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By Jack Ruttle

Zippering

What it looks like: This problem is aptly named because it looks just like a zipper running from top to bottom on the skin of the fruit. It's disfiguring, but the fruit can still develop properly.

Cause: Temperatures below 55oF when flowers are dropping off the young fruit cause this condition. Zippering can occur at higher temperatures, too. Some varieties, such as 'Mountain Spring' and 'Mountain Pride', are genetically predisposed to the problem. Others, such as 'Big Beef', are not.

What to do: Cover young transplants with floating row covers to reduce the chances of cold damage to young fruit. Next year, plant a resistant variety such as 'Big Beef'.

Charlie Nardozzi is a senior horticulturist at National Gardening.

Photo courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dept. of Plant Pathology

Zippering

What it looks like: This problem is aptly named because it looks just like a zipper running from top to bottom on the skin of the fruit. It's disfiguring, but the fruit can still develop properly. Cause: Temperatures below 55oF when flowers are dropping off the young fruit cause this condition. Zippering can occur at higher temperatures, too. Some varieties, such as 'Mountain Spring' and 'Mountain Pride', are genetically predisposed to the problem. Others, such as 'Big Beef', are not. What to do: Cover young transplants with floating row covers to reduce the chances of cold damage to young fruit. Next year, plant a resistant variety such as 'Big Beef'. Charlie Nardozzi is a senior horticulturist at National Gardening. Photo courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dept. of Plant Pathology

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