Splitting Tomatoes? How to Stop Tomato Cracking

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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Worried about Splitting Tomatoes? Learn How to Stop This with these easy tips and tricks to have a plump and flavorful supply!

Splitting Tomatoes? Learn How to Stop This

While it is true that tomatoes can split up at any phase–whether ripe or not, it could be very frustrating to see the delicious fruits crack open when you are expecting a good harvest. So, why does this happen and what can you do to prevent Splitting Tomatoes? Learn How to Stop This now!

Avoid these mistakes while growing tomatoes 

Why Do Tomatoes Split?

  • Not watering the plant consistently is the number one reason why tomatoes split open. Do make sure that your tomatoes are always watered well.
  • If your plant is growing in drought-like conditions and receives a sudden rainfall, then it will split open.
  • When the outer thin layer of the fruit is not growing as quickly as the flesh, then it is not able to support the growth and rips open.

Tomatoes tend to split up in two ways:

  • Vertical Split: Splitting up from the top of the tomatoes and extend the right to the bottom.
  • Concentric Cracking:  It often takes place on the top of the tomatoes making way to cracks around the stem on the bigger varieties of the fruit.

Learn how to use eggshells for bumper tomato harvest here

How to Prevent Tomatoes From Splitting


1. Pick them Timely

Do not keep the tomatoes unnecessarily long on the vines, thinking that they will ripe more. The moment you see them turning red, pick them up.

If there are chances of sudden rain or storm in your area, then make sure you are picking all the red tomatoes on the plant before that!

2. Mulch

The best way to ensure water retention in the plant is to mulch them. It will help to keep the moisture level in the soil under check, helping the water to reach fruits. Dried leaves, coconut husk, wood chips, and straw are the best options.

3. Maintain a Water Schedule

Do not ever let the soil go completely dry. It is a good idea to keep the soil always moist and water the plant when the topsoil feels a bit dry to touch.

4. Feed them Right

Bone meal, soy meal, blood meal, and well-rotted manure are good as they promote the balance of nutrients.

If the soil is balanced or high in nitrogen, then go for fertilizer, which is low in nitrogen and high in phosphorus, e.g., 5-10-5 or 5-10-10. Contrary to that, if your soil is low in nitrogen, then use a balanced fertilizer with 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 strength.

5. Increase Boron, Nitrogen, Potassium, and Calcium Uptake

A study at the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science states that boron, nitrogen, potassium, and calcium increase the quality of fruits in tomatoes and eliminates the chances of splitting.

You can get a special formulation, with all these ingredients, in the market to feed your plants. Do make sure that you are following the instructions on the label.

Can You Eat Split Tomatoes?


So what can you do if you cannot help your tomatoes from splitting up? First things first, check for any signs of insect damage or rot. If the tomatoes smell funny or some liquid oozes out, it would be best to discard them.

If they only are cracked up, you can safely enjoy them in your favorite dishes and consume them right away. Remember they would not last long before they go bad, so it is best to eat them right away or cook using them.

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