Why do tomatoes split?

When tomatoes grow in a dry or do not have a supplementary amount of water, heavy rain can cause tomatoes inside the tomatoes to develop faster than the outer skin causing tomatoes to crack. Cracking can occur at any time, but if you are ready to take a rich, ripe tomato for a meal, it seems most frustrating.

Split Tomato
Photo Credits to Oxfarm

Basically, it’s due to inconsistent levels of water, heat & nutrients. Some of which, due to weather, you don’t have any control over. Because of these fluctuations, the fruit, in essence, outgrows its skin.

If you picked tomatoes in time, it’s still good to eat and should not affect the taste. If the tomato is left on the vine for too long, it is susceptible to fungus, insects, and most likely, the birds will eat it. 

If the tomato plant is in the ground and a pot, it is pretty much at the elements’ mercy. You can, however, proportion your watering to the amount of rain you get if potted. Just make sure that the water is under the plant and avoid getting the leaves wet as this will promote leaf blight. 

In my case, I usually pick my tomatoes about a day before they are red and ripe. Letting them ripen on a window ledge seems to work best. 

What to do with Split or Crack Tomatoes?

Tomato splitting is much more likely to be rotted and destroyed by pests and insects. With that, it is necessary to harvest the tomato as soon as possible, right before it splits. 

Harvest any tomatoes that have split and eaten them as soon as you can because once cracked open and picked. They are not edible for longer. Leaving them on the plant is an option, but a dangerous one, as it is going to be more vulnerable to parasites, and in severe cases, it will begin to rot.

What Causes Tomatoes to Split on the Vine?

One of the leading causes of cracking and splitting into tomatoes is the heavy rain, particularly when followed by dry weather. This kind of harm most probably happens when tomatoes ripen, and you await harvesting with great anxiety, although green fruit can also occur.

Cracking and splitting occur when sudden changes in soil humidity cause fruit to grow faster than tomato skin. This damage can take place in two different patterns. Vertical splits are considered radial cracking along the sides of the fruit and are the worst. This split pattern also happens when the weather is warm and wet. When cracking occurs in green tomatoes, fruits will rot before they ripen completely if left on the vine.

How To Prevent and Reduce Tomato Splitting?

• Remain uniformly and periodically irrigate the tomato plants to not be as surprised by a hard storm. Stop the drying cycle and overwater.
• Applying mulch around your tomato plants helps to balance out the amount of moisture.
• Carefully fertilizing or using compost that is natural, balanced to avoid sprouts in aquatic growth.
• You should go out right after the rain and pick as many tomatoes as possible and then permit the wine to ripen if you do not use any extra irrigation and cannot regulate the amount of water.
• The issue with tomato splitting can be reduced by growing tomato plants in raised beds or drainage holes, with heavy rain in the loose ground draining much faster.