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PlantFiles: Tomato
Lycopersicon lycopersicum 'Better Boy'

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lycopersicon (ly-koh-PER-see-kon) (Info)
Species: lycopersicum (ly-koh-PER-see-kum) (Info)
Cultivar: Better Boy

» View all varieties of Tomatoes

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

17 members have or want this plant for trade.

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Growing Habit:

Fruit Shape:

Fruit Size:
Medium (under one pound)
Large (over one pound)

Days to Maturity:
Mid (69-80 days)

Fruit Colors:

Seed Type:
American hybrid

Fresh, slicing

Disease Resistance:
Fusarium Wilt (F)
Verticillium Wilt (V)
Root Nematodes (N)
Tobacco Mosaic (T)

Leaf Type:
Regular Leaf

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There are a total of 19 photos.
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21 positives
5 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive jbsnyder73 On Feb 1, 2015, jbsnyder73 from Yerington, NV wrote:

Better Boy is my favorite eating tomato. It tends to crack badly for me. Suggestions?

Positive riceke On Jan 24, 2013, riceke from Snellville, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

One of the best hybrids on the market. Edges out Big Boy which used to be the best hybrid. Large healthy plants and fruit. Good taste. Wish it was an OP so I could save the seed.

Positive lindypuddin On Mar 5, 2012, lindypuddin from stony mountain, MB (Zone 3a) wrote:

started this variety late march and planted out last weekend
of may 2011.
was my highest yielding plant...about the 4th variety to ripen.
grew this tomato in a raised planter on the west side of house against a stucco wall.
the perfect hamburger slice
tall bushy plant
required watering every other day
lots of healthy leaf cover only pruned suckers lightly
large smooth tomatos with a good acidic bite
looked amazing sliced with 'lemon boy'

Positive slumpond On Jul 20, 2011, slumpond from Stockett, MT (Zone 4a) wrote:

Have grown in many different areas and always have been pleased with Better Boy. I start all my own plants so have the choice of a wide variety and I would never be without it.

Positive duginmt On Jun 25, 2011, duginmt from Billings, MT wrote:

I planted three Celebritys, two Early Girls, and one Better Boy in my small strip garden as 6" starter plants on May 7th. About two weeks later the Better Boy's main shoot was broken off at ground level, either from high winds or eaten by a snail. I thought it would die, but it just kept growing from other shoots. It is now June 25th and of my six tomato plants the Better Boy is the most robust, with three main branches that come up separately from below ground level. It is about 2.5' wide and nearly two feet tall, and has about ten blossoms already, with many more foming. The Celebrities are about half as big, and the Early Girls are taller but not nearly as bulky. I am impressed with how my Better Boy came back after being decapitated at ground level, and is now my biggest tomato plant. It has been a wet, cool spring here. My soil is a sandy loam mixed with potting soil. I also mixed some granular tomato & vegetable food with calcium in with the soil below the starter tomatos. Celebrities did very well for me last year and they look good again but I am really excited to see what this Better Boy will do! Never tried one before. Thanks for your observations.

Negative chiefsquirrel On Jun 15, 2011, chiefsquirrel from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

I have both Early Girl & Better Boy planted in a small area.
Same soil, same food, same moisture, same sun.

I do NOT recommend Better Boy. I have had to discard 80% of the crop due to blossom end rot. And, yet, No symptoms whatsoever on any of the early girls.

I will Never again waste my time/money/valuable space on "Better" boy again.

Positive Red_Stick1982 On Jun 14, 2011, Red_Stick1982 from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:

I give this tomato an overall positive rating. It bears a tremendous amount of fruit with a wonderful texture and strong tomato flavor. Also, it's fairly acidic in taste, which is something I prefer in a tomato. My plants went into the ground in early April and set fruit from late April through early June. The plants are still growing and flowering, but have stopped setting fruit because of the severe heat. As with all tomatoes, this variety needs plenty of water, but it especially needs it in consistent and reasonable rates. Too little water, and the plants become very susceptible to fungal infections. Too much water, especially during a drought, and the tomatoes will split over night and the plants will be overtaken by suckers. My father has been growing this variety for at least fifteen years and grows no other variety other than this except cherry tomatoes.

Positive lansingrick On May 29, 2010, lansingrick from Lansing, MI wrote:

i've grown this in lansing, mi for 25 years. think maybe that's a positive rating? good fruit, tasty, easy to grow. i plant them deep in a peaty mix to get good moisture and avoid the clay soil that abounds. being indeterminate, the biggest problem is they can give you 8 feet of vine. but deal with it. when frost is about to hit, fried green tomatoes are tasty.

