Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Vine Burying for a 1,000+ Pound Pumpkin

I talked a lot about it in the spring seminar, but I think the one thing that most growers can improve upon to get a 1000, 1500 or 2000 pound pumpkin is vine burying.  It isn't fun.  Particularly in the middle of a hot day in early July when the vines are growing like weeds, but it pays off big time.  Why?  Properly buried vines, done soon after vine growth means more roots growing at each leaf node.  In the past I know I've lost potential roots out of the top of the vine because I didn't bury soon enough or deep enough and the root start dried up.  Growing a giant pumpkin is like a death by a thousand cuts.  There is no magic fertilizer or seed.  It really is about doing about 100 things really well.

This year I'm going to vine bury earlier, a little deeper and I've added a couple of other things into the mix.  In the past I've done myco, seaweed, humic acid and Azos at each leaf node as I've been burying.  I'll continue to do that, but on the main vine I'm also putting down Wallace;s WOW Super Starter Packs.   That is the only fertilizer Eddy Z has been using (he puts one at every leaf node).  I don't want to do it at each leaf node because with my fertiligation I feel I can better apply targeted fertilizers when I need them, but I think there might some value in adding these starter packs.

I'm also adding Rootshield Plus at each leaf node.  I won that at the Spring meeting and it was something I wanted to buy anyway.  Rootshield is a natural, beneficial fungicide that can help protect the roots from pathogens.  Healthier roots should mean bigger pumpkins.

The last thing I'm doing, which I did last year, is putting a little compost down on top of the buried vines.  So I bury with soil and then put compost on top of it.  That will add some nutrients, but it also adds a ton of beneficial bacteria and fungi to the soil.  Actually much more than some of the beneficial you can buy in packets from the garden center. I personally don't prefer to put compost right on the vines.  I can see too many possibly problems that could come from that.

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