The Q&A Archives: Cracks in Tomato Fruit

Question: What causes cracks in the tomato fruit and what can I do to prevent them?

Answer: Tomatoes need a regular supply of water to thrive and produce healthy fruit. Cracking can result because they are stressed for water. It also occurs more frequently in the western US because of hot sun and dry conditions. How often to water depends on your soil's characteristics. You want to keep it uniformly moist, but not soaking wet, to a depth of 12 to 18 inches. Mulch over the soil helps keep moisture levels even. You can also try providing the plants with afternoon shade. Choosing a smaller tomato variety can help significantly, because they mature faster and don't develop cracks as easily. The big beefsteak type tomatoes are more likely to crack before they mature. Also, try some varieties that are labeled as crack resistant.

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