Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Growing Great Pumpkins, Part 2


Pumpkins are heavy feeders and nutrient requirements change, as your pumpkin grows. For the first few weeks, your pumpkin will require a fertilizer with more Phosphate, such as Fox Farm’s Fruit and Flower to help establish roots.

For the next 3 weeks or so, switch to a higher Nitrogen fertilizer such as Fox Farm Tomato and Vegetable Food to encourage your pumpkin to produce vine and leaf growth.

About week 6 or 7, switch back to 5-10-5,

first fruit set, then stop feeding until you can see the pumpkin has started.

At this point switch to a fertilizer with high Potash to encourage fruit growth and that’s what you’ll feed your pumpkin until harvest.
Pumpkins can draw nutrients through their leaves, so another way to feed your plant is to spray the leaves with liquid seaweed or fish and seaweed.
The value of fish and seaweed fertilizers is they are loaded with amino acids, enzymes and micro-nutrients, great for supplementing your regular fertilizers, especially during the Nitrogen phase.
Pumpkins need a lot of water. It’s best to water in the morning and to water at the base of the plant, not the leaves. An easy way to gather water at the base is to build a moat around the plant and water in the moat. Another trick is to pick out the biggest two or three pumpkins and remove the rest. This will help your big pumpkins grow even larger. Pumpkin plants like a lot of sun. The pumpkins themselves like shade, so consider covering your fruit with shade cloth or Seed Guard. Start your pumpkins now and plan to enter our Giant Pumpkin Contest, which will be held Saturday October 11
th, 2014.

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