What to do with the pumpkin leftovers

Succulent Pumpkin Final

Create a Pump­kin Suc­cu­lent Planter!

These should last a few months as long as they are misted twice a week with reg­u­lar tap water and kept in a cool spot. They would do well with a dose of daily morn­ing sun, too! Enjoy this tuto­r­ial and get your pump­kins now before they are all gone from the stores and pump­kin patches!

Supplies

Succulent Pumpkin
Large Fairy­tale Pump­kin — The flat top is easy to work with in this type of design. Tall nar­row pump­kins will offer more of a chal­lenge for the first-timer. (Pump­kin Beer is optional!)
Succulent Craft Glue
Craft Glue — Use the spray glue to attach the moss to the pump­kin and the tacky glue to attach the suc­cu­lents to the moss. We pur­chased these glues at Michael’s Craft store.
Succulent Pumpkin Moss
Sphag­num Moss — When work­ing with this, it’s best to wear latex or nitrile dis­pos­able gloves. This moss has some­times been linked to a long-term skin infec­tion caused by a fun­gus found in the moss.
Cutters
Cut­ters and Scis­sors — Cut­ters for the suc­cu­lent plants and scis­sors to trim moss.
Tray
Tray of Assorted Suc­cu­lent Plants — Two-inch pots are good can­di­dates for this design as well as cut­tings from larger plants like jade and aeo­nium. Also, be sure to have some trail­ing type of suc­cu­lent like sedum or burro’s tail.

Steps to Make a Pump­kin Suc­cu­lent Planter

Step 1: Attach Moss — Spray the glue onto the pump­kin top and attach the moss. Press down the moss to attach firmly.
Succulent Glue
Step 2: Trim Moss — Trim moss to make it neat and tidy. Your goal will be to cover all the moss with suc­cu­lents, so you don’t want any stray strands.
Trim Moss on Pumpkin
Trim Moss on Pumpkin
Step 3: Attach Glue to Suc­cu­lent — Use the gel tacky craft glue to attach the suc­cu­lent to the moss. Just do one suc­cu­lent at a time. Glue then place…glue then place. NOTE: The suc­cu­lents will attract water from their leaves and send out roots to the moss from the other parts of their stems. It’s okay to cover the bot­tom of the stem with the glue.

Add glue to Succulent
Step 4: Build Design — Start at almost cen­ter with larger cut­tings and work your way out to the edges using smaller plants and cut­tings as you go. The glue will take about 30 min­utes to dry, so keep that in mind as you are work­ing. Also, don’t try to do this out­side on too cold of a day or the glue won’t set quickly.

Build design from center
Build design outward
Step 5: Add some Spilling Suc­cu­lents to Add Inter­est — Add some trail­ing suc­cu­lents to add inter­est to your design. Sedum is a good option.
Add Spiller Succulent
Step 6: Fill in any Moss with Small Suc­cu­lents or Leaves — Make sure the suc­cu­lents are well-packed within the design. In about a week, the plants will start to shrink a bit so you want all the holes well cov­ered before this hap­pens. Use smaller stems of suc­cu­lents or the leaves of suc­cu­lent plants to fill holes.
Fill in holes

Pump­kin Suc­cu­lent Planter Care Tips

  • Mist twice weekly with plain tap water. Don’t overwater…pooling water on top of the pump­kin will cause it to decompose.
  • For best results, keep out­side in a cool spot and give it a healthy dose morn­ing sun­light to keep plants healthy looking.
  • Place pump­kin on a trivet if out­side (will decom­pose if sit­ting right on top of con­crete) or on a plate or plat­ter inside to pre­vent any stain­ing if you are using for a centerpiece.
  • When the arrange­ment has faded or you are ready to start dec­o­rat­ing with a more win­ter theme, don’t throw the suc­cu­lents away. Instead care­fully remove them from the pump­kin moss, remove any dead leaves and plant in some light cac­tus mix. Any roots that have shot out will grab onto the cac­tus mix and the suc­cu­lents should grow. Even sin­gle leaves will root and send out lit­tle off­shoots that will become mature plants.

Here are a few lit­tle ones I did using the mini white and mini zebra pump­kins. I used just the tips of some small suc­cu­lent blooms to make these. The Zebra pump­kin is about 4.5 inches tall by 5 inches wide and the white pump­kin is 4 inches tall by 4 inches wide. These lit­tle ones make great gifts.
Mini Pumpkin Planters
Mini Zebra Pumpkin Succulents
Mini White Pumpkin Succulents

This is a repost from a blog: Flower Duet. Written by Kit WertzDesign by Flower Duet. Photo by: Kit Wertz

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Care for the earth – become an Earthologist!

This is a fun project for every classroom!

This activity was found on the website earthsbirthday.org. Here you can find more projects such as how to make a butterfly housegrowing sunflowers, download science handouts and even order bugs. 

earthologist pledge

What’s an Earthologist?
An Earthologist is an individual who studies about and cares for the Earth. You can become one at any age. Earthologists understand that all forms of life are interconnected. They also know that the planet on which we live is precious. Earthologists learn about and try to save important endangered animals, plants and places. They also like to do earth-friendly acts, which we call Acts of Care, such as recycling, picking up litter, and conserving water and electricity at school and at home. We need LOTS of Earthologists in order to insure that our planet will remain a healthy home for all living things!

