The most common time you will notice your tomatoes starting to split is generally after rain and always when you were just about to harvest. This is particularly true for soil based gardens and may not be as pronounced for your tomato crop grown in The Salad Table. Whilst they don't look aesthetically pleasing with a massive split completely down one side, they are still quite edible provided the split is reasonably new. Over a short time you will find that bacteria and fungus can rapidly affect the fruit and cause them to rot. A crack also provides easy access to damaging pests.
Unseasonal temperature fluctuations are also known to cause splitting and almost impossible to tackle. I find that if the weather is all over the place and my crop is getting close to maturity, I harvest while semi green and place them inside away from the elements. It may take a little longer to ripen but will at least reduce the severity of damage and leave me with plenty of good quality tomatoes for the next few dishes.
You may also notice splitting if for some reason your Salad Table water supply either ran dry or was restricted in flow. The tomatoes will dry out initially and as they start to receive water again the content inside increases beyond its capacity resulting in the skin basically bursting. The obvious way to stop this happening in the first place is to always keep an eye on the water and never let it run dry.
Splitting toms are something that we normally have to live with as this is mother nature in action, but there are some things we can do in order to reduce the problem. I didn't say completely eliminate the problem because I don't think that is possible for everyday growers like us!!!
First of all, pick early and let ripen in a protected location. When you notice one tomato splitting, you can almost guarantee the rest will follow vey soon so get them while you can.
If growing in a soil garden ensure a regular watering pattern. There's not much you can do if it rains heavily but a regular deep watering will help reduce the problem when the heavens open up.
Choose a variety that is resistant to cracking and suited to your area and climate. There is plenty of information online to help you choose the right variety or contact us anytime.
Good luck and let us know in the comments below if you have any tips on reducing the age old problem of splitting tomatoes.
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