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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Turn jack-o-lanterns into disposable pumpkin birdfeeders


A pumpkin carved into a jack-o-lantern shouldn't be trashed automatically after halloween. Yes, a carved pumpkin rots more quickly than a whole one. But it's already at your home and paid for. Also keep in mind that many "pumpkin patches" sell leftover pumpkins (starting the day after  halloween) cheaply. If carved pumpkins rot too quickly in whatever weather we have in north Texas, consider using your fall pumpkins to make a pumpkin birdfeeder. Just add a little seed to any remaining pumpkin seeds and put it outside. Whichever way you go, carved or whole, remember that birds are attracted to seeds, including pumpkin seeds.

 If using an already-carved one, just carve out the "face". Then fill with fresh birdseed. This simple bird feeder can be used anywhere you would normally use tray or platform feeders.  If you use hay bales as part of your outdoor fall decorations, placing one of these feeders between hay bales or on top of a hay pile adds a touch of color and active bird interest. A pile of whole pumpkins can also be easily accented with the addition of a carved pumpkin bird feeder. Note: Placing the feeder in the shade will help it last longer.

 Carved pumpkin bird feeders are versatile bird feeders that can accommodate many different types of food and many different feeding birds. The big picture:  last year there were about 50,900 acres of pumpkins harvested. Let's use them wisely. And when a pumpkin-feeder finally rots, just throw it in the compost or trash as you would have anyway.



OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at in Denton


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