Jennifer Van Diest, the manager at Blue Hills Nursery www.bluehills.com in Whittier, has found the perfect spot for her first foray at giant pumpkin cultivation near the back of the store, across the street from the elementary school next door. She sent me these pictures of her obvious progress together with a question on how to address insect pests. I suggested a more natural/organic approach, in the form of a companion planting of radishes. I am trying this method this year, and have germinated some "National" radishes to circle my mound. According to the National Gardening Association, radishes have a repellent effect on insect pests. We shall see... The research I did said to plant 4-5 radish plants in the area that you want protected, and to leave them in the ground for the duration of the season. I sowed plenty of radish seeds so I'll have plenty to eat in addition to the 4-5 guard radishes. I'll post pictures of The Great Wall of Radishes soon.
Have a great evening, and please keep those progress reports and pictures coming!