Tuesday, 11 October 2011

My tomato babies

Back in March, I planted some tomato seeds. I'd never been interested in gardening or growing before, mainly because I didn't think I was particularly green fingered. A mint plant I once brought home died within 2 weeks.

But the self-contained pot of compost and packet of seeds looked promising enough, and I was curious. Would I be able to grow them successfully?

It was actually really exciting seeing the little sprouts develop. Growing things helps you to practise your patience. In my other life as a medic, you become so entrained in getting things done now, now, now that you forget how some things will just happen when they do.

And these little seedlings are so incredibly hardy. I must have subjected them to several of the clumsiest repottings and yet they grew and grew. And grew!

I had to be cruel and pick out the ones to keep going as I didn't have enough space on my balcony to house all of them.

Even with the few I kept it soon grew into a forest. They just kept going, upwards and upwards. The ones where I'd left some side shoots as an experiment spread sideways too.

They flowered late because I kept them crowded for a bit too long and halted the growth a bit but it was so satisfying to see the first trusses of little green fruits.

And now they're slowly turning red.

Did you know that tomatoes are related to the deadly nightshade, potatoes, chillies and the tobacco plant? And the plant leaves and stem actually contain tropane alkaloids that are toxic if ingested. The biology geek in me finds this all fascinating.

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