Sunday, July 15, 2012

Some Compost Tea with Molasses this Evening for the Pumpkin Plant

This evening I gave the pumpkin plant 5 gallons of foliar and drench compost tea that had about 3/4 cups of molasses in the tea.  The molasses will help get the bacteria going in the soil and will help release nutrients in the soil including calcium.  It is becoming more clear to me, based on the literature I've been reading, that in the few days before pollination and the week after that a quality supply of calcium to the pumpkin during those 10 days can influence the final size of the pumpkin and reduce the risk of blossom end splits later in the season.  The hard part is making the calcium available to the plant.  Foliar applications of calcium probably gets very little if any calcium to the fruit (although, if the leaf can absorb the calcium, it may add extra calcium to the leaf so more calcium can be directed to the fruit).  Colorado's soils tend to have higher calcium levels in the form of calcium carbonate but it is locked up so the roots don't have access to much of it.  My hope is that the added molasses to the soil from time to time can help release the calcium in the soil as well as add to the beneficial biology in the soil.

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