There’s no doubt that Autumn is well underway here in Lithgow – there are bright Autumn colours everywhere, even on a few of our fruit trees. And when I went for a walk yesterday morning, there had been a frost, covering leaves, twigs and car windscreens with a thin coat of glittering white ice.
This looked particularly impressive on the leaves of our tomato plants; however, later in the day they looked very sad and sorry for themselves. It’s definitely time for them to be pulled out and replaced with winter plantings.
I’ve left the winter plantings a bit later than I meant to – Lithgow is 950 metres above sea level and could probably be described as having a cool climate. It’s definitely time for me to get started, so I spent my lunch breaks yesterday and today pulling tomatoes, marigolds, Thai basil and nasturtiums out of the blue containers and sowing seeds… with my fingers metaphorically crossed in a few cases.
The three blue containers are still in action this winter, as I’m still figuring out my garden bed rotation/location plant. They will probably also be used as an experimental space next spring/summer, so I’m aiming to prepare for this.
The blue container that held cucumbers and nasturtiums over the summer has been planted with a green manure mix. This grew very successfully last winter before I dug it in to prepare the bed for tomatoes, so that will be the plan again this year.
The tomatoes’ container has been planted with winter flowering pansies (I’d like some colour and they are edible) and coriander. This is a risk considering how late it is in the season, but their packet says to sow before August 2017, so I’d like to use them… and I’d like to see what happens.
I still have one more container to be used, so I’ll ask G to drill some drainage holes in this. Then I’ll fill it with soil and compost, and plant some spring onions (again, a slight risk, but I’d like to take the chance) and some spinach ‘Viking’ seeds that I went and bought yesterday – spinach seems to be the one vegetable that doesn’t care that much about being planted when it’s colder and I liked the name of this variety.
Next Spring, I’ll have a space for tomatoes (possibly two – this will depend on how many types we decide to try and my vague ideas about experimenting with growing one group after legumes and another after a vegetable that doesn’t fix nitrogen) and a space for the cucumber seeds.
In the meantime, there’s still some planning and planting to be done and Autumn colours to be enjoyed. Here’s one more photo (for now) of the bright colours that are starting to appear on our trees and leaves.