Liz Bourne and her family have transformed their small Southsea back garden into a grow-your-own plot for fruit and vegetables
I try to keep up their spirits by singing to them, to the embarrassment of the children, although it has encouraged one of them to start laying.
The tomatoes continue to flourish, although the only red fruit I’ve found had been made into a juicy home for a family of wood lice.
I’m now considering my options. What do I do with all the green tomatoes?
Do I pick them and allow them to ripen on the window sills? Make green tomato chutney?
Maybe I could pick them and put them in a bag with a ripe banana (this does actually work due to the ethylene they give off, although last year when I did it I forgot about them until I smelt a rather unsavoury whiff coming from a corner of the kitchen).
I have read that you can take off a lot of the leaves of the plant (and mine are fairly foliage-heavy), starting at the bottom and working your way up.
Apparently, this has the effect of stressing the plants and forces them into ripening the fruits faster.
It may also allow more sunshine to reach the fruits, although as I am writing, gale force winds and rain are lashing down on the garden.
I’m not sure if I even want to go into the garden, let alone allow the elements contact with my tomatoes.