Split tomatoes are more common than most people realize.
Of course, nobody wants to deal with a split tomato because it’s less than pleasant to look at. Moisture and heat stress tend to cause this situation.
Why Do Tomatoes Split While Growing?
If a tomato features cracks in concentric circles, then moisture stress is the culprit.
Excess moisture causes the tomato to expand. This expansion breaks through the tomato’s skin before too long.
Typically, dry weather followed by heavy rainfall leads to this issue.
Individuals might notice a different type of cracks on tomatoes, though.
If large cracks form downward from the stem, then heat stress is the cause.
Hot, bright weather with temperatures near 100 degrees cause cracking in this manner.
Fortunately, cracking from heat and moisture can be prevented in various ways.
Preventing Splitting and Cracking
Gardeners need to maintain proper moisture levels for their tomatoes (and other plants).
For extra protection, mulch can be added atop a plant’s roots, which maintains healthy moisture and temperature levels.
Each plant should feature effective drainage techniques to avoid water build-up.
When heavy rain falls, all ripened or nearly ripened tomatoes should be stripped from the plants.
They can then be stored inside and be used or allowed to ripen.
Are splits and cracks bad for tomatoes?
For the most part, cracks are a cosmetic imperfection rather than a health hazard. Flavor doesn’t change with cracks, assuming the fruit is harvested right away. On the other hand, split tomatoes can harbor insects and mold if left on the plant for too long.
Be Aware of Blossom End Rot
Another issue that affects tomatoes is blossom end rot, which is seen in young tomatoes without adequate water and calcium.
Older plants are often unaffected. Also, tomatoes don’t develop well in colder soil, so tomatoes should be planted in warmer weather.
Improperly developed roots cannot harbor nutrients well, and heavy rains can sometimes cause this rot. Once again, mulch is a smart protective measure for tomatoes, especially to prevent blossom end rot.
A good mulch maintains moisture levels in the soil. Dry periods necessitate adequate watering.
Throughout this period, gardeners should avoid disturbing the soil around the tomatoes to avoid damaging feeder roots.
For the best results, tomatoes with blossom end root should be discarded from the plant.
Proper maintenance and preventative measures should then be used to avoid future problems.
Tomatoes face problems like splitting and blossom end rot from time to time.
Still, a diligent gardener can avoid these issues with the right measures.