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Anyone Grow Better Boys?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by hollers on August 11, 2005 09:43 PM
Hello.

I'm growing a tomato plant called a Better Boy this year (in a pot). I usually grow all Celebrity plants, but the place where I buy my plants only had three Celebrity plants left, so I chose a Better Boy to give me my four plants. Now that I'm getting some ripe fruit, I'm not so sure they live up to their name.

I'm letting them get red on the vine, but it seems that they are very mushy (not like a Celebrity of the same color). Then, when I slice it, there is a lot of white flesh inside..it doesn't look ripe. Yet...it's mushy and has a deep red color (on the outside). I guess the inside flesh looks ok after you cut the top-half of the tomato off; but it's still mushy. The taste is ok, but not as good as the Celebrities that I'm getting right now.

I'm just wondering if this is just how Better Boys are, or if there might be something wrong with them. My plant doesn't really look all that healthy, to be honest with you...some brown leaves.

Any input is welcome...but I think this is my first and last year for Better Boys!!

Thanks!
Holly
by mom54 on August 12, 2005 02:19 AM
I have grown Better Boys for years and have real good luck with them. I plant mine in the ground.Maybe that's why they are good, nothing like you described. Sounds like you got a bad plant!!!!! I have also grown Better Bush along with them. Both have given me good yields.

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by hollers on August 12, 2005 10:37 PM
Hi.

Thanks for your input...maybe it is a bad plant. It's really strange...the fruit looks nice and red and pretty on the outside, but when you cut it, there's the white flesh I mentioned..and it's mushy. It kind of stinks I'm losing the yield of one whole plant!
by weezie13 on August 12, 2005 10:51 PM
Holler's....
Are alllllll the tomatoes on the plant like that,
or one or two in a certain area/growing point
on the plant???

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by hollers on August 13, 2005 04:53 AM
Weezie,

So far...they all have been that way. And...some of them have those cracks at the top like MinnesotaGirlie was talking about.

Thanks!
Holly
by ChristinaC on August 13, 2005 07:08 AM
Hi Hollers,
I'm growing Better Boys this year as well. I've only had a couple ripen as of yet but I found the same thing.......mushy.....not juicy. I'm growing Romas as well......I'm picking a basket a day and they are red and juicy!! I'm in the same boat as you. What is going on???

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by ninniwinky on August 14, 2005 04:36 PM
I can't remember for sure if mine were better boys, almost positive that they were, I started them from seed, and they are still in pots. They grew pretty easy and quite well, but I have been somewhat let down by their taste and consistency. I have a lot of white little strandy looking things in them, and for some reason I also thought they were going to get bigger, and there taste is like I bought it from the Grocery store ( you all know what I mean [Wink] ). But I have only eaten 2 so far. We shall see....

ninni
by gchughes on August 15, 2005 09:25 PM
I have been growing better boy's for a long time and have never noticed anything like that. Boy, it would sure seem strange. I've never heard of anything like that. Sounds like they may be over ripe, but you said that they are not.Do you have any problems similar with the other variety? That sounds really strange.Maybe too much water? I'm in the dark, too.
by hollers on August 15, 2005 11:02 PM
Hi.

Glad to hear I'm not alone with the disappointing Better Boys this year! In answer to gchughes...no, I am not having the same problem with the other variety -- just the Better Boys. And they are not over ripe...they are still yellow on the top. It's like they ripen from the bottom up or something. I don't know...it's strange!!

Holly
by gchughes on August 19, 2005 02:55 AM
I wonder what your extension agent would think? It sounds like the variety has a glitch in the DNA. We may have a different lot down here in Ga. It has to be in the plant itself if you all are having similar fruits with soft flesh. Nothing much disappointing than to get 'em red and then find out they're no good. I'd like to find out.
by Sorellina on August 19, 2005 09:34 PM
Ciao hollers,

A picture of your affected fruit (and plant) would be most helpful to fully understand what you're experiencing. Also a pic of the fruit sliced would be helpful as well, I think.

Based on the data you've provided so far, it could be a couple of things. You stated that your plant isn't all that healthy and you're seeing lots of yellowing leaves. When that happens and the leaves start to wither, it increases exposure of the ripening fruit to the sun, which can cause sun scald. Sun scald is seen on the fruit as patches of whitish, hard bits. When one cuts into the fruit, the white bits extend into the fruit and appear kind of like an unripe apple. Another factor that can cause mushiness is over-watering or too much rain. Look for cracks in the skin of the fruit as well. We're having a big thunderstorm here today and the first thing I'll be doing when I get home is trek outside in my gore-tex and picking any almost ripe fruit before it can crack from absorbing too much water. If it's a rain thing, there's not much you can really do to counter that, but if it's sun scald, you might be able to provide some shade cloth to prevent too much direct exposure to the sun.

One last thing: it could be a combination of the variety itself combined with your environmental conditions this growing year. I'm growing an heirloom called Paul Robeson which had rave reviews of tasting deeply rich and complex. I picked my first one last weekend and it tasted watery, mushy, and tasteless. Needless to say, I was way disappointed. The good news is that it made a very tasty ketchup. So keep that in mind..even if you've got watery, mushy tomatoes, you can always spice them up in something cooked and they'll rock.

Buona fortuna,
Julianna

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