I guess it's partly due to all the tomato variety searching I did earlier and looking at all those tomato pictures in various stages of growth. And boy some of those plants were LOADED and I mean LOADED with huge trusses of fruits. Some were looking much more productive than I'm used to. Now that could be just characteristic of the particular varieties.
Partly, it's because
I'm trying to find the most productive varieties and I feel that their lack of production can't in any way be attributed to MY deficiency in giving them the nutrients they need to perform at their best.
One of the factors that I intentionally set against them is that the Winter Trial candidate varieties were planted where I know they get less than optimal amount of light. Again, I want them to have sufficient nutrients so it's just the light issue.
You realize this is all very unscientific. At the end of the day, I'm just going to rely on the way it "looks" and "feels like"
Umm...Applestar...unless the photographs and the text specifically state that this
photograph of this
particular variety was taken during these
specific Winter Trials, you can be absolutely sure
that The Perfectly Productive Plant Picture is of the best-producing-ever
single plant of that variety, no matter when it was grown.
"Our new Super-Duper Producer Tomato showed well in Winter Trials, is early maturing and long producing! Indeterminate, so you'll pick tomatoes all season long!" Sounds good; right? And there'll be a picture next to this hyped language; right? But nowhere
does my faked-up text say, "This photo of our new Super-Duper Producer Tomato taken during 2012-13 Winter Trials in [name a cold state here]" or even "This photo of the Super-Duper Producer Tomato taken in our test fields August 2012." Nope.
Without The Perfect Plant Picture, why would gardeners purchase from that particular source? If each seed/plant source changed its photographs each year to reflect changed (even unfavorable) growing conditions due to the vagaries of Nature, we'd see that their plant yields vary somewhat, although not to the same degree, as ours do. We wouldn't have the brand loyalty we do (if we have such) or the agonized "What did I do wrong?" self-reproaches when our humble plants don't measure up to that Perfect Picture.
Am I accusing each and every seed/plant merchant of fraud? By no means. It's just that, during my adult life, I have pursued two careers--one, that of teaching middle- and high-school students math, history, English, and other subjects; two--editing (anywhere from proof-reading to technical editing to rewrite editing aka line editing) written publications, usually in cooperation with the design/layout/graphics artists. Books, magazines, technical reports, and other written products are all
written to sell something, perhaps themselves (and the author's viewpoint/idea), perhaps their supporting advertisers' goods, perhaps a presentation and/or interpretation of raw scientific data to a third party on behalf of a client.
But the cold, cruel fact of life is: If your product doesn't sell, you're out of business.
Thus, printed matter has always chosen, and now on-line merchant pages also choose, the absolute best
photo available of a given cultivar, no matter when it was grown, so long as that "publisher" has copyright to the photo. (If the publisher doesn't
have copyright to the photo, that's the time to contact an attorney, which I am not
Be aware, too, that seed/plant merchants have access to greenhouses, temperature-controlled growing conditions, wind-free protected spaces, full-time professional staff with degrees in horticulture/botany, et al., not available to the ordinary home gardener. These advantages, too, have an effect on the productivity of the featured plants and provide additional opportunities for The Perfectly Productive Plant Picture.
You're probably doing an excellent job already and, like most of us, aren't giving yourself sufficient credit for it.