Why do Tomato Plants Split?

Why do Tomato Plants Crack?

A tomato crack (or split) is caused by the tomato plant absorbing water too quickly.  The inside expands from the water absorption but skin can’t stretch to accommodate the extra fluid.  So, the skin splits and heals up.

This can happen in a few different scenario:

1.  You forget to water regularly and the soil gets to dry.  Then you finally remember and water a lot to make up for it or it rains.  Then the plant drinks up the water super fast and the skins split.  Whoops!

2.  Your water regularly (maybe once a day after work) but it is extremely hot out.  The soil moister evaporates during the day and the plants dry out.  When you     get home from work and water, he plants absorb the water too quickly and the tomatoes split.

3.  Your soil is too sandy and does not have enough organic matter to hold water.  So, the plants dry and the next time it rains the plans absorb water too quickly and the tomatoes split.

Can you eat tomatoes with splits?

       Of course you can eat tomatoes with splits.  You should pick them as soon as possible.  They don’t seem to last as long due to the weakness in the protective skin.  Just cut the affected area and enjoy.

How can you prevent the tomato splits?

1.  Maintain soil moisture by watering frequently and deeply

-This will decrease the chances of rain splitting your tomatoes

2.  Maintain soil moisture covering the soil with mulch

-This will prevent the water from evaporating

3.  Choose more resistant varieties if you live in a hot climate

4.  Cover the soil with Veggie Booster Mulch 

-This will keep the moisture in the soil consistent,

-Side benefits:  reduce weeding time, reflect more vital red light   wavelengths to the plant, reduce fruit rotting on the

ground and discourage pests

5.  Make a Crop Cover (row cover fabric) jacket for your tomato plants

-This can protect from drying winds and harsh sun and keep moisture in

-Side benefits: protect from pests, fungi, and bacteria

6.  Don’t over fertilize to prevent the plant from growing too quickly

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Comments (3)

  • Carol samuels

    What about putting them in large pots

    March 14, 2015 at 12:25 pm
  • Callie

    Having the tomatoes in larger pots can help to control the moisture level in the soil. With that said however, if your soil is poor or the pot doesn’t have enough drainage, the moisture levels may still be a problem. You will want rich soil that holds in moisture AND suitable drainage so that it doesn’t hold too much moisture. Consistent watering is good idea too.

    March 16, 2015 at 8:24 am
  • Laura

    Some heirloom varieties seems to invariably split once ripe- usually radial splits from the stem down. it’s important for novice gardeners to know this so they don’t get discouraged or start to think they are doing something wrong!

    March 25, 2016 at 7:32 am

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