In farming, not a few neophytes commit costly mistakes. In fact, even long-time farmers do.
One time, an acquaintance of ours from Laguna who works in the city was excited telling us that he planted a lot of Red Lady seedlings between old coconut trees in their farm. Jimmy (let’s just call him that) said that a guy he met at a weekend market offered to sell him beautiful seedlings at only P15 apiece. That was half the usual price of seedlings in the market. He was assured that the seedlings came from big fruits of the Red Lady he bought from a roadside stall.
When the plants started to bear fruit, Jimmy was greatly dismayed. Why? Unlike the heavily fruiting Red Lady papayas that he saw in our articles, the fruits were sparse and the flesh was too thin. There were trees that were fruitful but many of the fruits were off type. Why?
Very easy to explain, My Dear Watson. Listen. What Jimmy bought were seedlings of what is often mentioned as F2.That simply means seedlings from second generation seeds. We should realize that Red Lady is a hybrid. It is a product of mating or crossing two parent lines that were selected to produce seedlings with hybrid vigor. This seedling with hybrid vigor is called the F1 or first generation seed.
The F1 seed will really produce outstanding yield given the right environment and cultural practices. However, the seeds of the F1 which are the F2 seeds, don’t perform equally well.
So beware of people selling you F2 seedlings of papaya whether Red Lady, Sinta or some other hybrids.