DIY Pumpkin Planters

Instead of carving pumpkins, transform them into planters for edibles and fall plants and flowers.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

Photo By: Image courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

A Jack-'o-Lantern Alternative

Express your love of fall and gardening by planting ornamental kale, cabbages, chrysanthemums or a variety of edibles in homemade pumpkin planters.

Use a Variety of Sizes

Select a variety of pumpkin sizes, shapes and colors to give your finished tableaux a more eclectic, whimsical feel.

Use a Sharp Knife

Your goal is to not cut too large of an opening in the top of your pumpkin. Make the opening large enough to accomodate the root ball of the plant you've chosen and to allow you to scoop out the pumpkin innards.

Carve an Opening

Keep the opening relatively small to allow the plant to spread over the pumpkin as it grows.

Remove Pumpkin Top

Ta-da! Now, the fun part: removing the innards.

Scrape Out the Interior

You'll want to make plenty of room to fill the pumpkin with potting soil to keep your plant healthy. Don't forget to cut a small drainage hole in the bottom of your pumpkin.

Save the Innards!

But don't let those innards go to waste. Save them for a variety of pumpkin recipes. And the seeds are great for roasting with any number of spices.

Fill With Soil

Provide a welcome berth for your plants by filling the pumpkin cavity with potting soil.

Place Plant in Pumpkin

Depending upon your taste and your garden, consider a fall-appropriate ornamental kale or cabbage for your pumpkin planter. Edibles like dinosaur kale, 'Redbor' kale and lettuces have the perfect texture and richly colored look for these planters.

Ready to Go

When the pumpkins begin to look not-so-fresh, dig a hole in your garden or raised beds. Your edibles and ornamentals can be planted while still in the pumpkin directly into the soil and will live on in the ground. The pumpkin will provide nutrients for your plants and—better still—nothing will be wasted!