>I love talking gardening stuff
Me too! (as you can tell). It's so refreshing to hear about a home gardener starting vegetables from seed. It's a dying breed. Not to mention the fact that you are growing heirlooms! Are you involved in any gardening organizations?
How do you use your dill and purslane?
If you haven't already tried the Cherokee Purple Tomato (heirloom) I highly recommend it. I never like tomoatoes at all until I tried that one.
It would be nice to be in a more mild climate to be able to grow more varieties for a longer period of time... I may have to trade seeds with you! Are those you listed new to you or repeats?
My own garden is claylike so I've been working on my compost pile. All my life I only grew vegetables, I got into seed and plant trading and that resulted in a lot of perennials. The good thing is that I'm not emotionally attached because they're not vegetables so if I've lost any, that's ok. I planted what I received last year and I'm a convert. Perennials are a good thing, as far as a listing, I don't keep as close track of anything I can't eat... I'm sure you all understand.
What am I growing? LOL! Actually, as far as vegetables, all I have in my yard are radishes, garlic, shallots, broccoli, cauliflower, and purple cabbage. I have a little herb garden with regular and variegatd sage, variegated and regular oregano, Cuban oregano aka Spanish thyme (mosquito repelling plant) variegated and green - haven't tried to eat it yet but there are recipes for it, rosemary and creeping rosemary, lovage, english mint, a couple of kinds or thyme, comfrey, chives, garlic chives, scallions, tarragon, pineapple mint, and spearmint. Will likely find more in a couple of weeks.
Outside the herb garden I have horseradish, rhubarb, bluberries and blackberries.
Still in pots are about 10-12 different heirloom tomatoes and I don't even like tomatoes!
I have a friend with a greenhouse who is starting Asian vegetable seeds so I will have to follow up with a list of what germinated.
I participate in helping with a local demonstion garden in town. It has several beds including native plants, vegetables, scented herbs, dying herbs (colorants), culinary herbs, perennials, trees, shrubs, wildflowers, turf, hardscape, really a little of everything. I'll have to verify the size of the vegetable garden, it's pretty big with very rich soil, they've been building the organic matter in the soil for at least 5 years, so it's the ideal place to "demonstrate" to the public.
We'll be putting in zucchini and 42 different varieties of tomatoes this morning, half the tomatoes will be heirloom. Off the top of my head, what is currently in the ground are various beans (including a pole bean tee pee in the center with Italian Romano, Asian yard long, and Kentucky Wonder, cucumbers (vining and bush), peas, beets, eggplant (four varieties including Rosa Bianca), 16 varieties of pepper (half hot, half sweet), cabbages, lettuces, cauliflower, carrots, five varieties of radishes, turnips, mustard greens, yellow and red onions, 2 varieties of corn, canteloupe, beets, and kohlrabi.
The produce is donated to local organizations and food banks.
It will be fun to see everything grow as I have not planted many of these vegetables myself until now.
No problem. Sometimes you can find a place that can deliver soil by the yard within a week. I'm sure it depends on your local suppliers.
I strongly recommend you get your soil tested, the cost for me was only $11.00 and I know exactly what state my soil is in and if it needs amendments so I'm not wasting money on fertilizers or things I don't need by guessing, etc. You didn't elaborate on what type of soil you got and there is a lot out there that is not good or needs to be amended.
Do you use mulch?
If you have specific problems, each state has it's own Extension Service with county offices that provide horticultural information usually free of charge if you call. Here is a link to your state of Illinois Extension Service
, the Illinois Soil Testing Labs
, and an Illinois Gardener's Checklist
LOL! Beets? I think the key is timing, getting them in the ground early enough while it's still cool, consider soil temperature and air temperature, make sure the soil contains organic matter and is loose and well drained, water regularly for plump beets. They are easy to grow.
Satisfactory soil temperatures for beets are between a minimum of 40 and maximum of 75 degrees. But they grow best and produce more between 60 to 65, the optimum temperatures.
Here are a couple more sources you may find informative:Growing BeetsMore on Growing Beets