The various varieties are now starting to separate themselves in terms of height and fruit set. It is interesting to note that those varieties at the rear of the driveway are setting fruit easily (they receive a bit less full sun), while those on the driveway side are experiencing more blossom drop. Of course, it also is true that the varieties at the driveway rear edge tend to be the most early maturing. We shall see.
Discounting those that were re-planted along the way (8 plants, including the sick Rosella Crimson), the height range is 21 inches (Dwarf Purple Heart) to 33 inches (Dwarf Pink Passion). Most fall into a range of 24 inches (5 varieties) to 27 inches (6 varieties). As far as height gained over the week, 3 inches (8 varieties), 4 inches (8), 5 (15), and 6 inches (6 varieties). The Nosey line again wins for relatively tallest dwarfs at this point (Dwarf Pink Passion at 33 inches, Dwarf Golden Heart at 30 inches), but the Sneezy line are nearly as tall (Dwarf Beryl Beauty at 32 inches, Dwarf Emerald Giant at 30 inches, Dwarf Jade Beauty at 29 inches, and Summertime Gold and Dwarf Kelly Green at 28 inches).
Regarding fruit set, there are tomatoes on 18 of the plants, open flowers on 19, and buds on 1. Initial blossom drop was observed on 8 of the varieties.
Am I happy with this? Yes indeed - rating the health of plants on an A-B-C scale (remember how many of us were graded in school?), I gave out an A- to three varieties for just a trace of spotting or yellowing on the lowest foliage (which was removed), and Rosella Crimson gets a C-. That means I gave out 34 A grades, which is utterly gratifying. Whether it is the weather, growing in bales (which means no chance of disease spore splash up or contamination from containers), or just good fortune, we are off to a good start. However I am not counting my chickens...disease troubles often shows up once we get into the hot, steamy upper 80s and 90s, and that is certainly on the way. But even given that inevitability, I couldn't have expected a better start to this most interesting project!
A sampling of pictures:
Top row - Big Green Dwarf, Boronia and Bundaberg Rumball fruit
Second row - Dwarf Arctic Rose, Dwarf Beryl Beauty, Dwarf Golden Heart fruit
Third row - Dwarf Jade Beauty, Dwarf Pink Passion, Dwarf Purple Heart fruit
Fourth row - Dwarf Wild Fred, Iditarod Red, Perth Pride fruit
Fifth row - Rosella Crimson, Sarandipity, Tasmanian Chocolate fruit
Sixth row - Yukon Quest fruit