- Tomato

Tomato Tomato

Growth Cracks in Tomato

Other

Fruit Deformation


In a Nutshell

  • Overstraining the elasticity of the skin leads to cracks on the fruit.
  • Cracks and splits may also occur around the stem.

Symptoms

Symptoms are visible in form of splitting and cracking of the outer skin of the fruit. The splits and cracks can vary in depth and size and usually occur around the upper part of the fruit. Concentric or radial symmetry of the lesions may point to different physiological problems. Sometimes the blossom end is also affected. The younger the affected fruit is, the more damage the cracks can cause. Cracks and splits may also occur around the stem. This disorder is due to the fruit outgrowing its skin: The elasticity of the skin is overstrained and small cracks appear, which will eventually burst open.

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Hosts

Trigger

The cracks and splits are caused by a sudden and fast growth of the fruit, usually connected to an excessive intake of water by the plant. This sudden change in plant growth can be triggered or exacerbated by a change in environmental conditions like the change from a cold and wet period, with high humidity to a hot and dry one. Balanced fertilization is also essential to avoid the problem. For example, an excessive use of nitrogen and low supplies of potassium during the development of blossoms and fruits will favor excessive fruit growth and the appearance of cracks.

Organic Control

No biological treatments are available for this diseases. It can only be treated by preventive measures.

Chemical Control

Always consider an integrated approach with preventive measures and biological treatments if available. This disease can only be treated by preventive measures. However, avoid excessive use of nitrogen fertilizer and pay attention to the potassium level of the soil.

Preventive Measures

  • Choose crack-resistant tomato varieties.
  • Avoid excessive irrigation and aim for a steady water supply instead of sudden floodings.
  • Be aware of upcoming extreme weather events and in case of high humidity lower sunlight exposure if possible.
  • Maintain a good balance of leaves and fruit on every plant to avoid stress.
  • Also avoid over-fertilization with nitrogen and under-fertilization with potassium.

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