Once Halloween is over, there’s got to be something you can do with those sad, slouching porch pumpkins leftover from the big night. Right? If possible, try not to throw them away, as pumpkins (just like any other food or organic waste) break down in the landfill and produce methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. So want to know what to do with your decorative pumpkins once Halloween is over? Let’s start with the obvious question:
Can I eat my Halloween pumpkin?
Probably not. Though we’re usually all about how to repurpose food remnants into something tasty, Halloween pumpkins that have been carved, left on your doorstep for a month, and played host to a smoky candle will not taste that great, no matter how you fix them up.
So what should I do with them?
Compost them! You can get the best mileage out of a molding pumpkin by composting it. If you already have a pile going, consider breaking up the pumpkin a bit for speedier decomposition. If you’d rather give the pumpkin one more life, you could also consider donating it to your local zoo.
Is it hard to start composting?
Absolutely not. The prospect of starting a compost pile can be intimidating, but in practice it’s a low-maintenance project that will reward you with super-rich fertilizer. A few droopy pumpkins could be the motivation you need to get started! If you have room somewhere out back for a bin, check out our composting 101 post or this simple how-to.
What if I live in an apartment or just don’t have space or time to compost?
Check out resources in your community! Your local community garden or weekly farmers market may have a compost bin open to the public. Get a head start and check with Find a Composter to see if anything is listed in your neighborhood. Load your pumpkins in the trunk, and feel good doing it!
Can I plant the seeds?
Yes! Pumpkins are one of the easiest fruits to grow. You can even hold onto the seeds and plant pumpkins in time to harvest for next Halloween. Forget the pumpkin patch, you could pick a pumpkin to carve right from your backyard. To grow big pumpkins, you’ll need a bit of space and 3 to 4 months of patience, but smaller varieties can be grown in beds or more compact gardens.
Three cheers for a less wasteful Halloween!