Tomatoes Splitting

by Woody
(NC)

Question:


Why is the tomato splitting before it gets ripe?


Answer:

Hello Woody,

Splitting on a tomato is usually caused by a lack of water, and then a lot of water being introduced to the plant. For instance, a plant that doesn't get much water....and then a large rainfall occurs or a heavy watering by the gardener happens. What happens, is the tomatoes skin gets thick when not enough water is present. When a large quantity of water is introduced, the water that is taken into the actual tomato causes the "insides" to swell. The cracks occur as the skin can't take the pressure being produced from the inside.
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So basically, to keep cracking from happening in the future, try to make sure a good watering schedule is being utilized. Rainfall is out of your hands, but making sure the plants don't go too long without water is one way to get it under control.

Since splitting happens near the end of ripening, if you see a tomato starting to crack though, you should pick it immediately and let it finish ripening on a window sill. However, even if harsh splitting has occurred on the fruit, it's most likely safe to eat. Though, cracks can allow diseases to be introduced, so you'll have to be the judge on what the actual condition of the tomato is.

Good luck,
Brad




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