost pile, add your pumpkins to it. It is suggested that you remove all of the pumpkin seeds before putting them in the pile, or risk a pumpkin patch growing!
No compost bin? No problem! Break up your pumpkins, remove the seeds, and bury them in the garden. They will decompose and become fertilizer for your plants!
Pumpkins will take up space in the landfill and let out a lot of methane gas as they decompose. In general, it is considered better for the environment to compost them or put them in the woods for animals!
Carved or un-carved pumpkins can be turned into planters. Once hollowed out, fill with soil and add a plant or several. The pumpkin will break down in a few months – which will turn into fertilizer for your plant!
Similarly, you can fill a hollowed-out pumpkin with birdseed and turn it into a pumpkin bird feeder!
Materials: Small to medium-sized pumpkin, up to 10 pounds, small sticks, twine, and birdseed
- Cut the pumpkin in half.
- Scoop out the seeds, leaving a hollow inside with a thick shell wall.
- Insert two sticks across the open pumpkin to create perches for the birds.
- Knot two lengths of rope together at the center and tack the knot to the bottom of the pumpkin feeder. Hang the other ends of the rope in your chosen feeder location.
- Fill with birdseed.
Mini pumpkins can be treated the same as larger pumpkins. You can save them for Thanksgiving decor, cook them, compost them, donate them to a farm, or leave them in the woods for wildlife.
What to do with painted pumpkins?
You shouldn’t eat paint – and neither should animals. Painted pumpkins should be disposed of and not eaten or fed to wildlife.