Looking at the program below, you'll see that in early May I'm trying to get beneficial biology going in the soil early to help protect the roots and add beneficial bacteria and fungi that will help feed the plant. In the 2nd week I'm also adding a touch of RAW Phosphouous to the soil. This particular type of phosphorous, when added in the first three weeks after transplant has been shown to increase root mass by 20%. Who wouldn't want that?
You'll not that in may I'm not giving much in the way of fertilizers to the plant at this point. What I am giving is being spoon feed in small quantities. The soil should be built up enough to properly feed the plant. You'll also note the kelp I've giving to the plant roots. This will help build the roots system with different plant hormones that comes from kelp. The main focus of May should be on the roots of the plant.
In June I'm still spoon feeding the plant but adding a little nitrogen. The RAW Nitrogen and RAW ominA will help support vine growth and in June it is all about the vines. A good portion of the nitrogen the plant is going to take up in its live is going to be during the month of June. RAW ominA is a very interesting product that I just learned about this year. Not only is it a nitrogen source, but the amino acids that are include in ominA can help open calcium ion pathways by the thousands and even millions. More calcium in the plant means a healthier plant that is more disease and insect resistent. Since I have soil that is a little high in potassium, which is antagonistic to the uptake of calcium, I was thrilled to learn what ominA could help me do in my patch.
In the past I've kind of held off on potassium around pollination time. Some have suggested it can cause the fruit to abort. That could be true, but I also want to grow a pumpkin as big as I possibly can so I'm going to give the plant foliar TKO around pollination time to help the fruit and flowering of the plant and then after pollination spoon feed with a little potassium.
About 24-28 days after pollination that pumpkin should really start to take off. By this time the plant has hopefully grown to a descent size and some of the side vines on the plant should be terminated. You should pollinate the pumpkin on the main vine after 9 feet (14 feet would be closer to ideal) and the side vines and main vine should have grown big enough that there are enough leaves and root system to support the growth of the pumpkin. At about day 28-32 the vines on the plant should really start to slow down in growth as the pumpkin becomes the main sink of the plant (aka black hole).
In July and August the fertilizer program is about supporting the pumpkin growth. The plant is going to pull up a lot of potassium from the soil. Like I said before, my soil is a touch high in potassium, but even with that the rhizosphere around the root hairs can only reach so much potassium and as that pumpkin rings the dinner bell, we will want to make sure the plant has what it needs. This is where some foliar applications can be helpful.
You'll note that each month I'm giving the plants some B-Vitamins. Only in the last few years have scientists figured out how B-vitamins help support the plant. Basically it triggers a systemic response in the plant that makes it more resistant to insects, pathogens, heat and other stresses. One application will help the plant for about two weeks.
You'll also notice that towards the end of August I'll be giving the plants a little Cane Molasses. In the later stages a plant will give less sugars back to the microbes in the soil. A little cane molasses gives the microbes the carbohydrates they need and in return they will have the energy they need to give nutrients to the plant in the late season.
September is about making sure that the plant has what it needs to continue growth of the pumpkin. In the past I haven't had great growth in September. That is partially due to weather but I think my plants on bonking in September and are tired so I'm missing out on wait gains, particularly at the beginning of the month. So a primary focus this season will be better nutrient management in late August and early September to make sure I'm pushing the pumpkin to the end of the season.
This fertilizer program is a guideline. Read your plants to see what they are telling you what they need. Don't over fertilize, anticipate needs before they happen and watch the weather because that can sometimes influence when and how much you give a plant. Grow em big in 2015! If you are looking for discount fertilizers? Visit our store at seeds.denverpumpkins.com.
May planting outdoors in hoop houses:
|Week 1||B-vitamin, liquid seaweed, compost tea. With mykos, myco grow, Rootshield and Azos in the planting hole.|
|Week 2||phosphorus, compost tea, fulvic acid, yucca, silica|
|Week 3||compost tea, foliar seaweed, foliar humic acid|
|Week 4||compost tea, fish & seaweed, Azos, Biotamax, Actinovate with iron, Rootshild, omina, silica|
June vine running:
|Week 5||Omina, nitrogen, compost tea, yucca|
|Week 6||TKO, foliar multimineral, foliar fish & seaweed, fulvic acid, calcium, ominA, humic acid|
|Week 7||foliar humic acid, compost tea|
|Week 8||foliar multimineral, foliar seaweed, foliar humic acid, yucca|
July fruit (assumed that pumpkin pollination will be around the last week of June):
|Week 9||foliar potassium, Omina|
|Week 10||foliar fish & seaweed, foliar multimineral, B-vitamins|
|Week 11||potassium, foliar fish & seaweed, biotamax, actinovate|
|Week 12||cane molasses, foliar multimineral, fish & seaweed on the soil, foliar humic acid|
|Week 13||Omina, foliar fish & seaweed, foliar multimineral, compost tea, foliar actinovate, B-vitamins|
|Week 14||potassium, Actinovate, Biotamax, azos, yucca, foliar fish & seaweed, foliar humic acid|
|Week 15||foliar multi-mineral, foliar fish & seaweed, foliar humic acid|
|Week 16||TKO, cane molasses, fish & seaweed on the soil, foliar seaweed, fulvic acid|
|Week 17||foliar multimineral, foliar fish & seaweed, foliar humic acid, foliar actinovate|
|Week 18||TKO, foliar fish & seaweed, foliar humic acid, cane molasses|
|Week 19||potassium, foliar seaweed, foliar humic acid|
|Week 20||foliar potassium, foliar seaweed, foliar humic acid|