Monday 10 October 2022

What to do with pumpkins! #Blogtober22

I am taking part in Blogtober 2022 and will be writing posts with various themes/prompts throughout October. Today's prompt is: Eco Halloween!

Halloween is one of those celebrations which can bring a lot of waste with all the sweet wrappers, flimsy single use costumes and mass produced decorations. I am not going to go into all of that, I am just thinking about pumpkins! Many people buy a pumpkin, carve it and then throw it away. Pumpkins were destined for so much more than just being hollowed out.

My home grown pumpkin

I don't want to brag but I totally am going to, this pumpkin is one that I have grown myself from a seed. I planted it in about May time and it is almost ready now. It is the size of a small football, it might not be perfectly round but I am so bloody proud of it. All I did was grow the seed in a pot in a plastic greenhouse until there was a green plant and then I put it in the soil in my garden and watered it when the weather was hot and that's it!

After Halloween often comes the unwanted task of disposing of old pumpkins. Whether carved or not, there are plenty of ways to reuse or recycle pumpkins after the holidays that can benefit you, wildlife, and even your garden.

What to do with your pumpkin!

All pumpkins can be eaten. So don’t be fooled by the ‘marketing’ ploy used by many supermarkets advertising their pumpkins as ‘carving pumpkins’.

The pumpkin seeds can be removed, air dried on a baking sheet and then baked for a delightful snack or salad topping. You can also use the seed to grow your own Halloween pumpkin for next year. Just store them in a cool, dry area and plant them between May and June.

The insides of a pumpkin can be scooped out and roasted to make savoury or sweet dishes to go with the Halloween spread or become the base for some hearty homemade autumn meals.

A pumpkin bird feeder is such a cute idea. Simply cut the top of your pumpkin off to form a bowl shape, stick some twigs or sticks in the side to give the birds a place to perch, use twine to create something to hang your feeder and there you go. Hang it up and check it's secure and then fill with birdseed. 

Leave your pumpkin, lid off, in the garden and allow the birds and insects to feast. 

Pumpkins are full of vitamins that are great for your body but are also lovely for your skin so before you throw out your leftover pumpkin, make a face mask! Scrape out any of the flesh inside and blend to get a puree, then add in 1/2 a tablespoon of honey and 1/2 a tablespoon of milk (you can use an alternative too). Mix it all together, apply to your face and leave for 20 minutes. You'll be glowing like a jack-o-lantern.

Pumpkins are 90 percent water meaning they break down quickly. Prevent unwanted pumpkin plants from sprouting by removing seeds, then chop them up and place them in the compost pile/bin. If you don't have a compost pile, check with nearby farms or community gardens to see if they collect old pumpkins.

What do you do with leftover pumpkins?


  1. Some great suggestions in this post Kim. I love the bird feeder and am intrigued by the idea of making a pumpkin face mask!


  2. I hold my hands up as we never do halloween, although used to when the kids were younger. I didd not know there was so much more you could do with it, apart from the normal soups etc

  3. I love carving pumpkins, and these are such great ideas for using more of the pumpkin!

  4. Well done! Your pumpkin is fantastic. I'm thinking about having a go at growing my own next year. I love pumpkin seeds, so I'll have to make sure I save some. We have a lot of hedgehogs which love to feed on our old pumpkins. xx

  5. I enjoy watching birds and squirrels eat my pumpkin. It's like a little show. #MMBC

  6. Good on you Kim! Your pumpkin looks amazing!! We used to grow pumpkins with the kids at preschool. I shouldn't really say we as it was one of the other teachers with a green thumb who did all the work. One year I thought that I would try growing some in my front garden but it was a total fail. All I got was a whole bunch of leaves and no pumpkins. I love all your ideas of what to do with pumpkin so as not to waste any of it.

  7. Oh my goodness! The pumpkin bird feeder is great! I love bird feeders and this is so neat. Thank you for the idea.

  8. Congrats on growing your own pumpkin! How fun!! I might try that next year! Love all the different ideas on how to use an old pumpkin, especially the bird house. After Halloween I usually sit it in my backyard and let the squirrels have it ( I always have a family living in my oak tree). They work on it all winter long. maybe this year I will try the birdhouse idea too. Thanks for sharing!

  9. When we used to buy and carve pumpkins they always rotted before I managed to do anything with them.. but I did them throw them in the compost pile for animals to pick at.

  10. Get you! You should be bloody proud, your pumpkin is amazing!!! I'm well jel haha! That's one thing I have never grown before.
    We roasted the seeds one year and loved them that much I've done it ever since.
    Love the bird feeder too that is a fab idea. xx

  11. Amazing! Well done on growing your pumpkin Kim, it's fab! Me and mum were going to do this but my sister got married in June, so that took over our May lol. Such good ideas on what to do with them after. We always cook savoury and sweet dishes but I might make a face mask this year too- my eldest daughter would love that. The bird feeder is great and our local animal parks will take old pumpkins too. xxx

  12. Your pumpkin is amazing, well done! I love the idea of using the leftover pumpkin as a bird feeder.

  13. I love this post as I hate the idea of wasting all the pumpkin produced for Halloween each year! Great one. That bird feeder idea is clever. And well done for planting your own pumpkin.

  14. That is so cool!