Better Boy VFN (Hybrid Staking Tomato)
Latin Name: Lycopersicon esculentum
Item #: 320
Suitable for Canning:
STAKING TOMATO - for fresh market
Approx. 9,000 seeds per oz/28 g (3,000 - 6, 000 plants per oz/28 g)
CULTURE: For extra early harvests in July start seed from Feb. 15th to Mar. 1st, regular commercial crops from Mar. 15th to Apr. 1st. Home gardeners should sow directly into Jiffy 7's, Apr. 15th, at 2 seeds per pot (not transplanting). Soak Jiffy Mix thoroughly with warm water before seeding. Sow in rows 0.25 in/0.63 cm deep, approx. 500 seeds per (20x12 in) flat or about 6 to 8 seeds per in/2.5 cm Cover seed and firm. Maintain soil temp. of 75°F/24°C for 5 to 12 days. As seedlings break the soil, lower soil temps. to 65°F/19°C then to 60°F/16°C when they are erect.
TRANSPLANT in 15 to 20 days when seedlings have at least 2 true leaves. To hold seedlings for 3 or 4 days, lower temp. to 45-50°F/8-10°C. Use sterilized soil if possible, a mixture of equal parts of sand, peat and loam (increase sand and peat with clay loam). From this point on the grower must have complete control over watering (no leaks or drips). Transplant @ 75 per flat, then move extra early types a second time to 3 in/8 cm peat pots or 50 per flat, about 21 days later. Steady slow growth is important. Feed lightly with soluble 10-20-20 about 3 days after transplanting. Roots should be established in 10 days. Water thoroughly, too many light waterings cause weak surface roots and soft growth. To control growth and harden plants, do not water until you see the first signs of wilt on the outside leaves. Grow cool @ 55-60°F/13-16°C. If late May frosts delay field plantings, trim about 0.25-0.5 in/0.63-1.3 cm of side leaves (not tops) this will check growth slightly. Transplant outside after danger of frost, in rows 4.5-5 ft/1.4-1.5 m apart and 16-24 in/40-61 cm apart in the row. Cold nights, as buds form, cause deformed fruit. Control bugs and disease every 10 days. Fertilize lightly every week till mid July.
STAKING: The variety in this package must be staked to attain the fruit size described in our catalog. Space plants 12 - 18 in./30 - 46 cm apart in 2 ft/.61 m rows. Drive 2 x 2 in./5 x 5 cm stakes 8 ft./2.4 m long, 18 in./46 cm deep into the soil. Make the first loose tie when plants are 15 in/38 cm high. Remove the leaf suckers as they form, (when they are small) every 4 days. Suckers are the extra leaves that form between the main stem and the main branches of the plant. They must be removed. Make a second and third tie every 10 in/25 cm. Pinch the top off of the plant at the top of the stake.