What is the most reliable crack and cat face free tomato?

thisisme(az9b)August 12, 2011

Somebody help me. A large portion of my garden was allocated to tomatoes that were not used in my household. My wife and kids like pretty tomatoes to the point they will not eat any tomato that is cracked no matter how good it tastes. I'm growing Juliet and they are practically indestructible. I'm looking for other indeterminate indestructible tomatoes for my garden.

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I don't know the answer to your question, but my neighbor grows Better Boys and they are consistently both tasty and pretty fruit. With regard to cracking, I found the following on the Texas A&M site to explain why tomatoes crack:

"Q. What causes a tomato to crack? Is there anything I can do to prevent it?

A. Cracking is a physiological disorder caused by soil moisture fluctuations. When the tomato reaches the mature green stage and the water supply to the plant is reduced or cut off, the tomato will begin to ripen. At this time a cellophane-like wrapper around the outer surface of the tomato becomes thicker and more rigid to protect the tomato during and after harvest. If the water supply is restored after ripening begins, the plant will resume translocation of nutrients and moisture into the fruit. This will cause the fruit to enlarge; which in turn splits the wrapper around the fruit and results in cracking. The single best control for cracking is a constant and regular water supply. Apply a layer of organic mulch to the base of the plant. This serves as a buffer and prevents soil moisture fluctuation. Water plants thoroughly every week. This is especially important when the fruits are maturing. Some varieties are resistant to cracking, but their skin is tougher."

So you need to look for tougher skinned tomatoes, which I hate. I just can't stand that chewy, plasticky, skin.

Here is a link that might be useful: Texas A&M Tomato Q&A

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 6:46AM
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From what I have read, the larger-fruited varieties are more susceptible to catfacing. So to avoid catfacing choose smaller fruited varieties and to avoid cracking choose tough-skinned varieties.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 7:03AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Thisisme

I used to live in Phoenix and I grew some very good tomatoes. They were on raised bed and with a shade cloth. My most successful tomato was Costoluto Genovese, a big red delicious beefsteak that when grows in dry weather like there is perfect. And I know what are you saying about Juliet, any thick skin tomato will keep the shape. I also grew Taxi, Nepal that had pretty ruffled tomatoes larger than cherry but a little bit on the acid side so your family might not like it.:) Any currant tomato will grow there but you can not make a meal out of them. I grew a lot of different cherries, Pol Robeson Angolan did well too
Here in Florida I always try to grow Estiva and is always the earliest and the prettiest.

It is the 2 red tomatoes on top of the picture.

And one that everyone like it is the Tomato Berry, has a long shelf life as a plus.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 2:49PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

this is me, what kind of splitting are you referring to?

The TExas answer discussed only what's called horizontal splitting which can occur anywhere on a fruit, but there are still varieties that have what's called radial and/or concentric splitting at the stem end and it's normal, has a genetic component and usually the scars heal over and all is well.

So is it splits along the sides of the fruits, and all varieties are susceptible to that, whether hybrids or OP's, or is it radial or concentric splitting at the stem end which most often appears with OP varieties, mostly heirloom varieteies.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 2:53PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Sounds like your real goal should be re-educating the family. :) If all they are interested in is the perfect round red non-marred tomato then the store-bought plastic ones are for them. Why waste time growing tomatoes for them?

On the other hand if they want real tomatoes like most of us do, then they have to accept that cracks and splits and catfacing happen no matter what variety you grow, causes no harm at all, will not make them ill much less kill them, and give each of them each a sharp paring knife as a gift.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 3:18PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Carolyn and Dave, you are always right.

And This is me, (I did not think of that one) lol I forgot to tell you that ugly tomatoes make a very tasty salsa or tomato sauce, no tomato goes unused in my house.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 4:35PM
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Whenever I have to serve a catfaced tomato to people who freak out at the appearance, I simply cut off that portion so it is not visible. Easy solution; the texture is good(no hardened skins, bumpiness, etc), the taste of course is the same--win/win situation for all.
What they can't see, they forget about. I will tease them about it later, after its all eaten. Teach them a lesson: you can't judge taste from appearances.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 3:35AM
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I don't get any crack/cat face from my Roma tomatoes.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 5:08AM
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Pale Perfect Purple does quite well. Only excess water seems to crack it.

It's a very pretty tomato.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 6:40AM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Nyagous seldom cracks here. It takes our summer heat pretty well. It seems to produce better than other blacks I have tried here. But people who want plastic-looking tomatoes might not like the color.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 8:08AM
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sue_ct(z6 CT)

Early Girl and Rutgers were both pretty much like store bought in appearance for me. I think both taste ok but like many others more.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 9:28PM
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I would argue that there are many varieties that are resistant to cracking and cat facing.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 1:27AM
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