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


Adam w. said...

I want to say thank for being so open and honest with all the information you share on your blog and your YouTube video. Came across the video over the winter and now your blog. Can’t wait to incorporate your ideas and methods to my growing this year. I plan on following along with your blog this year o I can continue to improve. Thanks again,

Unknown said...

Thanks for the feedback Adam. Let me know how your season progresses. I'm kind of chomping at the bit this season to see what I can do. Three years ago I didn't grow because I moved. Two years ago I put in a pretty go effort to get virgin soil prepped, but had struggles with the new environment (cool and very windy). Last year I put in a somewhat minimal effort because I was busy with the greenhouse, yard and life. I've got a fair amount to do this Spring, but it is the first time in years that I feel like I have what I need in place to grow a descent pumpkin. That is the fun thing and the horrible thing about growing these giants. There are about 10,000 factors in growing a big one so we are all always learning and working things out to get something bigger.

Adam w. said...

I am so ready to go as well, but with several feet of snow still over the patch I still have a bit to wait. I’ll keep in touch and hopefully with good news throughout the season. Last year I added 600 square feet for growing pumpkins onto my garden so really hoping to get some good results. Control what you can, mitigate what you can’t. I would love to put up a greenhouse, as our weather up here can be tricky at best, we live near Missoula, mt. And it’s not un common to get frosts way late. Glad you got settled and looks like you are setup well this year. Only 10,000 factors? Haha, yeah way more can go wrong then right.

Unknown said...

Our weather is probably pretty similar. This isn’t common, but last Frost this last year was June 10th. My average mornings in the middle of summer is about 54 degrees. So you have to figure out ways of taking advantage of what you got and like you said mitagate the rest. Then enjoy the journey along the way.