The Q&A Archives: Tomato Skins

Question: Why are the skins on our home grown tomatoes so tough? We actually have to peel them to enjoy eating them. They have an excellent flavor other than that.

Answer: Thick skins on tomatoes is a function of variety as well as growing conditions. Drought stress is one way to get thick skins. I'd advise mulching the tomato plants with a 4-6" layer of hay or straw once they're established. That will help keep the soil moisture constant. Be sure to water whenever the soil is dry. You might want to try growing different varieties in your garden until you find the one with the best taste and the tenderest skin. I have my favorite tomato varieties but I also try one or two new ones each year - just in case I discover I like them better! Good luck with your tomatoes!

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