The Battle of the Tomatoes: Big Boy vs Better Boy

Team McFly Sep 29, 2023
489 People Read
tomatoes in a basket
Table of Contents
  1. Big Boy Vs. Better Boy Tomatoes: The Ultimate Comparison Guide
    1. Introduction:
    2. 1. What are Big Boy and Better Boy Tomatoes?
    3. 2. The Distinctive Features of Big Boy Tomatoes
    4. 3. Exploring the Qualities of Better Boy Tomatoes
    5. 4. Growing Conditions for Big Boy and Better Boy Tomatoes
    6. Disease tolerance
    7. Harvesting early to prevent birds from poking holes in the tomatoes
    8. The fleshy, juicy, smooth, and crispy texture
    9. Sweet-tart taste
    10. Midseason hybrid tomato
    11. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
    12. Conclusion

Big Boy Vs. Better Boy Tomatoes: The Ultimate Comparison Guide

There are wide varieties of tomatoes, and the question of which one is better has always been hotly debated. It all depends on your taste. If you like a juicy and ripe tomato, you may prefer the Big Boy, while if you like a softer, more tart flavor, then the Better Boy may be a better choice.

When it comes to growing tomatoes, two popular varieties that often come into consideration are Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes.

Introduction:

These tomato cultivars have gained widespread popularity among gardeners and tomato enthusiasts alike. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the differences, similarities, and unique characteristics of Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes.

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a tomato aficionado, this article will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed choice for your tomato-growing endeavors.

1. What are Big Boy and Better Boy Tomatoes?

Both Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes are popular cultivars known for their exceptional taste, productivity, and versatility in various culinary applications. These varieties belong to the species Solanum lycopersicum and are classified as indeterminate tomatoes, meaning they continue to grow and produce fruit throughout the growing season.

Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes are known for their large, juicy fruits and vigorous growth habits. They have become favorites among gardeners who seek bountiful harvests of delicious tomatoes that are ideal for slicing, sandwiches, and fresh salads.

2. The Distinctive Features of Big Boy Tomatoes

Big Boy tomatoes are renowned for their impressive fruit size, typically weighing around 1 pound (450 grams) or more. The fruits are smooth, and firm, and have a vibrant red color when fully ripe.

These tomatoes exhibit a classic tomato flavor that strikes a balance between sweetness and acidity, making them a popular choice for a wide range of culinary preparations.

The plants of Big Boy tomatoes are robust and can grow up to 4-6 feet (1.2-1.8 meters) in height. They require sturdy support, such as stakes or cages, to prevent the heavy branches from bending or breaking under the weight of the fruit.

With proper care and favorable growing conditions, Big Boy tomatoes can yield a plentiful harvest of juicy, meaty tomatoes throughout the growing season.

Better Boy Tomatoes

3. Exploring the Qualities of Better Boy Tomatoes

Better Boy tomatoes, similar to Big Boy tomatoes, produce large, flavorful fruits. They are slightly smaller in size compared to Big Boy tomatoes, usually weighing around 10-12 ounces (280-340 grams) each. The fruits have a deep red color and a smooth, juicy texture that bursts with rich tomato flavor.

In terms of plant characteristics, Better Boy tomatoes also grow vigorously, reaching heights of 4-6 feet (1.2-1.8 meters). They have strong, sturdy stems that can withstand windy conditions and support the weight of the fruit.

Better Boy tomatoes are known for their disease resistance, making them a reliable choice for gardeners concerned about common tomato diseases.

4. Growing Conditions for Big Boy and Better Boy Tomatoes

Both Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes thrive in similar growing conditions.

Here are some essential factors to consider when cultivating these tomato varieties:

Soil Requirements

Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes prefer well-drained soil enriched with organic matter. Slightly acidic soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 6.8 is optimal for its growth and nutrient absorption. Before planting, it is advisable to amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve fertility and drainage.

man in sunlight

Sunlight

Tomatoes are sun-loving plants, and Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes are no exception. They require a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day to develop and ripen their fruits to perfection. Select a sunny spot in your garden or yard that receives ample sunlight for the majority of the day.

