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Composting makes good use of old jack-o’-lanterns

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Jodi Perry

Emma Woods (10) smashes a pumpkin with a hammer to prepare it for composting.


With Halloween over, many are wondering what to do with the leftover pumpkins. Why not compost the pumpkins instead of throwing them away to end up in a landfill?

Silvia Rhoads of Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful said it is not difficult to compost pumpkins, but there are a few things that need to be done to get the pumpkin ready.

“First make sure all seeds are removed,” she said. “If you don’t remove the seeds, you will have lots of pumpkins growing in your yard. Next, make sure you remove all candles and wax. Even though wax is organic, it is not great for composting because it deteriorates at a slower pace.”

Rhoads recommends finding a sunny spot in your yard to place your pumpkin and smash it down.

A Cove family whose children are home-schooled recently composted their pumpkins as a class project. The Woods children smashed the pumpkins without hesitation.

Emma Woods, 10, said the experience was “awesome.”

“It helps flowers, trees, and bushes grow. They will look pretty.”

Mathew Woods, 12, decided to leave the seeds inside the pumpkin before smashing it.

“(The composting) will help grow more pumpkins because of the seeds,” he said. “This experience will encourage me to do (composting) again.”

The Woods children covered the pumpkins with layers of leaves and left the smashed pumpkins for Mother Nature to take her course. Rhoads said worms will help turn the pumpkin into rich compost.

“There is nothing you can buy in the store for your garden that is as healthy as your own compost.”

KCCB is hosting a free composting class from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 9 at the Copperas Cove Library meeting room, 501 S. Main St. KCCB will provide residents with the supplies and hands-on training to build vermi-composting containers using worms to turn organic waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer.

Sign up is required and the class maximum is 20 people. To sign up, call Rhoads at 254-547-4242.

Contact Wendy Sledd at or (254) 501-7476

3 images

Jodi Perry

Emma Woods (10) smashes a pumpkin with a hammer to prepare it for composting.