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Cultivating Knowledge

How I used Xtreme products to grow North America’s largest 2,560 lb pumpkin! by Travis Geinger

Most don’t realize the time it takes to grow a giant pumpkin let alone a record breaking pumpkin. In the spring I had my eyes set on certain products to push my plants throughout the year in hopes of growing a winning pumpkin. The products I used were as follows, Mykos, Azos, Azos Red Liquid, Versity, Cal Carb, and Tea Brew.

When I started my plants I put in a generous amount of Mykos, and Azos. I then watered in with Azos red liquid and Versity. When plants are small I try to use this combination whenever I water as I feel the need to push the plant health in the beginning helps a ton with disease resistance throughout the season. Just like humans Flu season is usually in the winter when it is cold and we are very susceptible to germs.

The plants usually go outdoors within 2 to three weeks of sprouting. When I transferred into the garden these plants get the royal treatment and a giant 12 foot x 6 foot x 3 foot deep hole was amended with Azos, Mykos and then the plants were watered daily with Versity and Azos Red.

The giant pumpkin plant was over 6 feet long in 30 days from the start of the seed. Once the plant starts going each vine can easily grow a foot a day and have 30 plus side vines. Every other day I meticulously buried each vine with Azos and Mykos. Each leaf produces a root node on both the top and bottom. It is my job to ensure both the top and the bottom get coated with my modified potting soil and before that potting soil I sprinkle Azos and Mykos. Afterwards I shower with Versity and Azos Red.

When it rains hard I cannot fertilize due to my soil being too wet. A great way to use Cal Carb is to coat the leaves after a heavy rain. Then leave it sit on until the next watering maybe in a day or so. This helps prevent powdery mildew and other diseases as well as gives the pumpkin an extra boost of calcium for cell division and cell expansion. You hear of blossom end rot in tomatoes and it usually linked to a lack of calcium. These giant pumpkins can put on 55 plus pounds a day and Maverick’s max it grew 1475 pounds in 30 days. It is detrimental we have plenty of calcium while this is happening. I love using Cal Carb throughout to give it a boost. When I can I will also aerate the Tea Brew for 24 to 36 hours and then water it into the soil. I teach college horticulture and my students get a kick out of seeing the compost tea under the microscope with all the little microbes!

As the season progresses I keep burying my vines for months and repeating the process. My plant was close to 40x50 feet! Crazy how big the plant is but it helps support a massive pumpkin. Getting the soil biology in tune each season early helps jump start these roots that often go 18” deep and can even spread much farther than the actual plant itself.

Xtreme products helped me get an early jump start to my plant and definitely helped propel the 2,560 pound pumpkin!

- Travis Geinger


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