Brandy Boy F1 vs F9

rt_peasant(5 CO)March 19, 2014

Last year, after reading many positive reviews about Brandy Boy, I decided to give this tomato a try. I wasn't excited about paying $11 (ugh!) for a packet of seeds, so I initially reached out to some GW'ers who had been saving Brandy Boy seeds. When I didn't hear back, I broke down and ordered a packet from Burpee. Shortly after receiving my seeds, I got contacted by John A, who graciously offered some of his Brandy Boy F9 seeds. (Thank you!) I decided to grow one of each, F1 and F9, to see how they compared.

As far as growth habit goes, I don't think two plants could be more identical if they were clones. The flavor and overall eating quality were identical as well.

May 11, ready to plant the seedlings under Wall o' Waters.

Both plants lost some leaves when the WOWs got too hot.

No worries, by June 15, both plants are looking great.

Two weeks later, the plants are exactly the same size and shape (the 2 in the middle with the T-stakes).

July 15, still looking identical in every respect, with almost identical numbers of green tomatoes.

75 days after transplanting the seedlings, both plants produced their first ripe tomato. Here is the only difference that I noted. While both plants produced a variety of tomato shapes, the F1 produced more tomatoes like the one on the left, while the F9 produced more like the one on the right. I don't know if this is significant on a sample size of 1 plant each, but it's something that I noticed.

Both plants produced dozens of tomatoes, so productivity was excellent for both. The eating quality for both the F1 and F9 was outstanding. Brandy Boy is tangy, almost too much so for my wife. I like tomatoes with some zing, so they were perfect for me. They were juicy and practically fell apart when I sliced them. I had to be careful transferring them from the cutting board to a slice of bread, to keep the slices intact. They have very thin skin. If they so much as bumped another tomato's stem, they would be punctured. If I had one complaint about this tomato, it's that it has a relatively large core.

All in all, Brandy Boy is an excellent tomato. It's fairly early, a vigorous producer, and tastes great. It says on Burpee's website that it's a hybrid, but I wonder if it's just a nice natural selection. At any rate, it appears to grow true to its parents like an OP.

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ZachS. z5 Littleton, CO

All other factors aside, as they seem to have been identical, or nearly so, the fruit shape is an interesting difference. It is a classic example of incomplete dominance. The F1 generation fruit shows a blending of the two genes (smooth gene from better boy*, ribbed from brandywine) but in subsequent generations, you have some fruits reverting to the parent plants, and others still showing a blending. It would be interesting to grow other generations, f2-f8, and see how it worked out.

Of course, none of this is really important, just interesting.

*I'm assuming from the name that better boy was used in the initial cross, though, I can't find for certain.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:21AM
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That's really interesting that you compared the two.

Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:38AM
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Very interesting observations! I hope you saved seeds from your F9's.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 3:40PM
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rt - what a great post ! You did an excellent job of comparing these plants with awesome photos from seedlings to fruit! I feel like I planted these tomatoes myself with your start to finish photos! Thanks for sharing! Please keep informing us of your plants & graden !

We planted Brandy Boy Hybrid from Burpees last year for the first time and were very pleased with this variety. Great taste from very productive and hardy plants. I would recommend them for a great slicing tomato!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 10:42PM
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rt_peasant(5 CO)

Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed my post.

I did save seeds from the F9. Although they don't know it yet, a number of my friends and coworkers will be getting Brandy Boy F10 seedlings this spring!


    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:36PM
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Loved reading this. Informative, interesting, well done, and the photos rock !

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 1:26AM
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We did not have the same issue with the tomato core with Brandy Boy as you can see in this photo - it may have been that they were grown in our GH (we cannot grow tomatoes in Wyoming without a GH). In this photo I was comparing Better Boy with Brandy Boy. We love and plant them both!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 10:28AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Very good report card on those. But it is too late for me to start. Maybe, if I can find seedlings , I will grow BB F1.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:34PM
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RT - Thanks for your comprehensive report. Glad they turned out well for you. I think I still have F8 through F10 seeds. Mine could not be considered commercial quality because my sample size is too small. I ordered new F1's from Burpee so I can get a valid comparison. If anyone else wants to give it a try, send me an email. Please make sure your email is not blocked on GW.
John A

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 10:47AM
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Bumping this thread, since there was talk by Carolyn and others about growing out later generations of Brandy Boy.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2015 at 7:27AM
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I grew out two plants each, of John's F8 and F10 seeds, along with two plants of some very old F1 seeds I still had laying around, and I could not tell any physical difference between any of the plants or the resulting tomatoes. May have been my climatic conditions, but some of my F1 tomatoes were just as ribbed as the later gens. I did save some seeds from the F1, and some other year I may grow out 8 or 10 plants of the F2 to see if there is any visible variation at that stage.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2015 at 7:35AM
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Seysonn_ 7b-WA/HZ1

Reading all the discussions, I have 2 theories:

(1). Burpee is just selling seeds from stabilized original F1. The they wouldn't have to pollinate one flower at a time.

(2). A dominant gene either cake from Brandywine or was developed to the point of being stable.

I tend to believe the 1st theory

BTW: I am already growing Brandy Boy F1 seedlings from Burpee seeds.

The picture on the seeds packet depicts somewhat round and smooth tomatoes but here we see a lot of lobed and boat shape. That adds more weight to my conspiracy theory.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2015 at 1:36PM
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