Cause Physiological problem that occurs to some extent wherever large, fresh-market tomatoes grow. Some varieties are more likely to show catfacing than others. Growth disturbances during blossoming are thought to be the cause. Prolonged unseasonably cool weather may be involved. Excessive nitrogen fertilizer may aggravate the problem. Catface also may follow exposure to growth-hormone-type herbicides such as 2,4-D. Some fruit of 'Oregon Spring' is affected by catface every year.
Symptoms Extreme malformation and scarring at the fruit's blossom end. This may include cavities extending toward the center of the fruit and irregular protuberances. Bands of brown scar tissue usually are between the swellings.
- Use varieties less likely to have this problem.
- In greenhouses, avoid low temperatures.