If you are planning on growing large, round, juicy Better Boy tomatoes in your garden this year, you might be wondering how big the plants and fruit will get. That way, you can plan the number of plants and the amount of space you will need for your crop of Better Boy tomatoes.
So, how big do Better Boy tomatoes get? Better Boy tomato plants grow to a height of 5 to 8 feet (1.5 to 2.4 meters) tall and 18 inches (46 centimeters) wide, and produce fruit that weighs 12 to 16 ounces (340 to 455 grams).
Of course, the quality of your fruit (if you get any at all!) depends on the care that you give your tomato plants. Let’s take a closer look at Better Boy tomatoes, including size, growing conditions, and time to maturity.
How Big Do Better Boy Tomatoes Get?
The fruit of a Better Boy tomato plant will grow large and globe-shaped, to a size of 12 to 16 ounces (340 to 455 grams). The Better Boy variety is considered a “slicer” tomato, making it perfect for snacks or salads.
In fact, Better Boy tomatoes are large enough that a single slice could cover an entire slice of bread for a sandwich! For more information, check out this information on Better Boy tomatoes from the Bonnie plants website.
A Better Boy tomato plant is indeterminate, meaning that it will continue to grow and produce throughout the season until it dies from frost or a lack of nutrients and water. A Better Boy plant will grow to a height of 5 to 8 feet (1.5 to 2.4 meters) tall, with a width of 18 inches (46 centimeters).
The height of Better Boy and other indeterminate tomato varieties makes it essential to support them with stakes or trellises. For more information, check out my article on supporting tomato plants and my article on trellises.
Are Better Boy Tomatoes Determinate Or Indeterminate?
Better Boy tomatoes are indeterminate, meaning that their maximum height is not predetermined by their genetics. They will continue to grow taller throughout the season until something kills them, such as a frost or a lack of water and nutrients.
Compare this to determinate tomato varieties, which achieve a certain predetermined height and then stop growing and producing. If you are looking to grow tomatoes in a container indoors, Better Boy and other indeterminate varieties will grow too tall for your purposes.
Better Boy tomatoes are resistant to common tomato pests and diseases, such as root knot nematodes, verticillium wilt, and fusarium wilt.
How Long Does It Take Better Boy Tomatoes To Grow And Ripen?
After transplanting into your garden, a Better Boy tomato plant will take between 70 and 75 days to ripen. If you start a Better Boy tomato from seed, it will take about 25 days longer to see mature, ripe fruit on the vine (for a total of 95 to 100 days from seed to ripe fruit).
For more information, check out my article on when tomato plants produce fruit.
Better Boy tomatoes are extremely prolific. Being indeterminate, they will keep producing fruit throughout the season. As a result, you can end up with dozens of tomatoes per plant in a growing season!
Since Better Boy tomatoes are a hybrid variety, it is not always feasible to save the seeds and plant them the following year. Unlike heirloom tomato varieties, hybrid tomato varieties will not always “grow true to type”.
This means that the seeds will not always grow into plants that are similar to the parent plant. The seeds from hybrid plants may not look anything like the parent plant, and may end up being sterile, unable to produce any fruit.
Are Better Boy Tomatoes Hard To Grow?
Better Boy tomatoes are not too difficult to grow, since they have been bred for disease resistance and reasonably fast growth. They do require full sun, so a shady location will not work for Better Boy tomatoes.
Also, the fruit matures in 70 to 75 days, which is in the middle of the road as far as time to maturity for tomato plants.
Remember that every day on the vine is another chance for diseases, such as blight, to infect your tomato plants. So, a faster time to maturity means that your plants are not exposed to these problems as long as other tomato varieties.
For more information, check out my article on tomato blight.
Of course, there are other factors to consider when deciding whether to grow Better Boy tomato plants. The quality of care that you give your tomato plants will help to determine how much fruit you get each year. Some of the most important factors are temperature, watering, fertilizing, and pruning.
Temperature For Better Boy Tomatoes
Early fall frosts or late spring frosts can spell death for your Better Boy tomato plants. The threat is increased if you live in an area with a short growing season.
Better Boy tomato plants may stop producing if temperatures drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius). However, if temperatures drop to 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) or lower, your Better Boy tomato plants may die.
If nothing else, cold temperatures can make the fruit mushy and flavorless, which is why it is recommended that you not store tomatoes in the refrigerator!
There are some ways to protect your plants from frost, including the use of row covers. For more information, check out my article on protecting your tomato plants from cold and frost.
On the other extreme, your tomato plants may stop producing fruit if daytime temperatures are over 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). In addition, the hot, sticky days of summer can prevent proper pollination due to excessive humidity.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about high temperatures or humidity levels. Just be sure to insulate your tomato plants by putting a layer of mulch or compost over the topsoil around them.
If you encounter problems with pollination, check out my article on how to pollinate tomato plants by hand.
Watering For Better Boy Tomatoes
Avoid letting the soil stay dry for too long, since uneven watering can lead to blossom end rot in tomatoes. If you find that you have a problem with dry soil, check out my article on how to treat dry soil.
On the other hand, over watering your Better Boy tomato plants (or any plants for that matter) can lead to root rot and eventual death. The best way to decide when to water is to feel the soil with your fingers.
If the soil feels dry 2 or 3 inches below the surface, then go ahead and water. For more information, check out my article on over watering your plants.
Try to water early in the morning, rather than at night, to allow water to soak into the soil. Avoid getting the leaves wet to prevent rot, mold, and diseases.
Fertilizing For Better Boy Tomatoes
Before you plant tomato seeds or transplants in your garden, add some compost to your soil. It will provide organic material and nutrients for your plants as they grow. The best part is that you can make compost yourself from ordinary yard and kitchen waste!
For more information, check out my article on how to make your own compost.
It may be necessary to use fertilizers as a supplement to compost, in order to provide extra nutrients if your soil is lacking. The best way to tell if you need fertilizer is with a soil test.
For more information, check out my article on soil testing.
The soil pH should be between 6.2 and 6.8 – a soil test will also indicate the pH of your soil.
Finally, remember that it is possible to harm or kill your tomato plants by over fertilizing them. For example, too much nitrogen can prevent your tomato plant from producing any fruit.
Pruning For Better Boy Tomatoes
Many gardeners choose to prune off the suckers, or side shoots, of tomato plants as they grow. The result is fewer, but larger, fruits on the vine.
Pruning away the lower leaves and branches of the tomato plant can also help to prevent the spread of disease in your garden. When you remove the lower leaves and branches, there is less chance of dirt splashing up onto leaves due to rain or watering.
Better Boy tomato plants are already large, and tend to produce more fruit than other tomato varieties. For this reason, you may want to prune carefully. This will avoid branches that are overloaded with fruit, which can lead to breakage.
For more information, check out this article on pruning tomatoes from the University of New Hampshire Extension.
By now, you have a much better idea of how big Better Boy tomatoes get, in terms of both the fruit on the vine and the plant itself. You also know a bit more about the care that is necessary to ensure a healthy crop of Better Boy tomatoes in this year’s garden.
I hope you found this article helpful – if so, please share it with someone else who can use the information. If you have any questions or advice about Better Boy tomatoes, please leave a comment below.
If you want to grow the best tomatoes every year, check out my article on common mistakes to avoid when growing tomatoes.