Tomato, Better Boy Hybrid
Huge, tasty, red tomatoes, many 1 lb. each.
Days To Maturity
6-8 weeks BLF
Plant Shipping Information
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How to Sow and Plant
- Sow tomato seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost in spring using a seed starting kit
- Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed-starting formula
- Keep the soil moist at 75 degrees F
- Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days
- As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
- Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Planting in the Garden:
- Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil. Make sure you did not grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or potatoes in the bed the previous year to avoid disease problems.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
- Tomatoes should be set 30-48 inches apart in a row with the rows spaced 3-4 feet apart. It can be tempting to space tomatoes more closely at planting time, but if you plant too closely you will increase the chance of disease, and decrease yields.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development.
- Tomatoes can be planted deeply, with the stem buried to the first set of leaves. The more deeply they are planted the more roots will form, providing the plant with additional support and better ability to take up nutrients. Some gardeners plant tomatoes by digging a horizontal trench and laying the plant in the trench with the top 2-4 inches of the plant pointing upward.
- Fill the planting hole with soil to the top and press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water.
- Use the plant tag as a location marker. This is particularly important if you are trying different varieties. It is very difficult to tell which variety is which from the foliage.
- Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
- Place your plant support at this time. You can try tomato cages or staking. Unsupported plants will sprawl on the ground, require no pruning, and will probably produce a larger yield of smaller fruit than will staked plants. For larger, cleaner, more perfect fruits, support plants as they grow. Growing on stakes: Place strong stakes in the ground and set plants about 6 inches from the stakes. Growing in cages: Place a cage around a single plant; let the vines grow and enlarge within the cage, no pruning will be necessary
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. This is especially important for tomatoes as their roots may be easily damaged when weeding, and this can lead to blossom end rot.
- Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- If growing on stakes: As the plants grow, allow only one or two main stems to grow and pinch out any other side shoots as they form. Gently tie the one or two remaining shoots to the stake; don't pull them tightly against the stake. If growing in cages, no pruning is necessary.
- Whether to remove the side shoots, or suckers, that grow out of the leaf axils or not depends on the support system used. Gardeners using stakes usually snap off these side shoots. They typically get earlier and larger tomatoes but overall production tends to be less. If tomatoes are grown in cages, the suckers are generally left on, although it's a good idea to pinch the tip out of them when they are 6-8 inches long. Regardless you may want to remove all the growth from the bottom 6-10 inches of the plant. This helps to improve air circulation and reduce the spread of diseases such as early blight. Wait until the plants are knee-high. In the morning when the plants have the most water in them, snap off the lower growth while it is small. Any plants that look sick with distorted foliage or have a mosaic pattern on the leaves should be removed as they may have a virus that can spread to the other plants. It is best to do this early in the season.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
Harvesting and Preserving Tips
- Determinate tomato plants ripen a heavy crop over a few weeks. Indeterminate varieties bear fruit continuously till frost. Remember that the days to harvest refers to the time from setting out transplants in the garden.
- Pick tomatoes when they are as ripe as possible. They should be fully colored and firm and picked regularly to avoid overloading plants.
- At the end of the season, when you know there will be a frost, pick all the almost-ripe tomatoes you can, and ripen them in brown bags or spread on newspapers at room temperature. Many cultivars will store for months. Store only sound fruit, at 50-60°F. Do NOT refrigerate and try to avoid having the fruit touch each other.
- The foliage of tomatoes is toxic and should not be eaten.
- Tomato fruits are enjoyed in many cooked dishes as a flavoring. Use them to make soups, sauces, stews, ketchup, paste, juice, quiche, and pies. Add them to curries, casseroles, and chutney.
