In addition to all of his work with the soil, he also is a strong advocate of fertilizing his plants. He built an injector system and fertilizes frequently.
"I use fish emulsion on Monday and seaweed tea on Wednesday, and I use Peter's 20-20-20. In the early spring I used a freeze-dried molasses that I put on the soil to wake up the microorganisms."
I asked him about his biggest challenges and he explained that it was getting the plants and the pumpkins through the last two weeks.
Diseases and insects are a major challenge. He controls the disease with copper- and sulfur-based fungicides and uses a vegetable oil and soap based fungicide for insect control.
Does he have the winner? Time will tell because the winner is only declared after the weights are declared at the official weigh off
There just might be a new record-breaking pumpkin this year.
Garden tips and events
The Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers weigh-off is Saturday, Sept. 24, at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. Registration starts at 8 a.m., with judging at 11 a.m. The weigh-off starts at noon. Register online at www.utahpumpkingrowers.com.
Wasatch Community Garden's Pumpkinfest is Saturday, Sept. 24, 1-8 p.m., at the Sandy Garden, 500 E. 8880 South.
Red Butte Garden is hosting a seed collecting workshop on Saturday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m.-noon. Bring sharp hand pruners. Cost is 18 for members and $23 for nonmembers. Registration is required at 801-587-5433 or 801-581-6464 or www.lifelong.utah.edu.
Larry A. Sagers is a horticulture specialist for the Utah State University Extension Service at Thanksgiving Point.
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