FACT FRIDAY WEEK 5

This week we’re looking at pumpkins, just in time for Halloween!

There’s nothing that says Halloween more than pumpkins! These eye-catching vegetables are an iconic symbol of the autumn season and the festival of Halloween. After the spooky fun is over, there’s no need to put them in landfill - they can also provide a helping hand for wildlife!

Lots of birds love to eat pumpkin seeds, especially larger birds like jays. Before putting the seeds out you need to separate them from the pulp and dry them by roasting them in the oven for ten minutes. Remember not to put any salt or seasoning on. Then scatter them on the ground in your garden and keep an eye out for any visitors!

Birds aren’t the only ones who like pumpkin! Insects will also love the chance to scoff the specialty of the season. Take your leftover pumpkin and make sure it doesn’t have any mould, candle wax, or scorches, then chop it up into chunks. Bury the chunks about 25cm (10 inches) deep into your garden. This will provide great nutrients for invertebrates like worms.

The pumpkins themselves can also be repurposed as homemade bird feeders. Cut them in half around the equator to create a bowl shape, making sure everything is scraped out and there is no mould. To provide a perch, place a few twigs across the top of the bowl. Fill it with seed and put it out in your garden where you have a good view! Enjoy watching the wildlife that it attracts, but remember to compost it when any mould appears as this could harm the birds.

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