How to improve and decorate your fall garden with free curbside treasures


This month and next can be a treasure-trove of free finds along the curb for your garden. Not only will you be seeing bags of leaves and other detritus to help improve your soil, you will also be seeing pumpkins.

While we do not decorate at our house for Halloween I love autumn and all that comes with it. The past few days have found us picking up previously carved pumpkins, spray painted pumpkins, and pumpkins/gourds no longer needed for decorations. Some have made it into front door décor while others have ended up added to a flower bed to compost in place.

My favorite part has been the ability to find non-traditional pumpkins, ones which are large and white. The kids really like being able to stomp on old jack-o-lanterns and create smaller pieces to help speed up decomposition. Honestly, they could care less about decomposition and really love the act of stomping on the pumpkin shells – it is a great sensory activity for them.

I have also been able to pick up a bale of hay and a potted fern. It has been just over a week since Halloween and not all trash pick up has happened in our town. I am pretty sure there will be more items added to our garden, either for décor or soil amendment, before the month is over.

Whether you are driving around or considering putting things out at the curb, keep your eyes open for free organic matter to add to your soil. If you place them right you might even end up with a lot of various pumpkin sprouts come spring with no work on your part.