July 27, 2001

Catfaced Tomatoes

Several tomato samples showing catface symptoms have been submitted to the Plant Disease Clinic. This problem seems to be most common on large-fruited tomato varieties.

Affected fruit show leathery scars, bulges, or holes at the blossom end of the fruit. Photos of the samples submitted can be found at the Plant Disease Clinic website under Disease of the Week .

It is believed that the deformity is caused by cold weather that occurs at the time of fruit set. Cells that should develop into fruit are injured. Catfacing is most common on the fruit that are formed first.

Harvesting and Drying Herbs

Most herbs can be cut and used fresh throughout the growing season. They can also be harvested, dried, and stored for use during the winter months.

Harvesting and Storing Garlic

Garlic should be harvested when the foliage begins to dry. In Iowa, garlic is typically harvested in August. Using a garden fork or shovel, carefully dig the bulbs with the foliage still attached. Dry the garlic in a warm, well-ventilated location for 3 to 4 weeks. Place the garlic on an elevated wire screen or slotted tray to promote drying. When properly cured, cut off the dry foliage 1/2 to 1 inch above the bulbs. Also, trim off the roots and brush off any loose soil. Place the bulbs in a mesh bag and store in a cool (32 to 40 F), dry (60 to 70% relative humidity) location.

Grease Ants are Still a Problem

If we can invent a non-stick frying pan, why can't we invent an easy cure for grease ants!?!