This is why she's called Early Girl:
There are three beautiful green globes hanging from her branches. Soon those tomatoes are gonna make me the happiest momma on the block. I have wrought life! And nutrients! From the soil! She was transplated on or around April 26 (at least that's when I posted about it) and her first flower appeared on or around May 11.
We have more emerging, in the Big Boy/Better Boy hybrid:
The grape tomato plant has nothing much to show, yet, but its flower buds are beginning to form.
The Mr. Stripey plant is a different story. For awhile now I have been concerned about it. It said that its maturation period was 80-95 days. I really don't know what that means. To a novice like me, that could mean anything. For instance, I assumed that it could mean from the moment you planted the seed in the ground, to the time it bore fruit, should take 80-95 days. Compared to the 65 days for the Early Girls, it would make sense.
It really means, days to maturity from when you transplant the seedling. Or, for those who think that is too hard to predict, days to maturity from when the first flower appears. If that is true, we have a long time to wait until we get to bite into a Mr. Stripey tomato. Which is why I'm pretty happy I plunked that Early Girl plant into a container as a failsafe, and why I planted that Better Boy as well. Without one single flower on Mr. Stripey, we've over three months to wait at least - that's end of summer! I'll be selling them on the corner.
Anyway, Mr. Stripey hasn't flowered yet, but he has been growing. (I canNOT stop referring to the plant as a "he".)
This is the plant the first day I planted it, before a nice soaking. It did perk right up.
This photo is from May 10, exactly two weeks ago. It had grown considerably, and was minding its own business.
Here is the monster today, two weeks later. We finally decided to cage it, because if the fruit is as big as they say it can get (12-24 oz), I don't want it pulling the branches down and lying on the ground for every insect to devour. I had to use two cages, upside down because the plant is so large, to stuff this sucker in.
Now, the verdict is still definitely out on the quality of this fruit. Apparently it is a very beautiful and desirable to look upon crop. However, this beefsteak variety, as opposed to a smaller, tasty heirloom variety also called "Tigerella" can have a thick skin, be of mild to no flavor, all seeds, and also prone to disease, according to whom you ask.
See here for a lot of reviews, if you are wondering about Mr. Stripey. I can't wait to see what it will produce. It has been putting a lot of its energy into just growing big and strong and I hope will flower soon. Then we shall see!
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