autumn flowers

Green Side Up Garden & Gifts

What do you do with all those favorite organic décor?

Are you the one who buys hay bales, corn stalks, pumpkins, gourds and mums as the days retrograde? I know we at Green Side Up are guilty of enjoying all this Fall Decor. Rather than throwing it all away, I wanted to share what is great for recycling and what you should just toss out. 

pumpkins, gourds, & hay bales

Pumpkins & Gourds

These beauties are great for compost; however, you must be careful to remove the seeds, or you will be growing them in your compost rather than growing your compost. Let us first write about using uncarved pumpkins and gourds. You will need to cut off the tops and remove the seeds, then you should chop up the fruit into small/medium sized pieces. Take the smashed pieces and add them to your compost pile. If you have ones that are already carved, you will simply need to remove any inorganic matter such as candles, then smash it down. There other ways to recycle pumpkins, click here to read more.


Have you ever seen those decorated gourd houses? Or the Bird Gourd Houses? Those are made from dried gourds. The process will take a bit of patience, but the projects are fun and may have you growing your own gourds. After you bring home or pick gourds of your choice clean them up. Use soapy water to wash them first followed by a wipe with rubbing alcohol to help dry off the water. Put your gourd in a well-ventilated area out of the sun and let them dry for a week turning them as needed. The skin will harden and change color. Now put the gourds in a dark and ventilated area not touching one another. They should be placed on a screen or hang them to allow for complete drying. Keep an eye on them and toss any that get soft or grow mold. Once the gourds are hard and hollow you can use them as you intended.

Hay Bales

What can we do with those hay bales? We can do a few things with them. We can add them to our gardens as mulch to help maintain soil temperature for the cooling season rolling in. Hay is biodegradable so while it helps protect plants from the early frosts it also breaks down and provides nutrition to the soil. Hay is a mineral-rich addition for our garden. (Don’t confuse this with straw bales.) If you don’t like the thought of seeing hay spread out through your gardens you can also break it apart and layer it into your compost.

Corn Stalks

Unfortunately, I have nothing for the dried-up cornstalks we like to bring in for added height and texture in our fall displays. They tend to attract unwanted harmful insects. Your best bet will be to throw them in the trash.

Garden Mums

Garden Mums

Did you know if you plant them in the ground they will come back year after year? Garden Mums can be cared for as perennials so after you are done enjoying them in a container close to your socializing areas plant them in your garden for next year!

If you have any questions regarding fall plants or any other garden help, contact us. You can post here, send us questions on Facebook, give us a call or come in face to face. We love our gardens and we love our customers.