It has been a busy harvesting time in the garden, but of all the things harvested two stand out. I ate raspberries on my cereal this morning for the first time this year. Then Alice gave me my first tomato. Go Alice!
I haven't done an F2 Sungold update in a while so I figure I ought to. It is harder now to figure out how the tomatoes are doing. They are a jungle and some have grown into the others' cages in their search for more space.
Alice is still the smallest plant. That being said she has also outgrown her cage, so maybe small isn't a bad thing. She did produce the first tomato and despite her size she is putting out flowers and setting trusses of tomatoes about as well as the other larger plants. Her flower trusses are amazing. They often branch into four sets of trusses. Some of the other plants are doing this as well but not nearly to Alice's extent. I was going to count the trusses that have set, but when I got over 10 for Alice I figured it was a futile attempt to see which ones had set and which ones were still just flowers.
Betsy is a sad case. She is a bit bigger than Alice, but she doesn't like to bloom. I see absolutely nothing going for her. I probably won't even save her seed.
Gabrielle is doing well. She is a big plant with lots of flowers. She didn't have much disease on her (a leaf spot disease is endemic here - probably Septoria leaf spot ) so when I cut a lot of foliage off of the other plants to open them out on the inside, I didn't do it as much on her. This means when I got back after a week, she had more leaves turning yellow in the middle that doesn't get any sun. I'll have to get out and trim up the plants a bit more.
Debra is doing OK. She is a large plant with lots of flowers. She isn't growing quite as fast as her neighbors and is getting a bit shaded out. Her neighbors to the west, Emma and Zelda, are the biggest of the lot. They are over two feet above their cages with very thick stems. They have innumerable flowers. When all those flowers set at the top I'm worried that the plants might come crashing down. The rusting 18 year old cages just aren't holding up anymore. They were starting to tilt over. I threw some wire supports in the front to hold the cages from falling. I attached them to the fence. I hope it is enough, but I'm not really sure. Right now it is hard to walk back there. The stray stems are poking out and seeking light. I have one that came out of the middle of the cage, dipped down to the ground then started growing up again.
Now Seedman told me that he thought Sungolds might already be stabilzed and no longer a hybrid. That might well be true. I'm only growing six plants which is really not enough to statistically tell. If I knew what the original parents were it would be easier to look for those differences. I do see differences in the growth of the plants. Two are very slow growing (Alice and Betsy). Three are very fast growing and one is in the middle (Debra). With the number of blossoms Alice has a very prolific output, Debra has very very little and the other four are about the same given their growth. The tomatoes that are starting to ripen are all the Sungold color. Only Debra isn't showing any color yet. They are all about the same size (1", just like Sungold) except Emma. Emma's tomatoes are a bit smaller at 3/4".