Imagine life without the humble tomato; their tang in pizza; their solid foundation for ragus, stews and curries; the lift tomato ketchup brings to chips ... Tins of plum tomatoes and jars of tomato-based pasta sauce are a staple in most UK kitchens and an essential in every foodbank parcel.  

Compare these rich flavours with the disappointing tasteless dribble down your chin of a hydroponically grown supermarket tomato.  In my humble opinion there are few food experiences to top the explosion of a home-grown black cherry tomato popped into your mouth when still warm from the greenhouse. Is it any wonder that most people who catch the gardening bug want to grow their own tomatoes for their salads and salsas?  

When grown successfully, tomatoes can reward your efforts with huge crops, but they do require some planning to ensure you grow the right type for your space, resources and energy levels.  They also need some care and attention throughout their lifespan, so bear this in mind before splashing out on seeds or young plants.

Over the course of this season I will post instructions for each stage of growing tomatoes, so look out for these.