Better Boy tomato is the best hybrid variety to grow since this fruit is perfect, tasteful, and versatile. Also, it becomes a popular option among gardeners since the plant has an average maturity rate with abundant yields.
This all-purpose tomato belongs to an indeterminate plant, so it grows all year-round. Interestingly, it is an excellent variety that requires effortless maintenance but providing heavy crops.
Thus, are you interested in cultivating this annual vine?
For considerations, we present some detailed information about how to grow better boy variety, care guide, health benefits, harvest and storage.
Besides, keep on reading several tips on how to achieve heavy yields throughout the season.
What is Better Boy Tomato?
The scientific name of this slicing tomato is Solanum lycopersicum. It makes a perfect improvement from the previous version, Big Boy.
This large fruit has smooth skin with bright red color. Also, the flattened round shape resembles a globe.
This classic tomato becomes a favorite choice for fresh eating. Its meaty and juicy flesh comes with a perfect balance of sweet and acid taste.
Then, the weight reaches 454 grams for each piece. The fruits develop from compact green foliage that gives excellent protection from sunscald.
Interesting Facts of Better Boy
Better Boy tomato comes from cross-breeding between two different varieties. The first parent is the lemon cultivar that offers meaty flesh with a less acidic taste. It has a unique lemony hue and contains a few seeds.
Otherwise, another parent is the Big Boy. This variety comes with a fully sweet taste, smooth red skin, and aromatic scent.
Surprisingly, one piece of this tomato can weigh about one pound. Other excellent features are disease resistance, sturdy producer, and dense growth habit.
Thankfully, due to a perfect combination of two superior varieties, Better Boy tomato keeps producing fruits in any condition.
Therefore, it becomes a prolific hybrid plant that resists any diseases. Its vines might grow 3 cm each day, so cages and stakes are necessary to support them.
Generally, the initial fruit is the biggest. In a polling, more than 2000 home growers choose Better Boy as one of the best tomatoes to grow due to its excellent quality and quantity.
Besides, this variety becomes a winner of the world’s record because one single plant can produce more than 150 kg of fruits. Other types never obtain more crops than the Better Boy cultivar.
A Guide to Growing Better Boy Tomatoes
Choosing the proper planting area becomes the main stage for growing Better Boy tomato outdoors. Ensure that the spot gets at least six hours of sunlight exposure to achieve the best result.
Preparing fertile soil is a must. You may add compost or any organic matter into the bottom of the holes for about 5 centimeters.
Additionally, apply a handful of ground bone if the planting area lacks phosphorus.
Furthermore, the best-growing soil should contain a proper nutrient balance with a pH of 6.5 to 7. Better Boy tomato requires magnesium for its initial growth. Add 1/3 tablespoon of Epsom salts to supply this mineral.
Another essential thing is regular watering during the growing season. The plants require 25 mm of water every week.
Do it on sunny days to allow a quick-dry, so fungal problems on the leaves will not occur. Besides, using drip irrigation or a soaker hose works well to keep the foliage free from liquid.
Growing Better Boy Tomato from Seeds
Consider sowing better boy tomato seeds indoors before you cultivate the plants in the garden.
This process takes about two months and needs a starting tray with a soil-less mix or humid sterile potting soil. When the seedlings have been established, move them to a sunny location.
However, you can purchase seedlings in the garden center. Remember to harden off the young plants for about 14 days before growing outside the home. Also, it helps them gradually adapt to outdoor climates and sunlight exposure.
While planting, add spacing about 91 cm for each specimen. The distance between each row should be 1.2 meters apart.
After that, eliminate two lower leaves before placing the seedlings into the holes. A deep growing site will enhance the rooting system to develop from the stem.
Better Boy Tomato Plant Care
Once the Better Boy tomato vines develop, strong supports become a consideration to help the plants set the fruit well.
Wire cages or tepee-style stakes are perfect for holding the stems when they are increasing in height.
Then, apply a little amount of fertilizer in the initial growing time at 2-week intervals.