How can I become an Earthologist?
First, ask yourself these questions:
• Do you get excited eeing a caterpillar change into a butterfly?
• Are you astonished to think how a tiny seed can grow into a tall tree or brilliant sunflower?
• Do you sometimes think about the plants and animals that live on this Earth with us?
• Do you wonder about places you’ve never been and wonder what they might be like?

Become an Earthologist!
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are just the right sort of person to become an Earthologist. You can become one by taking the
Earthologist’s Pledge. Then, try to learn about and care for the Earth whenever you have the opportunity. Perform Acts of Care often. Help remind your family and friends to take care of the Earth as well. That’s all you need to do. It’s easy!

Download the Earthologist’s Pledge »

The Earthologist’s Pledge
My name is ____________ and I am an Earthologist.
No job is too big, no action too small,
for the care of the Earth is the task of us all!

Performing Acts of Care

Download 100 Acts of Care »
Coger 100 Actos En Espanol »

Every small thing we do to help the Earth is what we call an Act of Care. Each one combines with all the others to make a big difference for the health of our planet. An Earthologist knows that every single seed planted, every drop of water conserved, every tree hugged, every child learning, every breath of air that is clean instead of polluted, every square yard of rainforest preserved, in fact every type of Act of Care really COUNTS. We will create a culture of care for our Earth by taking these actions in our own communities, as well as on behalf of the planet. All Earthologists are encouraged to participate in our annual conservation fundraiser, Big Gift to the Earth. By collecting coins and donating them to help protect rainforests, you’ll be performing an Act of Care at home and at school that effects the whole world.

What activities for kids do you like? Comment below.

Using Recycled Containers For Seed Starting

You don’t need to have a fancy set up to successfully grow your garden seedlings. Many people have that one cabinet or drawer full of plastic containers that have lost their lids, a stack of yogurt cups that have long been forgotten or the clear plastic “clamshell” containers that you’ve kept around, and maybe an empty plastic milk jug or two. Disposable containers can receive new life by using them to start seeds.

Food and yogurt containers or milk jugs with their bottoms cut off will need to have drainage holes. Use a drill with a ¼ inch bit to put holes in the bottom of the containers every few inches. Clamshell containers of store bought produce often already have holes in them, so this makes them very convenient for sowing seeds. These also have a lid that can be closed to hold in moisture when weather is warm.

Milk jug bottoms make good starting trays; Drill small drainage holes every few inches. Clamshell containers usually have drainage holes and a lid to hold in moisture.
Milk jug bottoms make good starting trays; Drill small drainage holes every few inches.
Clamshell containers usually have drainage holes and a lid to hold in moisture.

Containers that are about no more than 3 inches deep are perfect for seed varieties that will be sown close together and then transplanted. I am using these to grow tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, basil and spring flowers like calendula, bachelor buttons, Agrostemma, and Clarkia. This will insure that I’m able to scoop up all of the roots with minimal damage when transplanting. Small yogurt cups work perfectly as individual containers to sow large seed varieties like pumpkin and squash.

Starting Calendula, Pumpkin, Squash and Pepper seeds in disposable containers
Starting Calendula, Pumpkin, Squash and Pepper seeds in disposable containers

You can start lots of seeds in your own back yard even if you don’t have a greenhouse. There are many varieties that will germinate just fine outside in a protected location that has morning sun, and partial shade for the rest of the day, especially in hot climates. Growing seedlings in these conditions is water wise and less stressful for plants. Note: too much shade will cause young stems to stretch out looking for sunlight, and causes seedlings to become very weak.

 

I have made a special table just for growing seedlings. Sections of ½ inch irrigation tubing have been attached with screws to the sides to create hoops on which to place bird netting, row cover, or shade cloth to protect seedlings. Note: Long season, heat loving varieties like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are NOT suitable to start in light shade outdoors. They need a warm place inside in a sunny location like a bright window sill or use a grow light set up to germinate and grow well.

Stay tuned and we will follow up with the next step for these seedlings grown in recycled containers. As soon as they are big enough, I’ll show how to transplant seedlings into larger individual containers or directly into the garden bed once they are ready

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 8.05.17 AMWe used recycled containers like milk jugs, yogurt cups and plastic clamshells to start seedlings with much success! Spring flowers like Blue Boy Cornflower, Mountain Garland Clarkia and summer vegetables like Raven Zucchini and Cinderella Pumpkins were grown outside in a place with morning sun and afternoon shade. Tomatoes and peppers were put on heat mats in the greenhouse.

spring flowersOur spring flowers will be transplanted right into the ground when they are a few inches tall and the roots have filled out the container, but before they are very root bound. Since they were grown outdoors, there is no need to harden them off. Just scoop a section with a few plants with all of their roots intact, then separate each one and plant 6-8 inches apart.

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 8.05.42 AMtomato plant

The zucchini and pumpkins have grown perfectly in yogurt cups. When the roots completely fill out the cup, they will be transplanted directly into the garden.

Tomato and pepper seedlings all need to be transplanted into larger individual containers when they have several sets of true leaves. Yogurt cups are the perfect size for them. When the night temperatures are above 50°F (10°C) it will be time to move them outside to harden off, and then plant into the garden.

 

DOWNLOAD PDF: Easy Seed Starting Using Recycled Containers

www.reneesgarden.com – Article Written By Lindsay del Carlo, Trial Garden Manager