Positive toughgardengeek On Jan 22, 2010, toughgardengeek from Bethpage, NY wrote:

This was the first tomato I grew over 25 years ago when it was the new great tomato hybrid (sort of like what Big Beef is today). It does not have as impressive a list of disease resistance of Big Beef, but as seedlings, does not require as much pampering to get off going. I still grow it again on occasion for comparison. Overall this is still a very adaptable, dependable and tasty hybrid.

Neutral huntke On Sep 6, 2009, huntke from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

I am getting tons of fruit, but have had numerous problems trying to grow this plant in an "earth box" container. First, I had blossom rot but was able to remedy that by adding some calcium. I'm having a difficult time regulating watering and have cracking in nearly all the tomatoes. I also now have an aphid infestation and most of the leaves are turning yellow, but I'm not sure why. Nonetheless, the tomatoes keep growing and the flavor is terrific.

Positive lssfishhunter On Jan 14, 2009, lssfishhunter from Jonesville, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

This one is one of my winners. Production is great. Taste is great (acidic). Grows well in hot, humid climates.

Positive WoodsGrower On Nov 28, 2008, WoodsGrower from Ashville, OH wrote:

Better Boy is one of the most reliable tomatoes for the home gardener. Those who have trouble growing it need to get their soil analyzed. It only cost $10-12 (At least here, anyway) and will open up a new world of success in the garden. After analysis, your county extension agent can suggest ways to remedy any deficiencies noted.

Blossom end rot can have two causes: a lack of calcium in the soil, and excessively dry soil. Tomatoes need lots of water, and when deprived, will draw water out if the fruit and back into the plant. Lack of calcium can be remedied by adding agricultural lime or bone meal to the soil in early spring.

One word is the remedy to many tomato problems: compost.
A compost tumbler can be made out of a plastic 55 gallon drum (free at some businesses who throw them away). Compost can be made in as little as 4-6 weeks with them. Add bone meal to the compost when it is almost finished the heating stage.

When planting any variety of tomatoes, dig a one foot deep hole and add 8" of compost, mix with soil to bring up to garden level and plant. Add more compost as the season progresses, either as a mulch or mixed into the top 4 inches of soil. Keep watered (once a week) and you will have more Better Boys than you can use.

Positive RussMartin4154 On Sep 29, 2008, RussMartin4154 from Omaha, NE (Zone 5b) wrote:

I put in three plants for the first time this year. Despite a late spring and cool, wet summer in Omaha in 2008, they have thrived and produce more good-tasting fruit than we could keep up with.

Positive passifly On Mar 3, 2008, passifly from Palestine, TX wrote:

I have been growing the Better Boy for several years with
good results. I have had fruit from 8 to 16 oz.. Another good
point is that it does not have a large core. I am also organic.

Positive laura10801 On Jan 3, 2007, laura10801 from Fairfield County, CT (Zone 6b) wrote:

I grew the Better Boy and the Early Girl together in a tomato growing kit I got from Gardeners Supply Co. Both produced nice crops. Better Boy had nice flavor, and medium sized fruit. I would definitely grow this boy again.

Negative ladygardener1 On Aug 12, 2006, ladygardener1 from Near Lake Erie, NW, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I wanted to try a different verity of tomato along with my old stand-by Early Girl, so I planted 2 Better Boys. The plants are all growing in Self-watering systems I bought from Gardener's supply, all plants are in the same location and were watered and fertilized the same. All plants are growing about the same size. The problem is the Better Boy tomatos are having problems with blossom end rot. The Early Girls are showing no signs of this.

Next year on to a different verity + my olds stand by Early Girl.

Positive Ozark On Aug 10, 2006, Ozark from Ozark, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is my reliable production tomato. This year I grew one plant each of 11 different heirloom tomatoes plus four Better Boy plants. The heirlooms are fun and interesting, but I can count on Better Boy.

The compact Better Boy plants are easy to take care of, and give a reliable heavy yield. The tomatoes are red, round, unblemished, about the size of tennis balls, and have good flavor. I'll be planting some every year.

Neutral Greenthumbe On Jun 22, 2006, Greenthumbe from Scripps Ranch, (San Diego), CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Hello, a friend gave me an extra better boy tomato so I planted it and at first it grew fine. Unfortunatly, all the flowers are just dying and falling off with no fruit. It is also developing a black and pruple dustlike substance on the leaves that does not wash off. All other tomatoes that continue to grow in my friends garden are thirving! Any help on the matter would be much appreciated.

Neutral kyle_and_erika On Jun 8, 2006, kyle_and_erika from Batesville, AR wrote:

I've never had any luck with the boys (better boy, big boy, best boy, etc) and I have grown more of them than anything else. I dont know if it is our weather or what. Last year we had about 450 better boys and at least half of those plants didnt yeild a single marketable tomato. I was disgusted to say the least.