As the plants become taller, you might add more organic matter since large tomatoes need lots of nutrients. Importantly, selecting a water-soluble substance is preferable.
The best time to apply fertilizer is when the fruits grow about 2.5 cm in diameter. Then, fertilize again while harvesting.
Use 5-10-5 or 10-10-10 low-nitrogen formula with additional granular manure. Then, do it gently to prevent bothering the rooting system.
Likewise, prune the new suckers and buds to enhance the vigor growth for the highest crops.
The other benefit of trimming the branches is to control the plant size. Thus, remove the shoots and keep growing two main limbs only.
Use pruning shears to cut the branch that develops between the leaf and stem. Pinch the secondary bough with your finger when it reaches 10 cm long.
Start pruning the tops in mid-summer because the new flowers will not set ripe fruits. Meanwhile, since the plants grow in raised beds, take care of the ground by mulching the surface with red or black plastic.
Using red plastic can increase the crop. This cover functions to warm the area, prevent erosion, minimize evaporation, keep the Better Boy tomato fruits clean, control weeds, maintain humidity and temperature.
Pests and Diseases
This disease-resistant cultivar possibly suffers from pests and any health problems if the growers cannot rotate properly.
Other insects like ladybug and dragonflies will attack the plant. Besides, a fungus such as the Early Blight is a common illness due to high humidity.
Moreover, Better Boy tomato usually attracts large green hornworms, aphids, and striped potato beetles. If they appear, use a handpick and wash with a strong influx of water to remove them.
However, this cultivar can tolerate several fatal diseases. They include cracking, Alternaria stem canker, gray leaf spot, nematode, root-knot, fusarium, and verticillium wilt.
Harvest and Storage
The best harvesting time of better boy tomato is when the fruits appear a full shade of red, round, and firm.
In proper growing conditions, you can have a high yield in 70 days, whereas any problem may affect the production and cause a little later crop.
Furthermore, if you can closely harvest the vine-ripened fruits, Better Boy will serve its best flavor. At this time, be aware of a bird attack that tends to peck holes in the tomato.
To solve this problem, use plastic owl, red ornaments, or several pans of water in the garden before the crop time.
After all, how to store your crops? Do not keep your fresh ripe tomato in the fridge. It causes mushy and flavorless flesh.
Impairing texture and taste may occur when the pace has a temperature below 12 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, at a higher heat level, the tomatoes will spoil.
Therefore, store the crops of Better Boy tomato in a location that far from direct sun exposure at room temperature.
They can stay fresh for several days. However, you can keep over-ripe fruits in the fridge to slacken the ripeness.
Before consuming the chilled tomatoes, it is better to bring them to room temperature. After that, you can serve the fruit raw or cook.
Indeed, paper bags are useful for keeping the crops. Fold the top part and make several holes to hold the natural ethylene gas that causes the ripening process.
Serving Suggestion of Better Boy Tomato
Tomatoes are commonly eating raw. They can also work great for grill, stew, and sautee.
If you want to serve them in slicing pieces, utilize a serrated blade to slice the fruit. Besides, cut the flesh lengthwise to get more juice.
Moreover, to peel the tomato easily, drop some pieces into boiling water. The longer you blanch, the firmer they will be.
After that, move them to a bowl of iced water and wait until getting cool enough to hold. Next, cut an X on the top part to pull the skin.
Better boy contains lycopene that is beneficial for supporting a healthy heart. Besides, it has vitamin C and calcium.
People who consume seven raw tomatoes every week will get less chance of colon and stomach cancers. Therefore, this nutritious fruit becomes the favorite variety among Americans.
Additionally, consuming two glasses of the Better Boy tomato juice can prevent high cholesterol and fatty deposits.
Thus, if your concern is about self-medication with this fruit, it is better to grow the plants organically to avoid pesticides and any chemical substances.
Last but not least, Better Boy tomato is a care-free and disease-tolerant variety that provides enormous crops in all seasons. Thus, it becomes the best plant to grow in the garden for home growers.