Three uses for old Halloween pumpkins to ‘improve’ your garden

Monty Don gives tips on planting pumpkins

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Pumpkins are a seasonal favourite in both the kitchen and as Halloween lanterns, yet many gardeners overlook the benefits of using gourd to give their plants a boost. According to Adam Smith, founder and CEO of Eco Energy Geek, reusing festive pumpkins has many ecological benefits – from adding a splash of colour to the garden, to reducing landfill waste. It’s not just the flesh of the vegetable that can be used in your garden either, in fact, there are several ways to repurpose the string pulp and seeds too.

How to re-use Halloween pumpkins

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Adam Smith, founder and CEO of Eco Energy Geek, said: “There are so many pumpkins produced for the Halloween period, and with just a little careful planning, we can ensure the ecological footprint left behind is minimised and fully utilised.”

He explained that the nutrients found in pumpkins are what makes them so useful for gardening – particularly when it comes to the soil in your flower beds and borders.

Adam said: “Pumpkin leaves contain high potassium levels that helps improve soil health and growth.”

Pumpkin fertiliser

If you only have the orange flesh to spare, be sure to save it for your garden waste pile.

Matt Jordan, Gardening Expert for The Greenhouse People told Express.co.uk: “Quick to degrade, rich in nutrients and a great source of nitrogen, pumpkins are the perfect material to add to your compost pile.”

To successfully compost your carved “Jack-O-lantern’s”, you will need to give them a quick rinse to remove any lingering seeds.

Cut the pumpkin into small chunks to speed up the decaying process and enrich your garden soil more quickly.

DON’T MISS:
Five ‘quick’ and ‘cheap’ methods to heat your bedroom without heating [INSIGHT]
Best method to clean a dishwasher filter using just one ingredient [REVEAL]
Methods to prevent window condensation – avoid ‘dust mite infestation’ [ANALYSIS]

Matt explained that keeping your compost free of the large seeds is crucial to avoid accidentally growing your own pumpkin patch next year.

While flavoursome pumpkins can attract unwanted pests, they can also be useful for feeding wildlife in need of food in the autumn months.

Both the flesh and seeds supply essential nutrients to critters and birds in the cold weather – though you should take care to keep the scraps out of reach from hedgehogs.

Eric Michels, Head of Pro at CJ Wildlife explained that the orange vegetable can negatively impact a hedgehog’s digestion and can even be fatal in some cases.

To keep wildlife well-fed while staying safe, Matt recommended sticking to bird feeders.

He said: “You can make your own birdfeeder by cutting pumpkin rind in half and securing some string around it to hang on trees or a bird feeder pole. You can fill this with birdseed or dry out the pumpkin seeds for birds to feast on.”

Raiding your pumpkin feed off the ground also helps to deter unwelcome guests such as rodents.

Pumpkin planters

If you want to extend the life of your pumpkins as part of an autumnal display, using a leftover gourd as a planter is a great way to brighten up your home and garden.

Ensure the pumpkin is completely hollow before giving it a rinse with water.

Pat dry and pop in a potted houseplant or seasonal blooms to fill the space. Matt said: “You can even spruce up your pumpkins with foraged goods – fallen autumn leaves, berries and even vines can give pumpkin pots a more sophisticated style.

“Simply use an adhesive spray to stick dried foraged materials to pumpkins.”

Once the vegetables start to look worse for wear, remove the plant and bury your planter in a garden border to decompose and enrich the soil.

Source: Read Full Article