Whenever someone wants to grow vegetables in their garden, one of the most popular and easy to care plant are tomatoes to go in to the soil. They are great in salads, soups, and even to make a great gift. However, this beautiful plant often experiences a problem called splitting. Tomato splitting is one of the most common problem face by many gardeners while growing them. Even though it’s frustrating to see you’re ripening fruits splitting, there are easy ways to stop them too.
Why Do Tomatoes Split?
Tomatoes split because of fluctuations of temperature in the spring season. This is the reason why you need to mulch your plants, wither with organic or plastic. It is also very important to water your plant throughout the growing season and it becomes even more important once they start to form fruit.
If the tomato plants are allowed to go through dry spell and then rapid increase in water levels will cause the inside of fruit to swell faster than the skin can stretch, results in splitting.
How To Prevent Splitting Of Tomatoes:
Water Them Consistently:
This is one of the best things you can do to your plants from splitting. If you’re getting enough rainfall then water your plants once or twice in a week.
Water the plant deeply and less often to keep the soil moist and to encourage the roots to grow deeper in to the soil. It also helps in preventing another common problem called blossom end rot.
Provide Good Drainage:
It doesn’t matter whether you are growing tomatoes in container or grounds, it’s important to provide them good drainage. Tomatoes need lot of water, but don’t leave them to sit in water for long time.
If you are growing tomatoes in containers, make sure they have drainage holes at the bottom of it and use quality potting mix.
If you are growing them in ground and they have clay soil then addendums your garden with good quality compost to improve drainage or raised beds.
Since the main cause of tomato splitting is watering problems, mulching can help you to solve it. It conserves moisture and prevents diseases of plant from spreading. Using a thick layer of straw wood chips or shredded leaves around the tomatoes will keep the weeds down too.
Fertilize Them Properly:
Use well balanced organic fertilizer for your tomatoes which is especially important to produce fruit. Do avoid fertilizers that are high in nitrogen as they can cause tomato plant to grow quickly. Use compost tea, compost or fish emulsion in fall and early spring to get healthy fruits.
Pick Tomatoes Often:
Ripe tomatoes are delicious and good, but if you leave them on vine there are higher chances of splitting open. So, make sure to harvest your tomatoes often. If you expect lot of rain, then its good idea to harvest all your ripe tomatoes as the ones that are almost ripe.
Grow Resistant Varieties:
No all tomatoes are prone to splitting, it all depends on the variety you choose to grow in your space. Generally, plum shaped tomatoes and smaller slicers are less likely to split open when they ripe.
Try growing tomato varieties that are most split resistant like, pink bumble bee, Rutgers, big boy, sungella and beef master.
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