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This is my first time growing tomatoes and some of them are growing with brown, rough patches that look like this. Any idea what could have caused them and what the remedy is? They are planted in the ground, fertilized with a 6-2-2 tomato fertilizer, watered regularly with a watering can (though there has been heavy rain recently), and sprayed with an End-Rot solution and insecticidal soap. Thanks in advance.

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    Welcome to the site - good pictures of the problem, +1 – Ecnerwal Jul 30 '16 at 13:55
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Someone with more in-depth analysis may have a better suggestion, but I note in your second picture that there is a fresh crack on the left-hand side, and my gut reaction is that this is cracks scabbing over.

Cracks can come from uneven watering (such as heavy rain), as the fruit swells when water becomes available and bursts the skin.

Given the level of fuss I'm not prone to put into growing the things, my personal response has been to shift production entirely to small or cherry tomatoes, as this seems to be a much worse problem (in my garden, anyway) for large tomatoes, and when a cherry tomato does crack badly it's a lot less waste if it's got to the point I can't salvage it.

...but I could be wrong.

(it's also possible that something is nibbling on your green tomatoes and they are scabbing over, but that looks more like a crack to me.)

Hmm - this one just percolated up in my brain, though it's supposed to be more of a blossom end condition - "Catface" (Minnesota Extension). UC Davis does mention the water issue as a contributing cause. I guess Minnesota just calls that growth cracks (just above catface on their link.)

  • Thanks for answering! It's true we do have cherry tomatoes too and they don't have as many large cracks like this. The weather has been quite extreme with very hot dry days and sudden heavy rains, so I'll try to water more when its dry to keep the moisture consistent. – seeyf Jul 30 '16 at 18:30
  • Also, will this affect the growth of the plant or is it ok to just leave them there? – seeyf Jul 30 '16 at 20:22
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    If I'm correct it's fine to leave them, and cut out the tough part after harvest. But - the cracks can be a place where things get in and start rotting the fruit, in which case you want to harvest and look at your green tomato recipes for the parts not yet affected, after you cut away the "going bad" parts. – Ecnerwal Jul 30 '16 at 20:26

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