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text 2022-10-18 08:38
How to Prepare a Bountiful Autumn Garden Space


Summers are hot and dry, and the list of problems many gardens have to deal with is expansive. Still, you have an excellent opportunity to enjoy a growing season when summer eventually moves into autumn. As the season's change, autumn brings another chance for you to sow and grow your cooler seasonal vegetables, such as carrots or arugula. But what kind of a choice should you make regarding your crop choices? How do you fit all those choices into your garden, and how do you make a successful autumn solution? The following tips aim to give you a hand in that.


Using Four Step Planting Strategy 


You have four planting opportunities for your autumn garden, so you need to make the right choice of crops for each of those windows: you should start by determining your first freeze date, which in most cases is around three weeks after the first frost date. In this case, frost means the end of the warm-season crops such as basil and tomatoes, but it also benefits the cooler season plants like kohlrabi or bok choy. This triggers the production of sugars in the above-ground parts of the plants.


Step One: 14 to 12 Weeks Before Hard Freeze


There is enough time for you to put in late sowing of salad cucumbers, snap beans or summer squash for a fast-maturing crop. If you have the luck of mild weather, you should plant parsnips or beets in beds. Inside, where the crops will be sheltered, you should start with seeds of broccoli, collards, cabbage, kale, rutabaga, kohlrabi and the faster-maturing types of cauliflower. This is a great season to try on some new varieties of these plants and other types of cabbages. Other vegetables you can start growing indoors include parsley and bulb fennel.


Step Two: 11 to 10 Weeks Before Hard Freeze


If you don't have your seedlings, you should look up what you can in garden centres. You can set out cabbage family crops as they near transplanting size, then cover them using tulle to keep insects away. Sow a fast maturing type of carrot in a fertile bed, then cover it up with a shade cover or an old blanket. This should help keep the soil moist between each watering. If the weather allows it, you can sow cilantro, bibb, romaine or butterfly lettuce and radishes. You should start with large-rooted daikons or Chinese radishes, as they need more time to grow than salad radishes. This is also a great time to plant winter cover crops, such as winter peas, cold-resistant grains, crimson clover or hairy vetch.


Step Three: 9 to 8 Weeks Before Hard Freeze


In this step, it's time to choose from several greens - spinach, arugula, turnips, or Asian greens such as bok choy, tatsoi or Chinese cabbage. You can plant more lettuce and salad radishes, assuming you want that and have the space.


Step Four: 7 to 6 Weeks Before Hard Freeze


You can sow smaller winter crops, such as mache, spinach and cold-resistant lettuce, in beds outfitted with covers. The seedlings that grow to about 8 centimetres before the cold weather stop their growth, waiting under the glass or plastic, then resume growing once spring arrives. You can also plant shallots or garlic when the first hard freeze happens. The cloves will slowly grow their roots, with their tips emerging from the ground before the winter is over.


©Local Gardeners


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review 2021-06-26 18:21
Book #911 - 368,991 Pages Read
Drums of Autumn - Diana Gabaldon
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text 2020-06-01 22:39
Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson
Europe In Autumn - Dave Hutchinson,Graham Rowat

Abandoned @ 19 %


This just isn't holding my attention.

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review 2020-05-05 20:21
'Hounds Of Autumn' by Heather Blackwood
Hounds of Autumn - Heather Blackwood
A steampunk mystery that achieves a full head of steam in the last third of the book.

'Hounds Of Autumn' was a lottery book for me. I needed a book with 'Autumn' in the title as part of a reading challenge. I'd never read Heather Blackwood before and I haven't really read much steampunk. It turned out to be a (small) lottery win for me and I'll certainly be reading more of Heather Blackwood's books.


For the first two-thirds of the book, I had 'Hounds Of Autumn' tagged as an engaging cosy mystery set in a steampunk version of Victorian England. There were airships and cunningly crafted, battery-powered, semiautonomous mechanicals, mysterious goings-on on the Moor and married women being very much in the power of their husbands. Our heroine was an inventor of mechanicals and has a much older, moderately wealthy, botanist husband who indulges her unwomanly fascination with automata.


The only things that marred my enjoyment were small slips that showed me that Heather Blackwood isn't from England. The first was early in the book when, on finding a dead body in a bog in the Moor, she wrote that it was a miracle that the body had been found at all,,,


´,,,in the thousands of miles of bogs and marshes’

By English standards, that’s an impossibly large number.


Dartmoor National Park is 368 square miles. Yellowstone National Park is almost ten times that size at 3,468 square miles. If you’re used to US National Parks, Dartmoor must seem like something you’d miss if you blinked, but then, the whole of England is 50,337 square miles, so about the size of Alabama.


Then there were problems with speech. An Englishwoman would no more describe tea as 'hot tea' than a Canadian would describe hockey as 'ice hockey'. Nor would an Englishman, on receipt of a loan, promises to 'repay every cent.' rather than repaying every penny. These were small things but they kept bouncing me out of the story.


Then, suddenly, in the last third of the book, 'Hounds Of Autumn' found its legs and became a more serious and more powerful book. It wasn't cosy any more. It was violent and deadly, driven by jealousy, hatred, shame and long-kept secrets. It became centred around very powerful, very decisive women and the conflicts between them.

I found myself turning the pages, keen to know what happened next, and being pleasantly surprised at the punch that the plot and the characters delivered.

As far as I can see, 'Hounds Of Autumn' is a standalone novel, so I can't follow our heroine's adventures further, but I have bought 'The Clockwork Cathedral' (isn't that an attention-getting title?) which is the first book in 'The Time Corps Chronicles' so that I can read more of Heather Blackwood's books.

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text 2020-04-10 09:57
#Fridayreads 2020-04-10 - who thought a vampire book could be so fresh?
The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel - Grady Hendrix
Hounds of Autumn - Heather Blackwood
The Holiday - T.M. Logan,Laura Kirman

I've set aside my reading challenges at the moment to focus on some of the new books I've bought and to play Snakes and Ladders. Lockdown gives me time to read but also keeps distracting me from reading and has taken away my appetite for anything to serious.


The book I'm having the most fun with at the moment is Grady Hendrix's "The Southern Book Club's Guide To Slaying Vampires".


I picked this up because of Char's review and I'm glad I did,


I hadn't realised how "safe" vampire books had started to feel. We all know the rules and the participants all quickly work out the steps to their dance.


Hendrix blows all that away, not by making up new stuff about vampires but by focusing on the normal life of a bunch of Southern housewives in the mid-1980s. They have formed a book club that mostly reads true crime and it has become a way for them to support each other in all the crap life throws at them.


Now add a travelling man into the mix. A tall dark stranger with winning ways and an eye-condition that makes daylight panful and see what happens.


The outcome so far is not at all cosy. It's surprisingly disturbing because it's so easy to see this happening. 



"Hounds of Autumn" is a lottery book - I'm reading it because square 70 on Snakes and Ladders needed a book with Autumn on the cover.


It's mostly fun. There's a nice cosy mystery and some interesting technology and some flashes or anger at the Victorian ways of treating women as the property of their husbands,


I keep getting distracted by avoidable Americanisms in English characters.


What Englishman, on receipt of a loan, promises to "repay every cent"? Are Pounds, Shillings and Pence so hard to grasp?


"The Holiday" is actually a quite well-written suspense piece about a woman who believes one of the three life-long friends she is on holiday with is having an affair with her husband. She's determined to find out who.



When I read a chapter I become engaged with the story (although the characters are quite hard to like) but when I put the book down, I don't have a strong urge to go back to it

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