Horticulture (Connie Holland) – Now is the time most vegetable gardeners are getting ready to set out tomato plants or have already done so with protection. This article is about commonly encountered tomato diseases with suggestions for remedy and prevention. Bottom end or blossom end rot can occur early in the season as ugly black and brown sunken-in bottoms on the fruit. This malady is due to a lack of calcium, an element critical to fruit development. Another tomato woe is yellow shoulder, usually found on tomatoes located along the outside perimeter of a plant. Yellow shoulder tomatoes have hard yellow-green places that never get red or ripe. This woe can develop when prolonged hot sun strikes the fruit, increasing temperatures on the tops of the fruit. The last woe for this discussion is called cat facing. Not sure why a cat gets picked on for this woe since the resulting deformation does not look like a cat face to her. Anyway, it is a sign of poor pollination resulting from tomato flowers being exposed to cold night temperatures, usually below 50 degrees F. Lastly, ever wonder why some tomatoes grow 6 feet tall and others stay smaller or why you get so many tomatoes all at once? It depends upon which type of tomato you grow – determinate or indeterminate. Determinate varieties, also called “bush” tomatoes, are bred to be compact in height (approximately 4 feet) and can be grown in containers. Indeterminate tomatoes, also called “vining” tomatoes, continue to bloom, set new fruit, and ripen mature fruit simultaneously throughout the growing season until frost. Near the end of the growing season, removing new flowers and immature fruit can help speed ripening of mature fruit. Indeterminate plants can reach heights of up to 10 feet although 6 feet is considered the norm. As a result, these plants are not for containers since they require substantial caging or staking for support.