Halloween Pumpkins and the Compost Bin

Wolf pumpkin carving jackolanternAt Halloween, many people carve pumpkins and end up throwing them away after the holiday has passed. After the holiday, the carved pumpkins will begin to mold and decompose. While this is not desirable for people who want to display jack-o-lanterns, rotting pumpkin flesh is a wonderful food to add to a worm bin in order to create compost.


If you have a compost bin with red worms, you don't have to throw all of your pumpkin away. Red worms absolutely love pumpkin, especially when it's moldy and rotting.

Even one pumpkin is probably too much for your worm bin. Never overload the compost bin because too much food can cause a massive die-off of your worms. Keep a sealed container of old food in your fridge at all times to keep old food that you can't feed to the compost bin yet. So break the pumpkins up into smaller bits and feed it to the compost bin little by little.

You also don't want to give them the pumpkin seeds, as they'll start to sprout, and they take quite a while to fully decompose. It's best to either plant the pumpkin seeds next season (just for the pumpkin's edible flowers, since a large pumpkin probably will not grow from a small plant container), or toast them for a snack!

This time of year also brings cooler weather, and as with all ectothermic animals, red worms slow down when it gets cooler. They can't process as much food. (This is why you buy worms out of a little fridge at your local garden shop - the cooler temperature keeps them alive longer with no feedings.) So now that the cooler weather is coming, slow down when it comes to feeding the compost bin. You don't want rotting food in the bin that will smell or kill your worms. Make the pumpkin their last big meal before the cold winter comes! The result will be great compost that you can add to your container plant soil so you have an even better-looking garden in the spring!

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