What do you do with your scooped-out pumpkin seeds and insides? Graham Barrett from beanbags.co.uk shares three ways to reuse pumpkin seeds in the garden to avoid them going to waste.
Graham says: "Pumpkin seeds are a great way to show [children] a beginner’s guide to gardening." Here's how...
1. Preserve the seeds to grow your pumpkins
Did you know you can preserve the seeds from your pumpkin to grow another one next Halloween? It's a great idea to save money and avoid waste.
Barrett said: "To do this, you should soak them in tap water to remove any pulp. Next, you should add them to a colander and drain them before placing them on a dish towel and allowing them to dry fully. This should only take a day or two. Once they’re dry, add them to a jar or a container and place them in the fridge.
"After two weeks, you can then plant them in your garden or even in pots. Just make sure they're not too close to direct sunlight if you plan on planting them indoors.
"The seeds should be planted four inches deep in soil that is loose and rich in nutrients (like compost). If there's not much rain during the winter months, make sure you water them regularly, so they don't dry out too quickly."
2. Add them to your compost bin to speed up the process
You can use the left-over seeds in your compost pile as they’re a great source of nitrogen and moisture.
Graham says: "Composting the seeds will break down organic matter into soil that can be used for planting other plants in your garden or landscaping projects later down the road.
"The shells will break down quickly in compost piles, but if you want to speed up their decomposition, add some soil or straw to the pile first."
3. Feed them to birds
Additionally, pumpkin seeds can be left out for the birds as they are highly nutritious.
Birds will snap them up, particularly in autumn as they need more energy and fat to resist the cold weather.
Graham says: "Pumpkin seeds are rich in protein, iron and zinc and contain essential fatty acids which help to lower cholesterol levels.
"The extra good news is that no preparation is needed – the seeds can just be scooped out of the pumpkin rind and added to a bird feeder or a dish. The birds will help themselves."
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