Like most fruits and vegetables that grow in the garden, there are several varieties of tomatoes. Some professionals claim there are over 10,000, to be more specific. Of course, a few varieties are more popular and commonly grown. If you are trying to choose a couple of different types of tomatoes to grow or become knowledgeable on, you may have stumbled across two of the more popular names. Two great varieties to compare are Early Girl vs. Better Boy Tomatoes.
Early Girls and Better Boys are both an indeterminate variety of tomatoes, meaning they grow tall with support and produce all season long with adequate sunlight. Several contributing factors make Early Girl and Better Boy tomatoes different from each other. Better Boys produce much larger fruit than Early Girls. Also, Early Girls are on the easier end of the spectrum when it comes to growing, but the Better Boy variety can stay alive and flourish in rougher and more intense conditions.
Continue reading to learn tons of fun information about Early Girl and Better Boy tomatoes. They are different in many ways and also similar in others.
What Are The Sizes Of Each Variety?
Early Girls: The vines of this specific variety can grow up to 6 feet tall, meaning large stakes and supports are much needed. The actual tomatoes themselves are typically around a baseball ball size weighing in at around 4 ounces. Early Girls are considered a medium-sized variety of tomatoes.
Better Boys: This variety produces much larger fruit at around 16 ounces. That’s an entire pound per tomato. Their vines develop to 5-8 feet tall, meaning they require a cage or support to survive. Better Boys are categorized as an extra-large variety of tomatoes.
Basic Growing Facts
|||When/Where To Start||Germination Rate||Days To Harvest|
|Early Girl||Start indoors, 6-8 weeks before planting outside||6-12 days||59 days|
|Better Boy||Start inside, 6-8 weeks before planting outside||8-10 days||70-75 days|
How Does The Taste Compare?
If you are looking for a more classic and mild tomato taste, a Better Boy tomato will do the trick. Many people use Better Boys to slice and put onto sandwiches with such a classic and lighter flavor. They are also great in large quantities to make sauces and preserve them.
On the other hand, Early Girl tomatoes are a lot more flavorful. They are filled with flavor and fragrance at a very early stage while on the vine. Many claim Early girls pack a bold flavor and delicious smell faster than many tomato varieties. They are perfect for slicing and eating salads and sandwiches. They add a bold and rich flavor to many different meals.
What Conditions Do They Grow Best In?
Early Girl- This variety is unique in that it can grow well in most places, including large pots, container gardens, or directly in the ground. They must receive at least 6 hours of full sunlight a day. Early Girls are pretty resistant to drier climates and have been used in tests to see how well they can do with limited water.
They succeeded and were proven to produce great flavor even with less water. They are considered a very easy tomato to grow. Like most tomatoes, Early Girls must be planted in soil that’s rich in nutrients, as they are heavy feeders. The soil should have a good amount of acidity. If it does not, then compost or fertilizer must be added for Early Girls to grow correctly.
Better Boy- Like their competitor in this article, This variety is on the simpler side to grow. They must be planted when any threat of a winter frost has passed. Like the Early Girls, they prefer full sunlight for at least 6 hours a day.
Better Boys actually produce thick foliage that surrounds the fruit and protects them from sun damage known as sunscald; therefore, they can take the heat and still survive for over 6 hours in full sun. Unlike Early Girls, Better Boy tomatoes cannot be grown in containers. They are too large. They grow best in the ground in a garden with large supports. When it comes to soil, they prefer a slight acidity level with a pH balance of 6.5 to 7.0. They also require regular watering.
|||Diseases They Are Susceptible To||Diseases They Are Resistant To|
|Early Girl||Blossom End Rot- A disease that can be caused by either not enough water or too much of it. A lack of calcium in the soil can also cause it. It typically appears in the form of a black spot towards the end of the tomato. |
Blight- A disease that is fungal and is mostly caused by excessively cold temperatures and moisture. Tomato stems must be kept mostly dry.
|Fusarium- A fungus that forms in soil.|
Verticillium Wilt- Another type of fungus that forms in the soil and can affect over 350 plants.
Early Girl tomatoes are actually resistant to most diseases and pests. That is what makes them easy and more simple to grow than many other varieties of tomatoes.
|Better Boy||Blossom end rot- As mentioned above, a lack of calcium in the soil or an incorrect amount of water can cause this. |
Blight- As described above in the Early girl section, this is a disease that can be prevented by planting in a warm enough temperature and keeping the stems of the plants dry. Provide water only to the roots and soil of the plants.
|Fusarium- A soil fungus. |
Verticillium Wilt- A soil fungus.
Just like Early girl tomatoes, better boys can also fight off most diseases and pests preventing them from being negatively impacted.
Tips For Successful Growth Of Each
- Early girls must be watered directly into the soil. Watering over the top of the plants can cause rotting.
- Plant in slightly acidic soil. If your soil is lacking acid, add compost or fertilizer to add the necessary nutrients.
- This variety can produce heavy amounts of fruit at once. Strong cages or stakes must be used to support the weight and size of the plants.
- Although this tomato variety is very good at fighting off diseases and pests, there’s always the possibility of one slipping through and infecting the plants. Planting in the early spring will ensure that fruit will be harvested before most threats can arise. The risk will be greatly reduced.
- Provide Early girls with at least one inch of water per week and 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. These are minimum requirements.
- Space each plant at least 24-36 inches apart for the necessary room to grow.
- Feel free to choose between containers, gardens, or raised beds. This variety will most likely succeed in many different places.
- Be prepared to harvest fruit for a long duration as Early girls will bear fruit longer than most other species of tomatoes.
- Nourish this plant with no less than one inch of water per week. Any less can lead to malnourishment of the plant and cause it to dry out.
- They need at least 6 hours of direct sun exposure and light per day.
- Better Boy tomatoes must be planted 24-36 inches apart. Adequate spacing will allow plenty of room for them to develop and grow.
- Provide plenty of support to your plants as they grow. Stakes and cages are necessary. An unsupported plant will eventually topple over and deteriorate.
- Do not plant Better boys unless any threat of a late winter and possibly early spring frost has passed.
- Plant in slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.5-7.0.
- Halfway through the growing process, nourish your Better boy plants with a well balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) or nutrient dense compost.
- Do not plant better boys in lots of other containers. They are too large and need an adequate garden to grow, spread, and produce fruit.
- Practice crop rotation if you decide to grow these every year.
- Pull off extra early buds and branches to ensure that the plant will direct its energy elsewhere and efficiently produce fruit.
Which Is Better?
Better Boy and Early Girl tomatoes are very similar. They are both straightforward and easy to grow, and they can both fight off many different pests and diseases that other common tomato varieties can get. Early girls tend to be more resistant to drought, but Better Boys adapt very well to several environmental conditions.
Both varieties can grow to be pretty large, meaning they require strong stakes and or cages to support them. Slightly acidic soil and adequate watering routines are also critical and are similarities between the two. Overall, it comes down to a preference of size and taste.
Early girls have a bolder flavor that develops early on in the growing process, while Better boys have a milder flavor. Lastly, Better boys are much larger and allow consumers to scan and preserve them in larger quantities. Each Tomato has its benefits, and either option will provide a good, classic, tasty tomato that can be used in many different ways.
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!