Catface Tomatoes

What causes my tomatoes to be oddly shaped and of poor quality?

The condition that you describe is called catface. It is usually caused by low temperatures during bloom and pollination. Fruits that set when temperatures are 55 degrees or below, often grow into abnormal, odd shapes. The use of 2,4-D herbicide can cause injury to tomato plants that will subsequently develop catface fruit.

I have moved into a house with a large cedar tree in the backyard. This tree is dropping what seems to be needles. I do want it for the shade. Is there anything I should be doing for it?

Needle shedding is a natural process similar to leaf shedding of deciduous trees. Sometimes this shedding takes place every year; in other cases, it may occur every second or third year. If during the growing season, the tree has been exposed to unfavorable conditions such as drought or insect infestation, the needle drop is more noticeable. No chemical control is necessary. Water the tree during dry weather, including the fall if the fall rains are scarce.

The leaves of my newly planted dogwood are turning brown on the edges. What should I do for it?

When any plant is moved from one location to another it suffers some stress, the same as people do. The  tree will survive and thrive in the  spring if you make sure it has  enough water now and through the fall.

I know that lime makes soil less acid. Is there a way to make it more acid?

To make soil more acid, chelated iron sulfate is recommended. The amount will vary according to a soil test.

The foliage on my tomatoes is covered by small circular-shaped spots that turn yellow and cause the leaves to drop off. It is on the top and bottom leaves. How can I stop it?

Several types of leaf spots attack tomatoes. Septoria leaf spot quite often starts at the bottom of the plant and rapidly spreads. It can be controlled with a fungicide spray. Begin the spray program early in the life of the plant.

Send your gardening and landscaping questions and tips to Washington County Master Gardeners, 2536 N. McConnell Ave., Fayetteville AR 72704 or call 444-1755.

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