Gardeners keep asking exasperated questions like, “What is wrong with my tomatoes, do you know? It’s like – all – bubbled.” And no, no I didn’t until I read this article.
“Simply put, [catfacing] is the abnormal development of plant tissue affecting the ovary or female sex organ (pistilate), which results in the flower, followed by the fruit development to become malformed.”
Read more at Gardening Know How: Catfacing Fruit Deformity: Learn About Catfacing On Tomatoes https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/tomato/catfacing-fruit-deformity.htm
The article says temperature conditions just before the first flowers can cause this – too many days of temps under 16 Celsius. I’m guessing that the cool spring caused cat-facing in many local tomatoes if they were planted out too early. 🙂 We don’t have this problem at Patchwork, because we were really late planting ours. Mainly because we were disorganized this spring & tomatoes didn’t go in the ground til June. So if you have cat-facing, all I can say is “keeners!”
There are also a number of other possible causes, if your tomatoes are doing this, you might want to check out the whole article.
What can you do to fix it? Nothing, appears to be the answer. The good news is that while they aren’t pretty, they can still be eaten and are probably as delicious as you were hoping. Maybe we’ll have to have a Food Action Ugliest Tomato contest in the fall. 🙂
A shout out to Pilgrim’s Produce for posting this question, where someone shared the Gardening Know How article in response. Thank you!