If you already have a backyard compost bin or pile, you know the drill. If not, check with your municipal waste management service to see if they collect compostable materials for their own composting facility. Many farmers markets also have a drop-off spot for compostable materials so check with them. If you'd like to start your own backyard compost, learn more at GreenYour's guide to making your own compost. If you're just getting started with your Halloween pumpkin, follow these steps:
- Scoop out the seeds and insides. If you've used your pumpkin as a jack o lantern, this step is already done. If not, make sure you remove the seeds before composting, as they will sprout if you do not. Don't let the insides go to waste: You can roast the seeds for a tasty treat, and use the flesh from the inside to make soup or other dishes.
- Be sure to remove candles and wax from the inside and decorations from the outside before composting.
- Cut or smash the pumpkin into small pieces. Left whole, the pumpkin may start to mold.
- Find a place in your yard to compost. You'll need to find a place where a pile of decomposing pumpkin and leaves will not detract from your landscaping and has good drainage and adequate sunshine in the winter.
- Add fallen leaves to the pumpkin pieces in your chosen spot. Avoid large sticks and branches as they take a long time to decompose.
- Add more organic matter as you can. Kitchen scraps, like fruit and vegetable peels, work nicely, as does yard waste, egg shells, coffee grounds, and newspaper.
- You can place this compost pile in a container, like a garbage pail, or acomposting bin if you choose. This is not necessary but will make it easier to collect and spread to your lawn and garden in the spring.
- Your compost is ready to use when it looks like dark, crumbly soil.