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Tomato fruit disorders
Clark MacCallister
Tomato season is in full swing and many local gardeners have been seeing several different issues arise. Much of what I am seeing on tomatoes is non-pathogenic disorders, meaning they are not caused by a disease and are not infectious. The main tomato fruit disorders I have encountered are blossom-end rot, cat-facing, cracking, zippering and sunscald. Several of the common tomato disorders are just the plant responding to unsuitable weather conditions. Many of them can be corrected by adjusting water and environment. I wrote about blossom-end rot in a column a few months ago. This disorder leaves dark, sunken lesions on the bottom end of a tomato fruit. It is caused by a calcium deficiency, usually brought on by irregular or insufficient watering. Increased irrigation will help alleviate this issue.