Better Boy Tomato: Facts, Seeds And Care

Better Boy Tomatoes are a favorite among gardeners for their large, juicy fruit and disease resistance. With a little care and attention, growing Better Boy Tomatoes can be a rewarding experience for anyone.

In this article, I will try to look at the characteristics of Better Boy Tomatoes and provide tips on how to grow them successfully in your own garden.

What Is Better Boy Tomato?

Better Boy tomato is a hybrid between the Teddy Jones heirloom tomato variety and a red variety developed by plant breeder John Peto. It is one of the most popular hybrid tomato varieties because it easily adapts to a variety of conditions and reliably produce juicy fruits.

This variety of tomato grows to maturity in about 70 to 75 days after planting. It is resistant to fusarium wilt, verticillium wilt, Anthracnose, Southern blight, late and early blight etc.

Another good thing about this variety is its dense foliage which protects the fruit from too much sun exposure, preventing sunscald. Although Better Boy tomatoes show disease resistance, it is best to rate the crop. 

Better Boy is an indeterminate type of tomato, in other words it has much longer stem growth, which continues to grow until cold weather arrives. Often, it generally grows between 5 to 8 feet in height with large fruits about 340 grams (12 oz).

Well, because of the relatively high amount of fruits it yields and growth habit, this variety is not suitable for growing in pots, containers or planters. It is recommended that they should be sturdily staked or caged firmly when planted in a garden.

Characteristics of Better Boy Tomato

Like all tomatoes, Better Boy Tomato is a member of the Solanaceae or nightshade family. They are large, averaging 340 grams (12 oz) with a flattened globe shape.

Both Their skin and flesh have a classic tomato-red color and they offer an iconic, rich and balanced sweet-juicy tomato flavor profile.

The indeterminate Better Boy plant will grow big, about five feet or taller and will continue to produce high yields of the large fruit all season long.

This variety has a relatively better disease resistance, yield and performance than other hybrid varieties, though they are still a tender cultivar so be sure to plant outdoors only after all danger of frost has passed.

Better Boy tomatoes have a delicious classic tomato taste and are delicious for eating raw, sliced onto sandwiches or salads. They can be sauteed, grilled and added to many cooked recipes.

How To Grow And Care For Better Boy Tomato

With a little effort and attention to detail, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of juicy and delicious Better Boy Tomatoes. Here is how to grow and care for Better Boy Tomato:

When to plant

The right time to grow or plant Better Boy Tomatoes depends on two important things, that is: your location and the growing conditions in your area. In most case, Better Boy Tomatoes are best grown in areas with warm weather and plenty of sunlight.

If you live in a colder climate like some places in North America, it’s important to wait until after the last frost of the season before planting your Better Boy Tomatoes. In many areas, this will be sometime in late spring or early summer. It’s also a good idea to wait until the soil has warmed up to at least 60°F (15.5°C) before planting.

In warmer climates like Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada or New Mexico you may be able to plant your Better Boy Tomatoes earlier in the season, as long as the soil is warm and the weather is mild.

Planting Site/Location

Choosing the best planting site for these location tomatoes is a very important in as far as ensuring that your plants will thrive and produce a bountiful harvest of delicious fruits. Better Boy tomatoes require plenty of sunlight, warmth and well-draining soil to thrive.

Choose a site in your garden that receives at least 5 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. This will ensure that your Better Boy Tomatoes receive the most sun throughout the day.

The soil in which Better Boy Tomatoes are planted should be well-draining and rich in organic matter. Avoid planting in areas where water tends to pool or where the soil is heavy or compacted. Raised beds has always been the best way for growing tomatoes, because they provide good drainage.

Also, consider the surrounding environment. Avoid planting near trees or other plants that may compete for water and nutrients, and also avoid growing in a place that’s susceptible to strong winds.

Site Preparation

Site preparation when it comes to better boy tomatoes entails taking into account things such as soil quality drainage and nutrient availability. In this case, the soil in which Better Boy Tomatoes are planted should be well-draining, fertile and of good pH.

Clear the area of weeds, rocks and other debris that may interfere with plant growth or nutrient uptake.

The next thing should be to mend the soil with organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure. Work the organic matter into the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches and in the process breaking up any large clumps of soil as you go.

When it comes to pH, the ideal pH level for better boy is between 6.2 and 6.9. If the pH level is below this range, you may need to add lime to raise the pH level. If it is above this range, you may need to add sulfur to lower the pH level.


Use a garden trowel or dibber to create planting holes in the soil, spaced at least 2-3 feet apart. The holes should be deep enough to accommodate the root ball of the tomato seedling.

Gently remove the tomato seedlings from their original containers or seed bed, being careful not to damage the roots. Hold the plant by its leaves and place the root ball into the planting hole. Fill in the hole with soil, making sure the soil is packed firmly around the root ball.

After transplanting, water the seedlings thoroughly to help settle the soil around the roots and reduce transplant shock. Water the plants regularly, especially during dry spells, to prevent wilting and promote healthy growth.


Applying mulch to Better Boy tomatoes is a simple process that can offer many benefits for the plants. Mulch helps to retain moisture, regulate temperature, suppress weeds, and improve soil health. In this regard, organic mulches, such as straw, grass clippings, leaves or shredded bark are ideal. Compost can also be used as a mulch for Better Boy tomatoes.

