a Jack o lantern planter with grass ornamental kale and hens and chicks

Jack o Planterns

At the garden center last year I saw these very cool pumpkins turned planters that I fondly named Jack-o-Planterns. With so much personality and plant material, I knew this would be how my Halloween pumpkins got dressed up for the big day.

Jack o Planterns

Making your own is a really simple project. Heading out to a garden center will be the most time consuming and, might I add, dangerous. You will have to show some restraint if you don’t want to come home with a carload of colourful grasses, kale and other fall beauties.

jack o lantern

A big thank you to SEA SOIL who graciously sponsored this post by providing me with the best soil out there and the plants. While I could go on and on about how wonderful SEA SOIL is, I’d rather show you. I am working on a before and after project that will be revealed next year. For now I’m beefing up my garden beds with SEA SOIL original, which is 100% made from by-products of the forestry and fishing industries. Sadly this perfect blend is only available in BC, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. If you happen to be in one of those areas, grab a bag and give it a try. You won’t be sorry.

 Sea Soil

Materials:

  • Pumpkin
  • Soil
  • Grasses, cabbage, Sedum, and ornamental kale
  • Marker
  • Knife

 fall planter

1. Cut the top off your pumpkin to make a hole in the top. If it is fairly empty then you don’t need to spend a bunch of time scooping it out. I removed the seeds and roasted them and left the rest of the junk in there. It will all compost together in the end anyhow. Use you marker to draw a face on the best side of the pumpkin and use the knife carve out the holes.

halloween planter2. Now add some soil to the bottom of the pumpkin. You can use a container mix soil, although I just used SEA SOIL original which is pure compost. I found that my plants had quite a bit of container soil in them and I didn’t really need to add much more in the way of peat moss or pearlite. Contrary to typical container planting instructions, you really want to pack the soil down at the bottom to create some firm areas where the plants can sit. These planters will not last long enough for the roots to struggle and will have lots of moisture and organic matter from the pumpkin itself. I also don’t think drainage holes are necessary, but add them if you choose.

3. Now for the fun part (it is even more fun than carving jack-o-lantern)! Plant some ‘hair’ with grasses…

jack o lantern

…and ‘hats’ with cabbage.

how to make a jack o lantern planter

Fill solid around the roots of the plants (remove the plastic pots) and pack it in through the eyes and mouth. Leave space for sedum and ornamental kale as eyes and teeth.

Halloween pumpkin planter

 I tried swapping out the kale and sedum in different jack-o-lantern eyes until I got the look that I liked.

halloween planter

4. Now set your pumpkin out in the cool fall air and water periodically. After Halloween, remove the plants and make a pretty fall planter or use them to pretty up the garden. Compost the whole pumpkin and the soil and you will be well on your way to a greener garden next year.

pumpkin planter

a Jack o lantern planter with grass ornamental kale and hens and chicks

Thanks for visiting the weekend project and a very special thanks to SEA SOIL for sponsoring Garden Therapy.

jack o plantern

About the Author : StephanieAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie

  1. Sheila @sZinteriors
    Sheila @sZinteriorsOctober 14,12

    Oh my gosh, these just crack me up and make me smile! They’re so much fun :-) I showed my hubs, and we’re game to give a few a go… I’m going to salvage what I can from my planters that have to be tipped out, and then fill in the gaps from there. The toothpick comment is too funny! Thanks again for such a refreshing take on Jack :-)

  2. DeeAnna
    DeeAnnaOctober 15,12

    That is adorable! I love the spikey hair!

  3. Lynet Witty
    Lynet WittyOctober 16,12

    Awww I saw this on tip Junkie (I think) and I love them! That’s such a cute idea!

  4. Rachel
    RachelOctober 17,12

    What a wonderful idea! I definitely want to try this :)

  5. Anne of Green Gardens
    Anne of Green GardensOctober 18,12

    These planters are SO unbelievably creative!! Love love love them!!! Thanks for sharing your creativity with us.
    Anne

  6. Sandie Anne
    Sandie AnneOctober 25,12

    Those are incredibly cute and also very attractive!! So much better than just a plain old pumpkin. When you get ready to compost your pumpkin if you have any worm bins, composting worms love pumpkins!

  7. Annie
    AnnieOctober 25,12

    Oh yes! This goes on the DIY bucket list… the “must create” list. Thanks for the great share and step-by-step inspiration. Am sharing right now with friends and clients!

  8. Sheila @sZinteriors
    Sheila @sZinteriorsOctober 28,12

    Hi Stevie!
    I have created my Jack o Planterns! As promised, here’s the link to my post:

    http://www.sheilazellerinteriors.com/articles/pumpkin-grunge

    My husband just looks and them and laughs, shakes his head, and then laughs some more! They are so much fun! Thank you again for such a creative idea. Love it!!!

  9. Siobhan
    SiobhanJanuary 9,13

    These are so cool! I will definitely be making one for Halloween. It’s just a pity I have to wait 10months before I can do it!

  10. Deborah Comiskey
    Deborah ComiskeyAugust 2,13

    Hi, I would love to make these with my blind and visually handicapped gardening class.

    I’d like to display them, but I am wondering how long they will last before the pumpkin starts to rot?

    What is your experience?

    Thanks so much for the great idea!

  11. Dria
    DriaSeptember 3,13

    These are so cute!! You did a fantastic job on this :)

  12. Kathy
    KathySeptember 10,13

    I am just wondering how long ahead of time I can plant this before Halloween before it starts to rot. Any ideas? I live in CA so the days are warm and the nights are cool.

  13. Nora
    NoraSeptember 14,13

    I just adore these pumpkins!!!! Thank you for sharing and inspiring!

  14. Bette
    BetteSeptember 29,13

    What can you put on the inside of the pumpkin to make it last and not rot so quickly?
    I love the ideas!

  15. Carol
    CarolOctober 6,13

    And I thought I’d seen every cute pumpkin idea there was. Apparently not. Love them!

  16. Kim @ The Educators' Spin On It
    Kim @ The Educators' Spin On ItOctober 11,13

    This is such a fun idea, not sure how long they would last in Florida but still love the idea! Shared onto our Gardenig with Kids Pinterest Board

  17. Bill
    BillOctober 22,13

    This is awesome! I especially like the mouthful of hens and chicks.

  18. Paige
    PaigeOctober 27,14

    Love these! Had to share your link on our website! Thanks for the inspiration

    Paige
    http://www.burningfirepit.com

  19. Paige
    PaigeOctober 27,14

    Oops – meant to say shared these on our facebook page:)

    http://www.facebook.com/burningfirepit

Leave a Reply