The Q&A Archives: Splitting Tomatoes

Question: I have a problem with tomatoes. I have 19 plants in all with a high yield, but my sweet clusters have little flavor and the skins are split before I harvest them. The skins split before they are really ripe. The skins are quite toughh too. I was using our drip system twice per day for 5 min in duration. I then was told to stress the plants for better flavor, so I stopped watering for 7 days. How often should I water and how much? Now the leaves are drying up!
Thank you!

Answer: Splitting can be caused by uneven watering. On almost-mature tomatoes the skin has stopped growing but the inside tissues are still absorbing water. Too much water (either rainfall or from the hose) at this point in the growth process can result in splitting. Try cutting back on your watering, applying a thorough soaking to the plant only once a week. You can try growing split-resistant type such as Burpee's 'Delicious' if your weather is such that you can't control the amount of water a plant gets.

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