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Composting Those Halloween Pumpkins

Published by Lamar Buker

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The Green Way to Dispose of Them

Well Halloween is over now and you have a bunch of pumpkins that must be discarded. Some of them were unfortunate enough to have scary faces hacked into them, and some were spared this terroristic act. Either way they’re in your yard and you don’t want them to be. You throw them out every year. Every year they fill up trashcans that you think would be better used for real trash. On top of that everyone’s “going green” these days, so you’re wondering if there’s a better way to trash them without, well, trashing them.

Enter Composting! Ah, it brings back so many vivid childhood memories! The most prominent of which is the neighbors coming out of their houses every spring and crying, “What IS that wretched smell!” as my siblings and I all ran back into the house and acted like we hadn’t just spread four cubic yards of the most putrid smelling substance know to man all over our tiny yard – just in time for spring gardening. Yes, those were the days.

Seriously though, Composting Jack and his lesser know brother, forgotten fall pumpkin, is an excellent way to kick off winter composting in preparation for a great spring garden. AND, if done right, it shouldn’t smell. It’s also an excellent way to reduce landfill usage, get rid of fall leaves, and save you money by providing nutrient rich topsoil for you to plant your flowers or garden in come spring.

There are three basic rules to composting.

  1. Three Parts Brown to one Part Green

Dead tree leaves and small twigs are brown, grass clippings and kitchen scraps are considered green. Avoid meat and dairy products when composting. They are not healthy for the pile and will also attract furry friends you’d rather not have around.

  1. Keep it Aerated

Compost piles need air to break down the material you put in them. Aerating the pile reduces or eliminates the stench associated with compost bins and ensures your pile is operating efficiently. Aerate the pile about once a month by rotating the material. Inside material should go to the outside and visa versa.

  1. Keep it Moist

A dry compost pile will not break down the material inside of it nearly as efficiently as a moist one. Don’t add so much water that the material becomes soggy, but check to make sure it’s not dry once in a while.

Once you have a compost pile set up, putting a pumpkin in it is nothing more than throwing it in and smashing it up a bit. Remove the seeds first and dispose of them elsewhere unless you want baby pumpkin plants all over next spring. Other than that follow the rules and wait for spring. You’ll be amazed at how much trash you save and how well your plants grow next year.

 

 

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