Hybrids are crosses between two inbred lines that have recognizable differences. Experts often list it amongst their top five all-time favorites. ©2020 Walter Reeves / The Simple Gardener, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Because Big Boy seed is still being produced, its exact parentage is a trade secret so giving the makeup of the hybrid is not possible. An old Burpee catalog describes their first significant hybrid as a marigold offered in 1939. By carefully studying plant types and understanding which are dominant and recessive traits, the breeder can begin to make crosses that assemble these characteristics into the hybrid progeny. Because of the hand labor required to produce hybrid seeds, it’s always more expensive than seeds grown as an inbred line, usually three to10 times more costly. This early work was complete by the end of World War I; hybrid corn seeds were widely available a decade later. Due to the high yield of tomatoes, it is recommended that Better Boy varieties be sturdily staked in the garden. This variety was bred by Harris Seeds, a family-owned seed business founded in 1879 and based in Rochester, NY. Better Boy. Once the significance of Mendel’s law of inheritance was understood at the beginning of the 20th century, it only took a few years for a workable system of hybrid seed production to emerge. If you have a vegetable garden or are thinking of starting one, tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) are likely on your list of plants to grow. As gardeners, we want plants that have good local adaptability, and sometimes an inbred line will be better adapted than a hybrid. They are a favorite because of their high productivity, meaty texture and deep flavor. Browse and purchase gardening books by Walter Reeves, plus select titles by other authors. The fruit has excellent classic tomato flavor with just the right balance of acid and sugar. Origin of Big Boy Tomato. A few plants — for example petunias — are only available as hybrids; their inbred lines having so little vigor that they are not considered worth growing. The afore mentioned increase in yield resulted from crossing lines with long, skinny ears with lines that had short, fat ears with more rows of seeds. Gardeners often want to save seeds. If you're looking for a variety that has flavorful, all-purpose fruits, a tomato called \"Better Boy\" could be the perfect choice. It's a cross between Teddy Jones (a large, pink beefsteak from the midwest) and a red parent (which one is a corporate secret). Noted for its superior flavor, the fruit grows from an indeterminate plant and is about 12 ounces, typically ripening in 72 days. 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. Write a review. Tomato : Better Boy Very common and popular hybrid Beefsteak Tomato. We can only speculate what Shifriss used in his hybrids, but Ball hints that one of the parents was an heirloom selection from the Odessa region of the Ukraine, the ancestral home of the Shifriss family. One of the best tasting, best producing garden hybrid tomatoes. Beefsteak tomatoes are the largest variety of cultivated tomatoes. Big Boy was Burpee’s second hybrid tomato, but the vigor of this introduction was revolutionary and ushered in the modern era of tomato breeding. share. An indeterminate plant that keeps growing all season long, this plant thrives in strong light and good garden soil, with just a little extra care ensuring a heavy yield. The Better Boy is a hybrid tomato that is prized by home growers for its median maturity rate (70-75 days), and consistently excellent smooth-skinned fruits with a classic flavor. Tomatoes are gr… In corn, it’s easy to illustrate how hybrid vigor works. The hybrids produced long ears with more rows, both dominant traits. Shifriss immigrated to the U. S. in 1936. Because of all of the hand work involved, hybrid seeds are produced in the third world where hand labor is cheap. This is a great slicing tomato. In 1958, he joined the faculty at Rutgers University in New Jersey as a geneticist, using ornamental gourds as his test plant. Instead of being remarkably uniform, the most salient characteristic of hybrids, the population will vary wildly between the two extremes used to create the hybrid. Harris Seeds is known for its quality standards.  Due to the high yield of tomatoes, it is recommended that Better Boy varieties be sturdily staked in the garden. A Bit of Tomato History. Shifriss was born in Ein Ganeem, a town in present-day Israel, where his father had emigrated from the Ukraine. Agriculture has gone through a number of technological revolutions, but few have been as dramatic as was the introduction of hybrid seeds. If a good marriage is created, hybrids can have significantly increased yield and vigor, a term we call hybrid vigor. Central America, India and Kenya are the current countries where much of our hybrid seed is produced by the six or so mega-seed companies that provide all of our garden seeds.