Information about Catfacing and Growth Cracks - Pest Control
By Jennifer Olvera, Garden Guides Contributor
Catfacing is disorder that affects tomato plants, causing the fruit to become distorted and puckered; deeply indented, brown scars run across the blossom end. Radial or concentric growth cracks, resulting in the splitting of the skin, and may appear on the skin of tomatoes; rot can set at the site of cracks.
Prevention and Control
In some cases, catfacing and growth cracks can be prevented by protecting plants from cool temperatures; you can use floating row covers or cloches as methods of protection. In the case of catfacing and growth cracks, erratic changes in moisture levels contribute to problems. Soil should be kept consistently moist throughout the growing season.
Proper plant nutrition, consistent and sufficient watering and mulching will reduce the instance of catfacing and growth cracks. Certain tomato varieties are crack-tolerant, including Early Girl, Roma, Heinz 1439, First Lady, Ball's Beefsteak and Rutgers.
Symptoms occur at the blossom end of tomatoes, resulting in a scarred surface with a distorted and puckered appearance.
Insecticides are not useful in the prevention of catfacing and growth cracks.
Other Methods of Control
Catfacing is cultivar-specific and most frequently is seen in old heirloom and large-fruited varieties.