However, I am hesitant to give this plant a negative rating because I know it preforms so well for many. Just not for me.

Keep in mind that we grow tomatoes on a plot that has been used for tomato farming for close to 100 years , thus disease and pests are rampant. It takes a tough plant to even survive to muturity which many of the "boys" arent able to do.

Positive TheEditor On May 9, 2006, TheEditor from Whiteland, IN wrote:

Although I'm an heirloom tomato grower, Better Boy is the one exception in my garden -- mainly because it's flavorful, disease-resistant and exceptionally prolific.

It's also low-maintenance, at least in the Indianapolis area. In fact, whenever I run into someone who wants to grow tomatoes, but doesn't have much time for gardening, I recommend Better Boy. As I explain it: "Put 'em in a sunny spot, keep 'em watered, and let God do the rest."

Neutral Gabrielle On Jan 26, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

For years this was the only tomato my family grew, but the last several years the quality of the flavor just wasn't the same. They did make a nice yield and didn't have any disease or environmental problems.

Neutral carminator1 On Nov 25, 2005, carminator1 from mobile, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I purchased this tomato plant from Lowes, I was not very impresed on the taste, I am not sure whether it had to do with weather conditions or not, but the taste was bland, I will probably grow it again from seed this next spring see if I see some change.

Positive Tplant On Apr 23, 2005, Tplant from Pembroke Pines, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

For a hybrid this is one of the best tasting I ever raised. I raise them because they are a mid-season crop and my heirlooms take a lot longer so I have something to munch while I wait for the heirlooms. Firm and sweet but I've never had real large ones ? All mine have been raised from seed(TGS) and are only medium sized ? As a matter of fact they are growing at this time and have been providing me with tomatos for months. They just don't quit !!!

Positive bromeliad On Jun 16, 2004, bromeliad from Morrisville, NC wrote:

I'm a novice gardener. I purchased four seedlings from a nursery; I planted two at the side of my house (poor soil but lots of sun) and two in a raised bed (great soil but not so much sun). The two at the side of the house are not doing well, but the two in the raised bed are monsters.

Positive graffixalley On Apr 13, 2003, graffixalley from Laurelville, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

My family has been growing this variety for many years in south central Ohio with good to great results. 2002 was not the best year for tomatoes, but these did better than most of my normal sized varieties in size, yield and taste.

Positive tomato_lady On Mar 29, 2003, tomato_lady from Crossville, TN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I always include some of this old reliable standby in my garden. They are "easy keepers" and require little attention other than reaping the rewards. Their taste is consistently good and with regular fertilizing you can always count on a good harvest.

Positive mgmarcks On Mar 1, 2003, mgmarcks from Roseville, MI wrote:

Good flavor, large tomatoes and lots of them.

Positive lupinelover On Jan 17, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

One of the best-known tomato varieties for a good reason. Fruits are very large, full of flavor and juice, disease resistance is excellent. Very good fruit-set.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Thomasville, Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Holbrook, Arizona
Mammoth Spring, Arkansas
Anderson, California
Escondido, California
Los Angeles, California
Manteca, California
Mountain View, California
Quartz Hill, California
San Diego, California (2 reports)
San Marcos, California
Denver, Colorado
Cos Cob, Connecticut
Bartow, Florida
Crestview, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Miami, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida (2 reports)
Rockledge, Florida
Augusta, Georgia (2 reports)
Decatur, Georgia
Jasper, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Snellville, Georgia
Valdosta, Georgia
Round Lake, Illinois
Independence, Iowa
Iola, Kansas
Barbourville, Kentucky
Bethelridge, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Saint Charles, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Deridder, Louisiana
Slidell, Louisiana
California, Maryland
Hollywood, Maryland
Halifax, Massachusetts
Lansing, Michigan
Pine Island, Minnesota
Water Valley, Mississippi
Ozark, Missouri
Saint Joseph, Missouri
Billings, Montana
Stockett, Montana
Omaha, Nebraska
Las Vegas, Nevada
Salisbury, New Hampshire
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Bolivia, North Carolina
Drexel, North Carolina
Fuquay Varina, North Carolina
Horse Shoe, North Carolina
Stanley, North Carolina
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Ashville, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Laurelville, Ohio
Warren, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Grants Pass, Oregon
Wakefield, Rhode Island
Barnwell, South Carolina
Jonesville, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Cleveland, Tennessee
Crossville, Tennessee
Linden, Tennessee
Buda, Texas
Cypress, Texas
Elgin, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Palestine, Texas
Pflugerville, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
San Marcos, Texas
Springdale, Utah
Christiansted, Virgin Islands
Ashburn, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Vienna, Virginia
Everson, Washington
Kirkland, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Buckhannon, West Virginia
Grafton, West Virginia

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