Why Tomatoes Split And How To Stop It
If you’ve ever grown fruits or vegetables before, I’m willing to bet tomatoes are included in your crop. Growing tomatoes is relatively easy and leaves you with a huge bounty, but there’s one problem that tends to affect many varieties of tomatoes: splitting. Keep on reading to find out why tomatoes split and how you can prevent this from happening.
Why Tomatoes Split
Your tomatoes may look perfect one day, only to be completely cracked and split the next. Tomatoes split when the inside of the fruit grows more quickly than the outside, causing the skin to split open. The inside of the fruit tends to grow faster than the outside can keep up with due to inconsistent watering. For example, if your tomatoes are growing in relatively dry conditions, a heavy rain one day can cause them to split open the next day. The same can happen regardless of the weather if you water the plants inconsistently.
Here are some simple ways to prevent tomatoes from splitting.
The simplest way to stop tomatoes from splitting is to ensure they are being watered consistently. Try to ensure your plants are receiving a regular watering cycle, also accounting for rainy weather. When it rains, you don’t need to water the plants as much. When it’s been hot and dry, watering the plants about every two days is a good rule of thumb. Watering tomatoes consistently ensures the outside of the fruit is growing at the same rate as the inside of the fruit.
Pick Tomatoes Early
The longer you allow tomatoes to ripen on the vine, the higher the likelihood of splitting. Picking them from the vine just before they are fully ripe is a good way to prevent splitting. To encourage them to ripen once you’ve picked them, place the tomatoes on a sunny windowsill.
Mulch the Garden Beds
Providing your plants with a generous layer of mulch helps your garden beds to retain moisture. When the soil retains moisture more consistently, it will help with the regular water absorption of the plants.
Choose Split-Resistant Varieties
There are many varieties of tomatoes, some of which are split-resistant as well as disease-resistant. Look for these varieties when planting your garden to ensure you’re left with big, healthy tomatoes!
Can You Still Eat Split Tomatoes?
The short answer is yes. If the tomatoes have just split and do not appear to be oozing, rotten, or have bugs in them, they are safe to eat (if you do so that day!). Be on the lookout for split tomatoes that are rotting or have bugs buzzing around them, as the splits allow this bad bacteria to get inside the fruit.
Hopefully these simple yet effective tips will help the tomatoes in your garden to grow big and strong without splitting. Happy gardening!