University of Maryland Extension

Gold Flecking in Tomato Caused by Many Things

Dr. Gerald Brust, IPM Vegetable Specialist
Gold flecking in tomatoes

February 2014

Gold flecking is a problem tomato growers throughout the Mid-Atlantic and the Country encounter each summer. Gold flecking (gf) manifests itself as yellow to gold colored spots on ripe tomato fruit that besides being a cosmetic problem can shorten the shelf-life of a tomato by many days. Tomato growers have some problem with it each year and in certain years a great deal of problems with it. The difficulty is the cause of gold flecking is not really known. Entomologists think it is direct feeding by thrips or mites on the fruit, while horticulturalists think it is due to nutrient imbalances or high temperatures and humidity. My work in tomato fields seemed to support (in-part) all of these factors as to the causes of gold flecking. This presentation looks at the work done by others on gf and the research I have conducted on it to develop answers as to its cause and control.

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