4 Giant Pointers
So you want to grow a monster pumpkin? Here are 4 keys to growing a giant pumpkin that helped me and will hopefully help you as well. Many of you already know how to water, how to prune, and care for your plants. The following key points have been added to help take you the extra mile. Or is that the extra pound??
1.) GREAT SOIL – I cannot over emphasize the importance of this element of your growing. I recommend using Kinsey Ag Services. Not only will you get a top quality soil test but recommendations on how to properly correct your soil as well. Other options to consider in an effort to improve your soil are Ironite, Azomite, and Vitazyme. The first two are trace mineral supplements, the latter is a soil conditioner. All are important when trying to get your soil to perform at its highest level.
2.) GOOD SEED – If you don’t already know this you should. Certain Atlantic Giant seeds are better than others. Just like, some race horses are faster than others. For more information check out this website: http://aggc.1wh.com/login2.asp It is the premier reference for Atlantic Giant Pumpkin genetics. If you are not already a member of this website just send an email to Mike Nepereny and inform him you would like to join.
3.) INSECT CONTROL – Without proper insecticide, growing Atlantic Giants in the Midwest can be nearly impossible. My first two years were a complete failure for this very reason. I recommend Warrior-T, or Scimitar (1/2-2/3 tsp. per gal. water). Scimitar is available through a company called Pro- Source One. Their phone number is 317-328-1000. I caution against using your credit card over the phone however. A couple of my fellow pumpkin growers have had their card number stolen while purchasing Scimitar with this company over the phone.
4.) FUNGAL CONTROL – A good spraying program is necessary to prevent powdery mildew a common problem with Cucurbits. I alternate Quadras and Bravo (Daconil) once every 10 days as the season progresses as a foliar application. Another option to consider is a product called Rootshield. It is a healthy fungus called Tricoderma that prevents other common fungus like fusarium and others from causing soil borne fungal problems in your soil. A third option is to treat the soil itself with products like Subdue and Cleary 3336. Using these as a soil application will provide protection against Fusarium and Pythium root rot. If your plants are dying early or your pumpkins are maturing after only 30 days of growth. Soil disease may be your problem.
By Brad Walters