Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Steve Deletas Giant Pumpkin Watering Presentation

Steve Deletas has consistently been one of the best growers in the world for a lot of years.  As a profession he is a pilot, so he is away a lot.  Because of this he has come up with an automated watering system to make sure his plants get the perfect amount of water all the time.  I met Steve a number of years back.  A very nice guy.  The following is his presentation this last weekend at the GPC spring seminar.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

2019 Giant Pumpkin Fertilizer Program

In 2018 I cut back some on the usage of seaweed in my fertilizer program.  After a discussion with a scientist at the Utah Giant Pumpkin Grower Spring meeting today, I'm putting it back in, but mostly on the soil.   This scientist talked about keeping the roots young and seaweed is a good way to do that.  Seaweed can encourage root hair elongation/growth and root hairs typically will only last about two weeks.  Foliar application effects a plant much differently than soil applications.  So in 2019 I'm going to do more soil applications and less foliar applications.

One interesting part of the presentation was this chart.  In a lot of ways it nicely matches what I've been trying to do with my fertilizer program.  The right fertilizers at the right time for the greatest impact.  The following chart shows this from the presentation:
The Amine N is basically urea form of nitrogen.  

Another interesting part of the discussion I had was urea verses ammonium sulfate for nitrogen.  By the end of the discussion my conclusion was that for soil applications, sulfur coated urea is a little bit better way to go. 

Also enjoyed Ralph's presentation today.  He had shared a lot of what he presented with me previously, but pulled away with some new ideas as well.  Basically I'll be doing much more soil testing this year of dissolved solids (NPK) to make sure the nutrients are staying within the 500-900 range.  I know I've been too low in the past.  

The following is the 2019 fertilizer program I'll be using:

May (focusing on the roots):
Week 1RAW Phosphorous/nitrogen (mono ammonium), B-vitamin, liquid seaweed/kelp, compost tea, myco, microbes & Azos, yucca, humic acid
Week 2fish, compost tea (alfalfa), fulvic acid, yucca, silica, seaweed, humic acid, foliar multimineral
Week 3NPK, compost tea, humic acid, yucca, fish, Azos, enzymes, amino acids, iron
Week 4NPK, compost tea, RAW 7-4-5, Omina, silica, fulvic acid, seaweed, calcium

June (focus on vine growing):
Week 5blood meal (for nitrate nitrogen), phosphorus, potassium, enzymes, humic acid, compost tea, yucca, RAW 7-4-5, azos
Week 6foliar multi-mineral, phosphorous (flowering), fulvic acid, microbes, RAW 7-4-5, azos
Week 7(pollination) humic acid, compost tea, RAW 3-12-12, Omina, iron, azos
Week 8nitrogen, TKO, humic acid, yucca, compost tea, azos

July fruit (focus on transiting from vine growing to fruit):
Week 9enzymes, NPK, compost tea, fulvic acid, seaweed
Week 10NPK, humic acid, compost tea
Week 11(pumpkin gearing up), TKO, microbes, nitrogen, humic acid, compost tea, B-vitamins, Omina, seaweed
Week 12cane molasses, humic acid, NPK, compost tea, iron

August (focus on the fruit)
Week 13NPK, foliar multi-mineral, compost tea, silica, Actinovate, seaweed, humic acid
Week 14Azos, yucca, humic acid, NPK, compost tea, Omina, foliar multi-mineral
Week 15silica, humic acid, NPK, Actinovate, compost tea, enzymes
Week 16TKO, cane molasses, fulvic acid, NPK, compost tea

September (finish the race)
Week 17humic acid, foliar seaweed, B-vitamins, RAW 3-12-12, compost tea, Omina
Week 18TKO, nitrogen, foliar seaweed, foliar humic acid, cane molasses, silica
Week 19foliar potassium, nitrogen, foliar seaweed, humic acid
Week 20foliar potassium, foliar seaweed, humic acid