Friday, May 25, 2012

Swamping the Pumpkin Plants with Beneficial Bacteria & Fungi

Since I started growing giant pumpkins I've been using compost tea and beneficial bacteria like myco to help build the root system and build the soil.  Three years ago I started using beneficial bacteria in my fertilizer program as well to help protect the plants and build the soil food web.  Even five years ago there wasn't a lot of beneficial bacteria products on the market and what was available was kind of expensive.  Now for just a few bucks you can treat the entire pumpkin patch and your lawn.

Today I drenched a 10 square foot area around my pumpkin plants with half a stick of Supreme Growers Soil Blast.  Supreme Growers, a Colorado company, is a sponsor of the RMGVG and we got some samples of their products at the spring meeting.  Soil blast contains 7 billion beneficial bacteria, probiotics, fungi and biostimulants in a 7 gram stick that has 4-0-8 organic fertilizer.  Along with the Soil Blast I put in two tablespoons of Azos and a half tablespoon on Actinovate.  I first drenched the plants with just the Actinovate because I wanted it on the leaves and then drenched with the Azos and Soil Blast mixture.  The hope and the expectation is that these products will overwhelm the soil with good bacteria and fungi so that the bad bacteria and fungi can't get out of control.  I also expect it to help protect the plants, fix nitrogen in the soil that will feed the plants and build the soil food web.  All of that should mean bigger pumpkins come September.


Patrick said...

Good stuff, thanks Jamie! Question for you... do you use a hose end sprayer to apply Azos/Actinovate/Soil Blast? If so is there a particular brand & size you recommend, or one that you've found works best? Thanks!

Jamie said...

For today I just used a watering can because I didn't have a very big area to cover. I'll use the hose end sprayer on the whole patch in the next couple of weeks after I till the rest of the pumpkin patch. For the hose end sprayer I just use one of those Ortho sprayers with the dial on it. They are nice because most fertilizers include charts for the Ortho sprayer and they are also inexpensive.

Patrick said...

Good stuff, thanks Jamie!