The Q&A Archives: Tomato Cracking

Question: My tomatoes are cracking on the vine when they are still green. I water them really good every morning. What can I do?

Answer: June heat in the desert is stressful on tomatoes, which are very dependent on consistent soil moisture. Even one day of irregular water can cause cracking at this point. Tissues inside swell when they get a big drink of water. The resulting pressure causes the skin to crack. Be sure you aren't overwatering. Maintain regular soil moisture through the root system (usually about 12 inches deep if the plants are big and mature), watering when the top layer of soil dries out. Add four inches of mulch (compost, dried leaves, weed-free straw) on top of the soil to help maintain moisture. You might also want to consider shade protection from the hot afternoon sun. Good luck!

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