However, there could be a dark and potentially smelly side to creating your Jack-O’-Lantern that could lead to a blocked plughole if you don’t dispose of the sticky, slimy pulp that surrounds the seeds properly.
If, instead, you flush this pulp down the kitchen sink, there’s a danger it could harden and stick to pipes, clogging things up and leading to blockages. In other words beware of things that grow plump in the pipe.
To avoid this ugly outcome, don’t be tempted to work on your pumpkin over the kitchen sink.
The best approach is to carve your pumpkin on a wipeable surface, like a kitchen table or worktop, or on a pile of old newspapers, scooping the innards into a large bowl or directly into a bag. After this, dispose of unwanted pulp carefully into the bin or onto your compost heap, NOT down the plughole.
There are also a bunch of things you can do to make the most of your pumpkin after Halloween, rather than throwing it out. Here’s a list of our favourites:
Make a pumpkin planter
Fill your empty pumpkin with soil and place the plant of your choice securely in the centre. Then plant the entire pumpkin in the ground where it will decay and serve as a natural fertilizer for your plant.
Toast the seeds
Toasted pumpkin seeds make a delicious snack. Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they also make a great addition to salads or soup. Simply toss them in a tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt and bake on a parchment-lined tray for around 15 minutes or until a nice golden colour.
Make a face mask
Rich in vitamins A, C and E, pumpkin makes an excellent DIY face mask. Purée the fruit and mix with a little milk and around 5tsp of brown sugar, which works as exfoliant. Apply in a circular motion and leave for around 20 minutes while you relax. Remove with a damp cotton pad.
Feed the birds
As temperatures tumble in early November our feathered friends will appreciate the nourishment. Cut the fruit into small pieces and add to a feeder, or, better still, make your own feeder using the well of the pumpkin to hold seeds and suspend it securely in your chosen spot.
Grown your own
Get the kids involved and grow your own pumpkins for next Halloween. Sow the seeds on their side in small pots. Once germinated, transport them outdoors to a sunny, sheltered spot. Water well until established and in dry periods.