Growing Tomato Better Boy
in Northeast Florida Vegetable Gardens
Better boy is a large growing, large fruiting, long season harvest tomato. It was in the Guinness book of world records for producing 340 lbs of tomatoes from one garden plant! That’s allot of tomatoes! Excellent flavor on big fruits that are perfect for sandwiches. Better boy tomato plants produce large 1 lb fruits on Indeterminate vines. Harvest begins in as little as 70-75 days from planting.
Origins, Foliage, Fruit and Use of Tomato Better Boy for Northeast Florida vegetable gardens:
A popular American hybrid variety of tomato for the Northeast Florida area, better boy can be easily located at most garden centers.
Large fruits have excellent flavor, mature quickly and just keep on coming till a freeze kills the plant. The foliage will continue to grow and will need good support for this fast growing tomato plant with heavy fruit.
Fruits are large up to 16 oz each and are perfect slicers for sandwiches.
Planting Season for Better Boy Tomato Plants in Jacksonville and St. Augustine Florida and the surrounding areas:
Better Boy tomatoes are considered a warm season crop, they are frost sensitive and should only be planted in frost free months in Northeast Florida vegetable gardens. However, tomato growing season is split into two seasons in Northeast Florida as tomato production will slow to nearly nothing during the hottest summer months of June and July.
Start your tomato plants in February from seed, and February straight through March and April from S & J Nursery transplants. The second growing season for tomato plants in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area garden is August and September, Better Boy tomatoes can be planted out again in those months and allowed to fruit up until the first killing frost.
Sun Exposure for Growing Better Boy Tomatoes in Northeast Florida Vegetable Gardens:
Plant your Tomato Better Boy in a full sun or afternoon sun location for the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area garden. Make sure they will receive a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight for best results.
Soil Preferences for Better Boy Tomato in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine Florida areas:
better Boy tomato plants will do best in the Northeast Florida garden when grown in soils that have been generously amended with compost and cow manure. Be sure to plant into well drained soils and not in an are that will have standing water after a hard rain.
Care of Better Boy in the Northeast Florida Vegetable Garden:
Staking your Better Boy Tomato plant:
Better Boy tomato is a fast growing indeterminate variety that is a heavy producer of large 1lb fruits. Traditional tomato cages will not be large enough to contain them unless heavy pruning is done. Consider making your own tomato cage from heavy duty cow fencing and make sure to strap it down with posts so your beautiful crop of Better Boy tomatoes don’t end up all over the ground after a North Florida rain storm.
Watering your Better Boy Tomato Plants:
Newly planted tomato plants will require watering daily for the first few days to a week after being planted from seed or transplanted from an S & J Nursery container.
Once the tomato plants are established and growing, be sure to keep the soil moist by watering at least twice per week if rainfall is scarce. Container grown tomato plants will need watered 3 to 4 times per week, or every time the top two inches of soil is dry to the touch.
Mulching your Better Boy Tomato plants:
For maximum growth potential, mulching plants generously, this will help conserve moisture.
Fertilizing Your Better Boy Tomato plants:
Feed every two to three weeks with an all purpose fertilizer like 6-6-6.
Or for an organic approach, try fertilizing with a mixture of fish emulsions and seaweed (kelp) at one ounce each per gallon of water. Apply semi weekly as a foliar spray.
If your vegetable plants look like they could use a boost, give them a good watering with homemade compost tea as soon as the top few inches of soil around your plant is dry to the touch!
Harvesting Your Better Boy Tomato in the Northeast Florida Vegetable Garden:
Better Boy tomatoes can be harvested when green and allowed to ripen indoors if needed but best flavor will develop when they are allowed to ripen on the plant and picked when fully red.
Store at room temperature for 2-3 days once picked from the vine. For best results do not refrigerate.
Expect tomatoes to be ready to harvest from your Better Boy tomato plants in as little as 70-75 days and continue producing until a frost kills the plant.