The 3 big nutrients (also known as macro nutrients) are NPK
N = Nitrogen
P = Phosphourus
K = Potassium
Plants use these nutrients and micro-nutrients at different stages of the growth cycle.
What your plant needs could be different to what other people’s plants may need. This is where soil tests come into play.
I’m growing in the Tiny Pumpkin Patch. For myself and lot’s of others we don’t have the soil tests to show us what’s going on.
How Giant Pumpkins Use the Fertiliser
This isn’t exclusive to giant pumpkins.
Nitrogen used for leaf and vine growth
used for root development and growth
Potassium used for flower formations and fruit growth
Years ago I got myself a bag of Nitrophoska Blue fertiliser.
You may be asking yourself what that is.
Nitrophoska fertiliser has been around a long time, think 80+ years. It is a general fertiliser used by a lot of people. It is man made and classed as a synthetic fertiliser.
The small pellets of fertiliser are usually blue or white.
It has many brand names. The one I have happens to have blue at the end. It seems it is no longer available.
Here’s a list of similar fertilisers that are available now. It is a cost effective fertiliser to have on hand.
The one I have has the following nutrient break down.
+ Trace Elements
60 – 80grams per square meter is the normal rate for this type of fertiliser. That equates to around 4 tablespoons.
Once applied around the plant. Cover the fertiliser with soil and water.
This fertiliser will keep providing nutrients up to 3 months.
Soil Balance out of Whack?
I found a mention of this type of fertiliser could upset the delicate organic balance of soil. This is something you’ll have to decide if it is important to you.
If I was growing in a larger area, I’d want to use a lot of organic matter. But growing in the Tiny Pumpkin Patch I want to make sure nutrients are available for the plant. No matter if they are from organic or man made products.
Follow the recommendations
Plants will only take what they need. Excessive fertiliser can cause problems for the plant.
Make sure to follow the recommendations for any fertiliser. Both the amount and frequency of application. It is easy to get carried away and think you are helping by applying more.
Other Products I am Using
As mentioned in the last blog post I’ve been using Yates Thrive. I also alternate with a liquid seaweed spray.
What Products are you Using?
I’d love to hear what you are using in your patch or garden. Let me know in the comments below.