An update on the Dr. Wyche's Yellow x German Red Strawberry cross I did in 2009. I've pursued three different stains this far and I'm growing the F3 generation of all three this year. These were chosen because of characteristics they displayed in the unstable F2 generation last year. They are:
Strain #1: Last generation, these were large pink hearts, very late, with excellent flavor, on semi-wispy fairly small plants. This year the F3's are loaded with large green heart-shaped tomatoes and so far seem exactly like they were last year.
Strain #3: Last year these were large orange semi-hearts, very late, good flavor, on very large plants with thick foliage. The F3's are full of large green semi-heart tomatoes, and all appearances so far are the same as last year.
Strain #4: Last generation, these were large pink flat (oblate) tomatoes, very late, with really excellent flavor (the best of all, we thought), on large plants with thick foliage. This time they've got lots of big green flat tomatoes and by appearance they're exactly the same so far this year - EXCEPT:
I have one Strain #4 plant on which two tomatoes are ripening! All my tomatoes were transplanted into the garden 63 days ago, so this plant is bearing very early - about 20 days before I'd expect it to. None of my other tomatoes, including the mid-season Big Beef and Ozark Pink hybrids on the other side of the garden, are even close to ripening yet.
I know DTM (days to maturity) is an inexact characteristic that depends on growing conditions - but it's a general indicator and a tomato variety normally wouldn't go from "very late" to "early". I'm hoping the "earliness" of this one plant might be a spontaneous mutation - and if I can get it to repeat and stabilize, and if the excellent flavor is still there, this might develop into a real good new OP variety.