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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
yellow shoulder
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Abiotic Disorders in Tomato

Physiological Issues in Tomato

Blossom End Rot

Blossom end rot is one of the most common tomato problems for homeowner's and looks like a black water soaked lesion at the blossom end of a tomato. It is caused by a calcium deficiency and uneven watering. Calcium is a nutrient that is more available to leaves than fruit.


Apply mulch

Water evenly by using soaker hoses

Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers

Always do clear water drenches between fertilizer treatments to reduce salt build up

Do a soil test to determine your fertilizer use for the season

Use compost


Cat face is caused by pollination problems on flowers developing in cooler weather.


Use row covers during early spring plantings

Plant after May 15

Avoid over pruning plants

Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers


Sunscald is caused by lack of foliage cover usually caused by diseases or mechanical damage. It causes white sunken and wrinkled lesions followed by neucrotic spot with yellow halo.


Avoid over pruning plants

Control diseases

Plant healthy plants with good leaf color

Fruit Cracking

Fruit cracking occurs on mature fruits after a heavy application of water or drastic temperature fluctuations.


Pick fruits before heavy rains

Fruit Russeting

Fruit Russeting occurs by water sitting on the shoulder of the tomato caused by rain, irrigation or prolonged dew. Fruits lose moisture through the cracks.


Irrigate at base of the plant or with soaker hoses

Yellow Shoulder

Yellow shoulder is when chlorophyll is slow to break down leaving the tops of the fruit green or yellow. It is not really known what causes this physiological problem. Exposure to sun and high temperatures can contribute yellowing of the shoulder.


Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers

Avoid over pruning plants

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Also there is the scabbing of the green zebra heirloom tomatoes. That problem cleared up (mostly) when the temps moderated and we got some rain.
by Elaine Yoder on Tuesday 10/2/2012