Days To Maturity72 daysFruit Weight16 ouncesSunFull SunSpread18 inchesHeight36-40 inchesSow MethodIndoor SowPlanting TimeSpringSow Time6-8 weeks BLFThin6 inchesLife CycleAnnual
Tomato, Better Boy Hybrid is rated out of 5 by 14.Rated 4 out of 5 by bjdelo from Good, consistent producer Very reliable performer. Outproduces other similar varieties with fruit right around a pound. Excellent disease resistance. This tomato makes a great juicing and canning tomato.Date published: 2013-03-02Rated 5 out of 5 by JayhawkGardener from Old reliable This is the most reliable producer of all the larger hybrids. It will generally outproduce most other plants in terms of overall weight of production. It has high fruit set rates and fruits can get larger than a pound in the right conditions. Excellent disease resistance. Make sure your trellace or staking system is strong enough to support the plants weight. They'll easily get over 7' high on large stake systems. Flavor is solid.Date published: 2011-10-10Rated 3 out of 5 by Greene from Better Boy??? Not the best for me!!! I have grown Better Boys for 3 years now and I can't say I am well pleased compared to Big Beef. Everyone talks about Better Boy being the best. However, they aren't the best for me. The plants produce a lot of tomatoes however the tomatoes aren't very big on average. Most are probably 8-10 ounces and a few larger ones. The Big Beef that I plant produce just as many tomatoes and 70% of the tomatoes on the Big Beef Plants are twice the size of the Better Boys. I fertilize all my plants the same amount and at the same time. I may not grow but a couple of these plants next year. May be great for some but not for meDate published: 2011-07-24Rated 4 out of 5 by Roarcoon from Great Tomato , but too many cracks. I grew these last year. Produces well, and it has a great flavor.But this variety had a lot of cracks, and a lot of flowers dropped. This is an awesome tomato.Date published: 2011-01-27Rated 3 out of 5 by Parker from Good Tomato I planted Better Boy along with Big Boy for tomatoes this year. Both plants did very well at the start of the summer. It didn't start producing tomatoes until August. Most of these tomatoes rotted on the vine before they even turned red. I gave this a higher rating then the big boys because I got a few more of these tomatoes.Date published: 2009-09-27Rated 5 out of 5 by Merlin from South Florida's Best Big One From Floida! Yes, we home gardeners do grow our own here. I haven't seen many reviews from FL, so I want to help fellow Floridians grow great tomatoes. Better Boy is an excellent larger type tomatoe for S.Fla. I start my seeds , mid-August, so I'll be ready to plant the begining of Sept. These need to be staked(1"x2"x8's are good) I use strips of old tee-shirt to tie up new growth. I grow in 5 gal buckets, using 60% top soil, 20% Black Cow, 20% Perlite(from major home improvement store), (water every day) these have plenty of room for root growth and are portable(in case of hurricanes). I recommend Miracle Grow For Tomatoes(LOVE THIS STUFF) . Use every two weeks and follow insrtuctions. Your plants will grow like crazy through Sept. By the middle of December, your tomatoes will be producing through April. Pests: I hand pick-off any caterpillars, look out for stink-bugs = they stick your fruit, at that point the fruit does not ripen properly(no good).Date published: 2009-08-19Rated 2 out of 5 by Timothy from Disappointing This is a classic variety known for great disease resistance and tremendous yields. Unfortunately for me, it did not hold up well at all to the local strain of early blight. My better boys had, by far, the worst disease resistance of all my plants this year. Where I live, early blight combines with high temperatures to nearly kill most tomatoes and force a lull in production mid-summer. The better boys have not done well and have been slow to rebound when temperatures and blight subside. I'd consider this tomato for areas that aren't quite as hot. Locals rave about the big beef variety to fill the medium fruit niche, so I started one of those in early July...Date published: 2009-08-09Rated 4 out of 5 by TheMountainGhost from One of my favorites for overall performance I grow Better Boy every year for it's consistency. Germinates well, grows well, good production, and good flavor. I have grown Big Boy, Better Boy, and Best Boy. I always go back to Better Boy.Date published: 2009-02-28