Why Are My Heirloom Tomatoes Lumpy?

Q: I save heirloom tomato seeds. Some of the fruit is very lumpy this year. Any ideas why?

A: Lumpy, distorted, oddly shaped tomatoes are generally referred to as “catfaced”. Oddly, it has nothing to do with cats. The deformity is typically caused by temperature conditions when the bloom is being pollinated. High temperatures as well as low temperatures can cause it. Big-fruited varieties are more prone to the condition than medium-fruited varieties. HINT: Don’t set out your plants too early in spring. Catfacing is nothing to worry about. You won’t win any prizes at the county fair but the tomato will taste fine.

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