Physiological Disorders

Blotchy Ripening

See Blotchy Ripening section of Tomato (Outdoor).

Blossom End Rot

See Blossom End Rot section of Tomato (Outdoor).

Fruit Cracking

Fruit cracking in tomatoes can be a serious market problem, reducing profits. This can range from splitting to skin russeting. The causes of fruit cracking are varied and are subject to debate by researchers. Several factors have an effect on fruit cracking.  Water uptake, humidity, temperature, and soluble solids (sugars) as well as calcium nutrition and standing water on the fruit are thought to have roles in fruit cracking, along with genetics. Cultural practices that can have an effect on fruit cracking include water management and light levels. The rate of fruit development can be affected by management practices. Irregular water uptake going from very dry to very wet plays a major role in fruit cracking. High temperatures also play a role. Irrigation can be used to modify both. Growers can increase the frequency of irrigation to prevent moisture extremes from developing under both field and greenhouse conditions. Overhead irrigation can also be timed to cool the crop in extreme conditions. High humidity and calcium nutrition are also associated with fruit cracking. Management practices must allow good transpiration rates as well as adequate calcium levels in the soil or fertilizer solution. Likelihood of cracking increases if tomatoes are allowed to fully ripen on the plant.  Increased light and fruit growth can occur when new plastic is put on or with topping to increase fruit size. Watering schedules may need to be modified to reduce cracking under those conditions.