The Great Pumpkin Contest

Jun 29, 2012 12:30 PM by Jill Graves

Feeding the Pumpkin Vine

Dr. Sabol visited us today, bringing us another vibrant, healthy pumpkin plant! We lost one of our plants already today to some sort of little animal enjoying life up here on the KSBY hillside. They chewed the plant off right at the base, so it could have been a gopher but there was no sign of holes or anything.

We have been diligently watering our three pumpkin plants every day with a tablespoon of "All Purpose Fish Fertilizer," and then a tablespoon of plant food, 20-20-20 until we get a female flower. Dr. Sabol said the 20-20-20 stands for (though I confess to having to Google this as I write!) phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium. We are feeding the vine right now, and once we have a flower this feeding schedule and the phosphorous|nitrogen|potassium amount will change.

They are growing fast, but we are behind. Apparently you are supposed to have a female flower by July, and that is just a couple of days away! Yikes!

Dr. Sabol has been digging around our hillside for the past few weeks and knows very well how poor our soil is. It is very hard and lacking nutrients, so when he dug the holes for the pumpkins he added compost, and mycorrhiza which is a fungus that helps the roots do a better job of grabbing the nutrients and taking them up to the pumpkin. He also added a time-release fertilizer that will last for three months. He mixed these all together to create a nice healthy base for the roots to grow in.

And the roots seem to be taking hold just fine!

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