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Pumpkins are one of the most fun parts of fall, but you may not know all the uses for them. Here are some new ways to utilize them.

With Halloween upon us and Thanksgiving soon to follow, pumpkins are the vegetable of the hour. We all know how short a time they last once carved for Halloween, but fortunately, there are many other options for what you can do with your pumpkins this fall. Think outside the jack-o-lantern with these clever tips from our real estate agents.

  • Make a pumpkin planter.
    Pumpkins actually make a fantastic planter for fall plants and decor. Choose a wide pumpkin with a nice flat bottom, so you won't have to worry about your planter tipping over. Cut the top off and hollow it out inside, but instead of carving a jack-o-lantern, fill it with dirt and an arrangement of plants! It's common to see planters decorating the front porches of South Bend homes for sale, but you can really make your home pop with an attractive pumpkin planter.

  • Bake pumpkin cookies.
    Pumpkin spice more your style? You can turn those extra pumpkins from your garden into something much more interesting, such as cookies. Instead of buying canned pumpkin, cut your fresh pumpkin in half, remove the seeds, and bake it until tender. Once roasted, the flesh of the pumpkin can be pureed and used in place of canned pumpkin. Bonus: Baking pumpkin cookies before your house is to be shown will make it smell amazing!

  • Make pumpkin spice candles.
    Forget about commercial pumpkin spice candles! Real pumpkins make a much better option. For this, you'll want tiny, decorative pumpkins or pie pumpkins. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the top, pulp, and seeds. Then fill the shallow cavities with a wick, melted wax, and crushed cinnamon sticks or cinnamon bark essential oil. Pumpkin spice never smelled or looked so good!

  • Feast on the seeds.
    Regardless of how you intend to use your pumpkin, hollowing it out leaves you with a lot of seeds. These seeds can be thrown away, added to your compost pile, or you can roast them and keep them around for a fall snack. After scooping the seeds out of the pumpkin, clean off the pulp, boil the seeds in salted water, and dry them well afterward. To add the finishing touch, toss them in oil, and sprinkle them with seasoning and more salt before roasting them.

  • Make your jack-o-lanterns last.
    If you still prefer the classic use of pumpkins this Halloween, you can make yours last longer by utilizing a few little tricks. First of all, cut the opening in your pumpkin in the bottom instead of the top. This helps preserve the strength of the jack-o-lantern's walls as it gets older and prevents cave-ins. You can also help make it last longer by cutting an opening above the candle for smoke and heat to escape or using a battery-operated light. Coating the cut edges with petroleum jelly can also prevent the jack-o-lantern from drying out as quickly.

From pumpkin spice to pumpkin decor, nothing screams fall like this absurdly large orange vegetable. Pumpkins and other fall decor create an inviting environment, which is good to keep in mind if you're getting ready to sell your home. For more tips on staging your home, such as how to welcome potential buyers with seasonally appropriate decor, contact us today.

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