The Q&A Archives: Splitting Of Tomatoes

Question: For 2 years now I have tried in vain to grow satisfactory tomatoes as each year they split quite a bit. Is it too much sun here in the desert where temps often go above 100?
Or could it be too much water? If the sun is the problem, would it be advisable to cover the tomatoes in early afternoon before the hot sun arrives? I usually water them twice a day.
For soil I use Scott's garden soil and Miracle Grow soil for garden vegetables. My garden is raised above the surface and is about 8 inches deep. I need to have it raised, as here the desert soil contains caliche starting at about 4 inches deep.

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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