The Q&A Archives: Splitting in Tomatoes

Question: Why did my tomatoes develop dark splits on the stem end?

Answer: You are not alone in your quandry about your tomatoes; many people experienced the same problem this past summer. Tomatoes split when they receive uneven watering. A dry spell followed by heavy rains, for example, can cause the tissues to suddenly swell and split. The best protection against splitting is mulching your plants. Mulch conserves water and keeps the soil from drying out, and it also moderates changes in temperature that influence water absorption. Next year, spread some shredded bark, straw, or cocoa hulls around your plants. These mulches also will add valuable organic matter to your soil as they decompose.

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