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Connecticut Garden Journal: Pumpkins and gourds make fun decorative planters

Pumpkins decorated with succulents
Elena Fantasia
Moment RF / Getty Images
Pumpkins decorated with succulents

So, you bought more pumpkins and winter squash for carving and decorating than you have willing hands to help. Now you're wondering what to do with those extra pumpkins and gourds Why not make planters out of them?

This is a simple way to add to your Halloween decorations and have a planter for the holidays! You can make planters out of large or small pumpkins and gourds. Simply cut off the top, hollow out the center (saving the pumpkin seeds for roasting) and fill the squash with potting soil.

Now the fun begins. Check out local garden centers and farm stores for left over annual flowers, herbs or veggie transplants to plant or dig some from your own garden. You can also use succulents and small houseplants, too. Decide on your hair style. We use scallion transplants I found at a local garden center to create mohawk look. We also found some calibrochoa trailing plants for a floppy hair style. Finally, we bought some small flowering cabbages for a crew cut, flat top look. You can combine these plants with some scary face painting as well. Once the fall freeze causes the pumpkins to soften, move the whole creation into the compost pile.

For a more elegant look, use smaller gourds and mini pumpkins and place one small succulent or houseplant, such as sedum, echeveria and aloe, in each. Keep them in a cool, sunny room indoors in November and use them to decorate the Thanksgiving table. Once the gourds and mini-pumpkins start to soften, transfer the houseplants into plastic pots for your indoor winter garden.

Charlie Nardozzi is a regional Emmy® Award winning garden writer, speaker, radio, and television personality. He has worked for more than 30 years bringing expert information to home gardeners.
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