Splitting or cracking tomatoes is quite common in the garden. Even experienced gardeners deal with it once in awhile. What causes the splitting or cracking?
Too much fluctuations in watering. There are some things you just can’t control though and that’s the weather, all you need is a dry spell. Perhaps just one single day of a dry spell and then the next day you water heavily. This is all it takes to start splitting and cracking.
I usually see this happen in the later stages of the season, as it starts to ripen. As it begins to ripen during that dry spell the outer skin toughens up . Then as the water gets to it, the tomato swells and grows . This swelling under the thick skin results in a rupture , a crack and split. It’s fairly minor , it won’t hurt you and while yes it doesn’t look pretty sitting on your kitchen table it’s not harmful unless that is disease sets in. If you happen to catch the early stages of splitting keep an eye on it. Large splits expose the inner flesh and bugs and disease can set in fast.
You can either leave the tomato to finish ripening on the vine or pick it and set in in a cool dry place till red. Or even make some fried green tomatoes! It’s up to you,
Tips to try and reduce your the chances of splitting or cracking tomatoes:
- Water the tomatoes on a regular schedule.
- Keep an eye on the weather and water before heat waves, this way you can prevent the plant from not getting water during the most crucial harsh weather. Also keep in mind if it rains you won’t need to water as much.
- “Water from below, not from above” Tomatoes like to be watered deeper than most plants. Water at the deepest root level possible. Make a little hole near the base, and simple water in that each time. Watering from above can do damage, damp leaves can bring on diseases and even spread blight.
- Over watering can cause just as much trouble so keep adjusting with weather and ground conditions.
Even though you do follow all of these tips, you still may see split or cracked tomatoes, sometimes it’s just out of your hands so don’t beat yourself up if it happens. Keep an eye on those tomatoes though!