I like growing tomatoes. I love the smell, the fact that one tiny seed can make so many fruits, and I love harvesting them, preserving them, then sitting back and basking in the "look what I did" feeling.
Last year I was convinced none of my green fruits was ever going to ripen (possibly due to the fact that my so-called staking had completely failed to do the job and the plants mainly grew horizontally, and over one another so that the toms were mainly hidden amongst the leaves in slug heaven) but in the end, thanks to the East Anglian sunshine, I didn't end up with a single green one at the end of the season. And so we had pots and pots of tomato and chilli jam along with lots of frozen roasted tomatoes for sauces, pizza toppings and so on. (I'll post both recipes soon.)
Hmm, did I mention East Anglian sunshine? Not so far this year. No, in the last fortnight we have had rain, wind, hail, wind, rain, hail... Granted, there have been some amazingly sunny half-hours in between, but only to lull us into a false sense of security. Oh, and it's cold.
Unfortunately this - er - challenging weather began just when I was forced to put my windowsill-grown tomatoes outside (protected with fleece and plastic it's true, but still outside) as they were completely blocking the kitchen window and bursting out of their pots. Now when I see the sorry state they are in (it hailed for the first time about an hour after I cruelly ejected them), my heart sinks.
Still, onwards and upwards. Today I sowed a few more seeds in pots on the same windowsill in the hope that by the time the plants are big enough to need to move on, the weather may be kinder, and warm enough to make up for their late start. If not, I'm sure the local garden centre will welcome my custom. There's always a Plan B. Or C. Either way, there must be tomatoes.