If you have grown pumpkins in your polytunnel, then you are already one step ahead when it comes to creating the perfect Halloween decorations this year. Pumpkin carving is an old tradition and one which many families enjoy at this time of year. Here are some pumpkin carving tips for polytunnel gardeners:
Plan Ahead for Perfect Pumpkins
Growing pumpkins in a polytunnel takes planning and preparation. But in addition to taking care of your pumpkins from seed to harvest, you may wish to consider thinking ahead for Halloween too. While pumpkins are growing but still small, and their skins are still soft, consider scratching your name, or some decoration into the fruits. As the pumpkin’s grow, these scratches will grow bigger, and by Halloween, you will have ready-made Halloween pumpkins, and can simply embellish as you desire.
Scoop Out Pumpkins & Save Flesh & Seeds To Eat
When carving your Halloween pumpkins, remember that you can also eat what you remove from the inside. Wash the stringy filaments off the seeds and pop these bits on the compost heap. The seeds can be roasted and are delicious as a snack. You can also then scoop out some of the flesh from the inside, and use this in a range of recipes. You can eat some of your pumpkin and carve it too, so don’t waste these resources when doing your pumpkin carving this Halloween.
Use Blemishes To Your Advantage When Carving Organic Pumpkins
Organic growers will know that organic pumpkins are not always perfect, large and round like those that are bought in stores. But a pumpkin with slight blemishes, or which is somewhat misshapen, can be even better for Halloween pumpkin carving than a ‘perfect’ example. Have some fun, use your imagination, and think about how any blemishes or funny-shaped produce can be used in your design.
Use Other Polytunnel Produce When Pumpkin Carving
Polytunnel gardeners should think outside the box when it comes to creating their Halloween pumpkins. As well as using pumpkins grown in your polytunnel to create your spooky Halloween displays, you could also consider using other produce that you have grown in your polytunnel. Home-grown carrots, for example, could be noses for pumpkin faces. Smaller squash could be caught in a pumpkin’s gruesome ‘mouth’. Home grown herbs could be a pumpkin’s ‘hair’.
Have some fun this year and scare off the ghouls and goblins this fright night while also showcasing some of the produce you have grown in your polytunnel. Share your own suggestions in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.