Working for the Weekend: Recycling Pumpkins for Wildlife
Halloween is approaching, so there’s a good chance you have a pumpkin or two around your house. They make great
Halloween is approaching, so there’s a good chance you have a pumpkin or two around your house. They make great decorations, but once the carving and trick-or-treating is over, don’t just toss them in the trash. There are lots of great ways to use pumpkins in and around the yard in the weeks ahead.
- Many people roast and eat pumpkin seeds themselves, but you can also share them with birds – larger wild birds like blue jays love pumpkin seeds too. Follow these directions to roast them (no salt, please!) and offer on a tray feeder or just sprinkle on the ground for birds to enjoy.
- If you have a garden, set aside a handful of seeds to plant in the spring. Rinse and dry the seeds in a cool dry place for several weeks and then store until next year. (Click here for more details.)
- As suggested by a Birds & Blooms reader, hollow out your pumpkin and fill it with birdseed for an inexpensive and easy feeder. Check out Martha Stewart’s fancy version (shown above)!
- In warmer climates, offer pumpkin flesh and pulp in your butterfly garden. Simply cut into small pieces and place in a shallow dish for fruit-loving butterflies like Red-Spotted Purples to enjoy. In areas where butterflies are already gone for the winter, you can offer the pumpkin pieces for other wildlife like deer and rabbits.
- If nothing else, at least compost your pumpkins when you’re done with them. They break down nicely and offer lots of great nutrients. Click here for more info about composting pumpkins.