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.
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.
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.
- Grasses, cabbage, Sedum, and ornamental kale
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.
2. 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…
…and ‘hats’ with cabbage.
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.
I tried swapping out the kale and sedum in different jack-o-lantern eyes until I got the look that I liked.
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.