Who doesn’t love good homegrown tomatoes? Ripe and red, they’re the perfect addition to any summer meal.
Tomatoes are a summertime favorite, but sometimes they split open before they’re fully ripe. If you’re experiencing this issue, don’t worry – here are five steps you can take to prevent it from happening again.
When tomato plants don’t receive enough water, they’ll start to stress, and the fruit will begin to crack. Conversely, if the plants are overwatered, the fruit will also split. The key to preventing splitting is to maintain an even moisture level in the soil.
Tomatoes that have already split are still safe to eat, but they may not be as flavorful as those that haven’t. So, if you want to enjoy the best-tasting tomatoes, be sure to keep them hydrated!
Here are a few tips for watering your tomatoes to prevent splitting:
Water deeply and regularly: Deep watering encourages roots to grow deep into the soil, which helps stabilize the plant and prevents it from being thirsty. Watering deeply also helps prevent the fruit from cracking.
Avoid getting water on the leaves: Wet leaves are more susceptible to fungal diseases, which can cause the fruit to split.
Water in the morning: Watering in the morning gives the plants a chance to absorb moisture before the heat of the day sets in. Watering in the evening can leave the foliage wet overnight, which can promote diseases.
Check the soil before watering: Before you water, stick your finger into the soil to see if it’s dry. Watering when the soil is already moist will only encourage the roots to grow near the surface, where they are more susceptible to drying out.
Splitting can happen for several reasons, but one of the most common is due to fluctuating moisture levels in the soil.
Mulching your tomatoes can help prevent splitting by keeping the soil around the plants more evenly moist. You can use different types of mulch, but organic materials like straw or bark chips work well. They will also help improve the overall health of your tomato plants.
When applying mulch, be sure to keep it away from the stems of the plants to avoid rotting. A thick layer of mulch will also help insulate the roots and prevent them from overheating in summer weather.
If you don’t drain tomatoes properly, they can split and become mushy. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps to prevent your tomatoes from splitting.
First, make sure to plant your tomatoes in an area with good drainage. If the soil is too wet, the tomatoes will absorb too much water and split.
Second, water your tomatoes carefully. Water them at the base of the plant, rather than from overhead. This will help prevent water from getting inside the tomato and causing it to split.
Finally, pick your tomatoes when they’re ripe. If you wait too long, the tomatoes will split. So, check them regularly and harvest them as soon as they’re ripe.
Tomatoes are sensitive to heat and cold, so it’s important to protect them from extreme temperatures.
One way to do this is to plant your tomatoes in a spot that gets plenty of sunlight but is also sheltered from the wind. If you live in an area with hot summers, you may need to provide additional shading for your plants during the hottest months.
Another way to prevent temperature-related splitting is to water your tomatoes regularly. Moisture helps keep the cells of the tomato skin elastic, which prevents them from breaking open when the fruit expands in warm weather.
If you experience a period of hot weather, try to pick your tomatoes early in the morning before the temperatures start to rise. This will help prevent the fruits from getting too much heat.
Finally, don’t store your tomatoes in the fridge. The cold temperature can damage the delicate skin of the fruit and cause it to split. If you need to cool your tomatoes down, put them in a covered container or bag and place them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
When pruning, be sure to remove any leaves that are yellowing or dying, as well as any branches that are dead or diseased. Prune any suckers that grow from the main stem of the plant. Suckers are small shoots that will not produce fruit, so you should remove them to encourage fruit production.
When pruning your tomatoes, always use clean, sharp shears. It will help prevent the spread of disease and ensure a clean cut. Be sure to make your cuts at an angle rather than straight across, as this helps the plant heal more quickly. After you have finished pruning, water your plants well. This will help them recover from the stress of being pruned and will also encourage new growth.
By following these simple tips, you can help prevent your tomatoes from splitting. And, of course, enjoy plenty of delicious, juicy tomatoes all summer long!
Do you have any tips for preventing tomatoes from splitting? We’d love to hear them!