Thursday, May 12, 2016

Competitive Gardening (of sorts)

One of the blessings I received when moving to Montana was to immediately fall into a great group of people at work.  Me, my family, were all taken in and made to feel right at home.  One friend in particular, CS, took us under her wing.  Car trouble - no problem - she and hubby right there on the spot for us.  Need babysitters - she has two daughters who can watch Lady K.  Moving - here they are with a truck.

That said, there is a bit of competitive spirit between us.  We challenge each other on our steps daily.  Who is reading more books than the other.  All in great fun, but there is a tiny bit of edge there too.  (Hey, this is a family that plays soccer, soft ball, does gymnastics, runs track among other things.  Don't tell me there isn't some competitive blood there!)

And then there are our gardens...

While either one of us will help the other in the garden.  Be on hand to water during moving and vacations.  Hand off bags of fresh peas and lettuce to the other...

Underneath that compost beats two hearts who are wishing for the first tomato, the largest pumpkin, the 'better' garden.  In other words, we are secretly competitive gardeners!

I say this because with me planting seeds so early and getting my garden ready way before the more sane here in Helena are planting, CS stepped up her game.  We both held our breath earlier this week when the 'snow' moved through on a couple of occasions.  Why?  Because of this...

Yep, that's a zucchini.  A Bosa Nova zucchini to be exact.  I have already achieved baby zucchini.  And I don't eat zucchini, except as bread, so I had better find some good recipes.  Quick!

And this...

This is my Butterscotch Squash.  It's suppose to be good in containers (where it is now) and is a more compact butternut squash and smaller than regular butternut squash.  And also has some babies forming.

The one I am really excited for are my 3 Pepitas Pumpkins.  While Lady K is probably going to be disappointed they will have 'green' on them, these pumpkins have seeds without hulls, so no peeling the seeds after roasting.  (And unless I have a bumper crop, I'll frown if they want to carve them for Halloween.)

All three plants are covered up with baby-pumpkin-potential!

And my potatoes in bags and pots are really coming along.  Savvy is getting a big chuckle out of the fact the potato growing the best, so far, is the one in a Qdoba catering bag!  I put it down to being clear plastic and more of a greenhouse than the others.

This is one of my 4x4 beds at the house.  Peas on the very back, radish/carrots and then kale.  Onions and garlic take up the rest with some attempts at transplanting some strawberry plants.  My radishes got clumped together when the dog ran through the bed right after planting, so some thinning in order.  Since the peas came up pretty sparse, I think I will drop in some cucumber seeds in the next day or two.

This is the other, slightly deeper, 4x4 bed.  As you can see there is a lot of thinning of lettuce which needs to happen.  But peas on the back, then radish/carrots, broccoli and my Bosa Nova squash.

This coming weekend will be full steam ahead on the community garden plot.  I have staked out 3 beds which are 4 x 19.  One is fully planted with potatoes (yes, more potatoes), peas, leeks, squash and corn.  Another bed is about 1/3 planted with tomatoes, peppers and brussels sprouts.  At least I hope the tomatoes and peppers survived the 'snow'.

Of course, my assistant in quality control and dandelion duty is enjoying the gardens too.  She's learning and loves to pick things - which will come in handy soon, I hope.

So while gardening is calming and meditative for me, I will admit, I want the biggest pumpkin!

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