Why Tomatoes Crack When Ripening: Causes and Solutions

The red tomato is a finicky vegetable that requires a lot of horticultural know-how. Anything can happen to this crop: curling leaves, ovaries falling off, or spots on the fruit.

Why are tomatoes cracking in the open ground – the causes

Experienced gardeners and vegetable growers say that everyone who grows tomatoes can face an unpleasant picture and see a split in the fruit. There are several reasons for this.

Improper watering

If the soil is dry and there is a lack of moisture, tomatoes begin to absorb it too actively, the skin does not have time to stretch, and cracks.

Unsuitable microclimate

The ideal temperature for growing tomatoes is 22-25 ° C. If it is too hot outside or in the greenhouse, the growth of the culture stops, and the skin becomes rough. As soon as the vegetable begins to grow again – it bursts.

Inappropriate nutrition

Tomatoes, like any other vegetable, need the right fertilizer, otherwise, they will do harm, not good. In order for your plants to live up to expectations, remember the important rules:

  • During the growth period, feed tomatoes 2 times a month;
  • fertilizer application should be combined with watering;
  • at the stage of fruit development, tomatoes need potassium the most, while phosphorus and nitrogen are no longer needed;
  • do not use concentrated substances – only diluted ones.

The main point – pay attention to the condition of the plants – they themselves will tell you what substances they lack. For example, if the leaves of tomatoes have turned yellow or spots have formed on them, then the culture lacks micronutrients.

Active palming

Many gardeners at the stage of fruit ripening are trying to give the plant more space for development, so they cut off more leaves and shoots. In fact, the result will be negative – the number of substances that tomatoes could give to the leaves, they begin to give to the fruit. Because of this, they can not withstand the load and burst.

How to make tomatoes not to crack, and why it is dangerous

Broken fruit is a favorable environment for the development of infections. In the cracks get bacteria and begin to actively reproduce there, provoking rot and the appearance of mold. A cracked tomato is initially more vulnerable to disease, unattractive in appearance, and completely unsuitable for canning.

To avoid cracked tomatoes, adopt a few rules of thumb:

  • Water the tomatoes regularly: in hot weather – every 2-3 days, in cloudy weather – every 5-7 days;
  • Use mulch to protect the soil from drying out;
  • Ventilate the greenhouse or set up drip irrigation in the bed to ensure proper moisture levels and air circulation.
  • Another way to protect your tomato crop is to choose strain-resistant varieties and varieties that are not prone to cracking.
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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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