Watering

Proper watering is crucial for the healthy growth of Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes. These plants require consistent moisture to thrive, especially during periods of active growth and fruit development. Aim to provide approximately 1-1.5 inches (2.5-3.8 centimeters) of water per week, ensuring that the soil remains evenly moist but not waterlogged.

Temperature

Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes are warm-season crops that thrive in temperatures between 70-85°F (21-29°C). They are susceptible to cold temperatures and frost, so it is essential to wait until the danger of frost has passed before planting them outdoors.

You can also start the seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost date and transplant the seedlings outdoors once the weather is consistently warm.

Fertilization

Tomatoes are heavy feeders, and providing adequate nutrition is crucial for their growth and productivity. Before planting, incorporate a balanced fertilizer or compost into the soil to ensure a steady supply of nutrients throughout the growing season. Additionally, regular feeding with a balanced tomato fertilizer, following the package instructions, will support optimal plant health and fruit production.

Fruit Size: If you prefer larger tomatoes, Big Boy tomatoes are an excellent choice due to their substantial fruit size.

Culinary Applications: Both varieties are delicious and versatile, but Big Boy tomatoes are slightly sweeter, while Better Boy tomatoes have a rich, well-balanced flavor.

Growing Conditions: Assess your specific growing conditions, such as available space, support structures, and climate, to determine which variety is better suited for your garden.

Remember, regardless of the variety you choose, both Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes are sure to delight your taste buds with their exceptional flavor and abundant yields.

diseased tomatoes

Disease tolerance

The Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes have some impressive disease tolerance. Both are excellent growers and produce large, meaty fruit. The Big Boy is a hybrid tomato developed in 1949 by Dr. Oved Shifriss, a vegetable breeder from Israel. Its bright red color, smooth skin, and flavorful, meaty taste have made it a favorite.

A Better Boy tomato plant produces huge, juicy red fruits. Like its parent, it can be grown in any climate. However, it does best in warm, humid conditions.

This variety is considered one of the most popular indeterminate hybrid tomato varieties. The seeds are available at local nurseries, or you can order them online.

One of the reasons that Better Boy is so successful is its excellent resistance to nematodes and wilts. As a result, the Better Boy Hybrid Tomato is a Guinness World Record holder.

Disease Resistance: Better Boy tomatoes offer superior disease resistance, making them suitable for gardeners facing common tomato diseases.

Harvesting early to prevent birds from poking holes in the tomatoes

If you want to keep birds from poking holes in your tomatoes, you must harvest them early. This is especially true if you are growing green tomatoes. They can become damaged by freezes. To be safe, hang your tomato plants with a binder clip or a clothesline. You can also make use of a plastic owl. These will deter birds while letting your garden enjoy the sun.

Many types of pests can damage your crop. One of the most damaging is the tomato fruitworm. Their larvae tunnel through the stem and cause tiny holes in the tomatoes. In addition, they leave hollow spaces which may fill with decay or rot. Another common bug is spider mites. These are sap-sucking insects that can be quite detrimental to your tomato plant.

The fleshy, juicy, smooth, and crispy texture

The Big Boy is one of your best options if you want a big, juicy, smooth, and crispy tomato. This variety has a long history as a best seller. The Big Boy tomato originated in the Bucks County, Pennsylvania area. It is also one of the first hybrid tomatoes to be popular.

They weigh anywhere from two to four pounds and are great for salsas, sauces, and slicing. Their meaty interiors have a hint of sweetness.

These large tomatoes are used in various foods, including sandwiches, salads, and grilled vegetables. They are rich in water content and have a deep red, meaty flavor.

You can grow the Big Boy tomato in the garden, a greenhouse, or even in a tall cage. Big Boy tomato plants can produce as many as 50 to 100 fruits per plant.

table of food

Sweet-tart taste

If you are in the market for the best-tasting tomato, you have come to the right place. Big Boy tomatoes are known for their rich, luscious taste. Their large size complements their sweet-tart flavor.

