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Summer fades, but gardeners shouldn't

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog main arugulaThis arugula will be able to be harvested all winter long with a little protection. Photos Doug Oster

blog cabbage 3Cabbage, collard and kale are all from the same family and love cool weather.As the sun rose through the trees during this crisp, fall morning, the light illuminated my breath, a sure sign the summer season was officially over.

Even though frost has not blanketed my garden yet, theses temperatures will alter the flavor of the remaining tomatoes and prepare annual flowers for the inevitable.

It's easy to kick back and let the garden fade away, but fall is the time for gardeners to start planting again and preparing for next season.

In the vegetable garden, cool weather crops replace fading beans and vine crops. Nurseries will offer lettuce, arugula, spinach, mustard, kale, collards and other plants which thrive in the cold. They don't care about frost, in fact some of those plants taste better after they get zapped.

As the warm weather crops diminish, others are added. They don't need any protection yet, but eventually will be covered with floating row covers. These spun bound, translucent fabric acts as a greenhouse. If all goes well, these plants will be harvested all winter and many will survive until spring.

The plants that do will be ready early and can be harvested often.

The soil is always improved with compost or well aged animal manures. Once the plants are in the ground a good layer of straw mulch will help keep the soil evenly moist. Watering is important this time of the year, October can be a dry month.

The plants will be ready for the kitchen in just a few weeks and can keep the gardener going as the fall becomes winter.

This is just the beginning of our fall chores, trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs and more need to be put in the ground.

What's added in the next few weeks will make a big difference in next season's garden.

blog mixed greensLettuce and mixed greens are perfect to plant right now.

 

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Pittsburgh Fashion Week opens with packed night of runway shows

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

While a soccer game heated up the field at Highmark Stadium on Monday night, style attracted a crowd of about 300 inside for "The O.N.E.: Opening Night Extravaganza" of the fifth annual Pittsburgh Fashion Week.

The Vintage Valet, one of the city's three fashion trucks, greeted guests at the door with its selection of vintage-inspired apparel and accessories. Inside a variety of vendors filled the first floor, including representatives from the provisional chapter of Fashion Group International Pittsburgh, Stella & Dot and Silpada Designs jewelry, Pure Barre and Younique makeup, as part of the "Fashion Avenue" vendors market.

Then it was up to the second level for the main event: six runway presentations spanning more than two hours and incorporating about 80 models.

Founder and director Miyoshi Anderson christened the catwalk with her own model walk to open the evening. When she spoke, she tried to keep her emotions in check regarding the event's anniversary.

"It has been five years of vision, of a thought, of a creation," she said. "The people, Pittsburgh is what keeps me going. I want to show them what's all here."

If Monday night's lineup was any evidence, there's a lot of style in the Steel City. Fashions ranged from classic to avant garde, with sweet colorful dresses, remixed vintage wear for modern women and a few selections for men mixed in. Throughout the week, a casting director from the upcoming film "The Last Witch Hunter" with Vin Diesel and buyers from local retailers are invited to attend shows to seek out talent. (At least one model piqued a casting director's interest on opening night.)

Pittsburgh Fashion Week is trying to make history this year with more than 340 models participating throughout the week -- numbers that few, if any, fashion events in the region have rivaled. They each can walk in one designer's show and were styled by Spoiled Girlz mobile spa, the Diva Den Pittsburgh salon and Sealed with a Kiss by Shavoni Collins.

As with most style-centric events, things kicked off a little fashionably late but kept moving the rest of the night. Besides a snafu with the music during the presentation of the first designer the production unfolded seamlessly. One of the strengths of the night was diversity -- in styles, in models, in designers and even in attendees. People of various walks of life were represented -- on and off the runway -- and there were styles suitable for a variety of tastes.

While the excitement was palpable, there might have been too much of it in one night for some. As the evening wore on, people trickled out or at least got up to walk around a bit and stretch. But overall Pittsburgh Fashion Week has come a long way from its first opening night extravaganza five years ago.

Pittsburgh Fashion Week returns to Highmark Stadium tonight for another designer showcase. It starts at 7 p.m., with a Fashion Avenue vendors market from 5:30-9 p.m. Tickets/information: pittsburghfashionweek.com.

For sightings from the front row, see below (from Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette):

Brian David

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Shawna Solomon: Exotic Hush

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Rashida Thomas: Sheda's Closet presents Sheda's Fashions

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Starr Thomas: Fusionista

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Dawn Surgest: RubyDawn Designs presents RubyDawn Couture

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Faith Pongracz Valez: Faith N' Khaos

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PGU: Deer-Proofing Your Property with Doug on Wednesday

Written by Doug Oster on .

 

blog deer in cloverI've spent a lifetime learning how to keep deer out of my garden. Photo by Doug Oster

I'll be presenting "Deer-Proofing Your Property" as part of the PGU educational series this Wednesday, September 24th at the Post-Gazette from 7-9 p.m.

For over 25 years I've battled the deer in the garden and have many different techniques to keep the garden free of these four legged marauders. My garden is right in the middle of a forest filled with deer. I've learned how to keep my plants safe and look forward to sharing what I've learned.

The seminar is $35. Register here or by calling 412-263-1741.

 

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#SEENonTV: September Events!

Written by Natalie Bencivenga on .

I always love being a guest on Pittsburgh Today Live and sharing with the viewers all of the great things happening right here in our beautiful city! Mark your calendars for some awesome events happening now through the end of the month! #WheresNataliePG

Follow me on Twitter @NBSeen and on Instagram @NatalieBenci

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"Setting the SEEN" Bring Out the Bridesmaids!

Written by Natalie Bencivenga on .

Sara and I had another fun-filled week! We had the opportunity to talk with Rebecca Whitlinger of the Cancer Caring Center. The Center is holding a Bridesmaids Walk this Sunday at the Waterfront to raise money for the local organization. We donned our best "ugly" bridesmaids' dresses and chatted with Ms. Whitlinger about the organization and her inspiration.

 

To learn more about the event click HERE

Follow Natalie on Twitter @NBSeen and on Instagram @NatalieBenci

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