To properly apply mulch to Better Boy tomatoes, here is what to do:

  1. Wait until the soil has warmed up before applying mulch. This is usually around the time when the first flowers appear on the tomato plants.
  2. Remove any weeds or debris from around the tomato plants.
  3. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the tomato plants, making sure to leave a small gap between the mulch and the stem to prevent moisture from accumulating around the plant.
  4. The ideal thickness of mulch should be around 2 inches. Depending on the type of mulch used you can even add up to 3 inches, no problem with that.
  5. Reapply mulch as needed throughout the growing season, especially if it has broken down significantly or if weeds have started to grow through it.


As these plants grow tall and produce heavy fruits, they can become top-heavy and bend or break without proper support. Staking and caging are two common methods of providing support for Better Boy tomatoes.

Staking involves providing support for the tomato plants to prevent them from sprawling on the ground and to make the fruits easier to access and harvest.

Wooden stakes, metal stakes or PVC pipes can be used for staking Better Boy tomatoes. As the tomato plants grow, they should be tied to these stakes using soft twine or garden tape.

Caging involves placing a wire cage around the tomato plant to support its growth. The cage is usually made of a series of metal rings connected by vertical wires. The tomato plant grows up through the center of the cage and its branches are supported by the horizontal rings.

Water Needs

Like all plants, better boy tomatoes require a consistent supply of water to thrive. In general, they need about 1 to 2 inches of water per week, either from rain or irrigation.

The best ways of watering better boy is to use a soaker hose or drip irrigation system. These systems deliver water directly to the soil, which helps prevent fungal diseases and water loss due to evaporation. They also allow for more precise control over the amount of water the plants receive.

Alternatively, you can just water your better boy tomato by directly pouring water to the soil around the tomato. While at it, you need to avoid pouring excess water to the plant as it can lead to root rot and other diseases. At the same time, you must keep in mind that, underwatering can cause the fruits to crack or become malformed.


The best fertilizer for Better Boy tomatoes is one that is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. In fact, a fertilizer with a balanced ratio of these nutrients will be just fine.

In this regard, a good choice is a 10-10-10 fertilizer, which contains equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Another option is a 5-10-10 fertilizer, which is higher in phosphorus, and better suited for tomatoes that are already well-established and flowering.

Applying the fertilizer to the plant can be done by mixing granular fertilizer into the soil before planting or by side-dressing the plants with fertilizer after they have been planted. If you are using a liquid fertilizer, use a foliar spray, mix fertilizer with water and spray it directly onto the soil.

Diseases That Commonly Affect Better Boy

Here are four diseases that you may encounter when growing Better Boy tomatoes:

  1. Early Blight: Early blight usually affects the better boy tomatoes during the early stages of their growth. The disease appears as brown spots on the leaves and stems and often spread to the fruit. This disease can also cause the leaves to yellow and die. You can prevent early blight by rotating crops, and removing infected plants immediately.
  2. Late Blight: Late blight is also common and it can affect the leaves, stems or fruit of better boy tomato plants. The disease usually manifests by dark spots on affected part of the plant. It can cause the leaves to wilt and turn brown or even the fruit to become mushy and rot. You can prevent this deadly disease by removing infected plants and avoiding overhead watering.
  3. Verticillium Wilt: Verticillium wilt usually affects the vascular system of better boy tomato plants. It causes the leaves to wilt and turn yellow or the fruit to become small and discolored. The main cause of the disease is fungal infected soil. You can prevent the disease by sterilizing the soil before planting your tomato.
  4. Fusarium Wilt: Fusarium wilt is also common and affects the roots of better boy tomato plants. The disease causes the leaves to wilt and turn yellow or the fruits to become small and discolored. It is often caused by fungal infected soil.

Harvesting Better Boy Tomato

The best way to determine if your better boy tomatoes are ready to pick is by color and feel. The skin of a ripe better boy is uniformly deep red at both the top and bottom. Unripe tomatoes are light to deep green in color.

Once you notice the skin change to deep red, feel the fruit to test for ripeness. As with other tomatoes, a ripe better boy tomato will feel heavy and firm, but not hard. If you give the tomato a light squeeze and feel a slight tenderness, the tomato is ripe.

Tomatoes that feel soft are overripe and should be used for sauces rather than slicing. A ripe better boy tomato will also pull easily from the vine. If the tomato does not come off the vine with a light tug, leave it to ripen for a few more days.

Key Takeaway

  • Better Boy Tomatoes produce large fruits that can weigh up to 340 grams (12 oz) with a flattened globe shape
  • The fruit of Better Boy Tomatoes has a thick, meaty texture that makes them great for slicing and adding to sandwiches and salads.
  • Better Boy Tomatoes have a relatively better disease resistance than other hybrid varieties,
  • Better Boy Tomatoes are known for their high yield, producing a large number of fruits per plant throughout the growing season.
  • Better Boy Tomatoes are indeterminate, meaning they continue to grow and produce fruit until frost.
  • Better Boy Tomatoes have a delicious sweet and tangy flavor and are good for eating fresh or adding to recipes.

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