Yesterday at the Farmville Area Farmer’s Market, I demonstrated how to make a compostable pumpkin planter. The pumpkin I chose for the demonstration was one that was rather flat on one side – not a very good candidate for a Jack O’Lantern, but perfect for my purposes.
I hollowed out the pumpkin on the rounded side and saved all my seeds for roasting (about 1 1/2 cups worth of seeds). Next I filled it with top soil, some great mushroom compost, and a soil/peat moss mix. I took this prepared pumpkin to the Farmer’s Market (figuring it would be rather boring to watch me fill it with the dirt!). At the market, I planted the mums and pansies into the pumpkin, making a very pretty fall planter.
In its present condition, I think it will last a couple of weeks. As the pumpkin begins to soften and decay, I’ll dig a hole large enough to bury the pumpkin. It will then completely deteriorate and become wonderful compost as the flowers continue to bloom in all their fall glory.
To make a planter after Halloween from a Jack O’Lantern, just use some strips of newspaper to line the inside of the pumpkin face to ensure the soil doesn’t seep out through the eye, nose and mouth parts of the pumpkin face. Fill and plant fall flowers of your choice. Watch for the pumpkin softening, and then bury it in the ground to compost.