Trader Joe's Fan - Organic Gardening and the Secret of BIG Pumpkins

giant_pumpkin.gifOctober means Halloween and Halloween means pumpkins. If you are anything like me, you look forward to picking the very handsomest, the very biggest pumpkin for the perfect jack-o-lantern. But step away from that overflowing bin at Trader Joes and think bigger… MUCH bigger.

We’re talking proud ribbon-wearing giants, reclining like Jabba the Hut at harvest festivals where they are the stars of the show. What is the secret of growing one of these, you might ask? Well, according to Joe Jutras, the current world record holder for growing a 1,689 pound pumpkin in 2007… fish and seaweed.

neptunes.gifBefore you head out to the beach, you might want to know that Joe’s fertilizer is made from fresh North Atlantic fish by a unique cold process that protects over 60 natural occurring major and minor nutrients, amino acids, enzymes and growth hormones found in the fish. The special blend of fish and seaweed, made by the folks at Neptune’s Harvest, is the company’s best selling product and part of a full line of organic, natural fertilizers and insect repellants that have become legendary to growers everywhere, pumpkin and otherwise. In addition to being an alternative to harsh chemical fertilizers, Neptune’s Harvest makes use of up to 70% of the waste of a filleted fish including the head, scales and fins – waste that might otherwise be dumped back into the sea.

The second “magic” ingredient in Neptune’s Harvest’s blend has long been known as a rich fertilizer. Seaweed’s growth promoting substances (Auxims, Cytokinins, Gibberellins) enhance plant development, color and vigor. Seaweed has also been found to increase plant hardiness and resistance to adverse environmental conditions, such as early frost, extreme heat and lack of moisture. Used as a seed inoculant, seaweed fertilizer increases and accelerates germination, and enhances the rapid development of a healthy root system. If you think organic products don’t work as well as good ol’ man-made chemicals, think again. Neptune’s Harvest fertilizers have been shown to outperform chemical fertilizers in several studies.

Check ‘em out at and if you yourself want to take a crack at growing a prize giant pumpkin, they even sell a book called “How to Grow World Class Giant Pumpkins.”

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