There are wide varieties of this fruit. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Some more popular include the slicing type, like the Gold Medal. Others are the meaty types, such as the Aussie. Despite their heft, they are quite tasty, especially fresh ones.

The Big Boy Tomato is a hybrid developed by Burpee Seeds of Pennsylvania. It has the distinction of being the first hybrid variety. Although the name suggests it was derived from a Russian heirloom, the real origin of the Big Boy lies in the Bucks County region of Pennsylvania.

Midseason hybrid tomato

The Better Boy tomato is a midseason hybrid that produces large, sweet, ruby-red fruit. It was developed in 1949. It is a self-pollinating tomato that is hardy in most climates. These tomatoes are known for their rich flavor, smooth skin, and disease resistance. They are a popular variety and are worth growing in your garden. Tomatoes are an important vegetable in many households.

You can use them for salads, sauces, and sandwiches. Plant your tomato in a spot with plenty of sun and water to get the best results. If you are unsure how to care for your tomato, contact your local Master Gardener.

Midseason tomatoes are ready to harvest in 70 to 80 days after transplant. They are a great choice for short to medium-growing seasons.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Are Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes determinate or indeterminate varieties?

A. Both Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes are classified as indeterminate varieties. This means that they continue to grow and produce fruit throughout the growing season, requiring proper support and maintenance.

2. How do Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes differ in terms of size?

A. Big Boy tomatoes are known for their larger fruit size, typically weighing around 1 pound (450 grams) or more. On the other hand, Better Boy tomatoes are slightly smaller, usually weighing around 10-12 ounces (280-340 grams) each.

3. Can Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes tolerate extreme weather conditions?

A. Both Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes are relatively tolerant of heat, but they may require additional protection during periods of extreme heat or drought. Proper watering and mulching can help regulate soil moisture levels and protect the plants' roots from extreme temperatures.

4. Do Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes have similar disease resistance?

A. While both varieties exhibit good disease resistance, Better Boy tomatoes are specifically bred for enhanced disease resistance. They offer improved protection against common tomato diseases such as verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, and nematodes.

5. Which variety is better for slicing, Big Boy or Better Boy tomatoes?

A. Both Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes are excellent for slicing due to their large, juicy fruits. However, if you prefer slightly sweeter tomatoes, Big Boy tomatoes may be the better choice.

6. Can you save seeds from Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes for future planting?

A. Yes, you can save seeds from both Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes for future planting. To do so, select fully ripe and healthy fruits, scoop out the seeds, and allow them to ferment in a jar of water for a few days. Once the seeds have settled at the bottom, rinse and dry them thoroughly before storing them in a cool, dry place for future use.

Conclusion

In the realm of tomato gardening, the debate between Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes continues to captivate enthusiasts. Both varieties offer exceptional taste, abundant yields, and a range of desirable traits.

Whether you prefer the larger fruits of Big Boy tomatoes or the enhanced disease resistance of Better Boy tomatoes, both choices are sure to elevate your culinary creations and satisfy your gardening ambitions. So, go ahead and embark on your tomato-growing adventure, and enjoy the delicious fruits of your labor!

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Table of Contents
  1. Big Boy Vs. Better Boy Tomatoes: The Ultimate Comparison Guide
    1. Introduction:
    2. 1. What are Big Boy and Better Boy Tomatoes?
    3. 2. The Distinctive Features of Big Boy Tomatoes
    4. 3. Exploring the Qualities of Better Boy Tomatoes
    5. 4. Growing Conditions for Big Boy and Better Boy Tomatoes
    6. Disease tolerance
    7. Harvesting early to prevent birds from poking holes in the tomatoes
    8. The fleshy, juicy, smooth, and crispy texture
    9. Sweet-tart taste
    10. Midseason hybrid tomato
    11. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
    12. Conclusion