Tomato Cracking - Knowledgebase Question

Long Beach, NY
Avatar for brownzweig
Question by brownzweig
May 3, 1999
Last season tomato plants had a good yield but many plants had tomatoes with deep cracks on top. If your answer to the problem has anything to do with drainage please explain what I can do to improve the drainage.

Answer from NGA
May 3, 1999
Growth cracks can appear when the tomatoes grow too rapidly; this often happens when there is a rainy spell during hot weather. Cracks can also be caused by a rainy period just as the tomatoes ripen -- especially if it follows a dry spell. There are several things you can do to minimize cracking. One is to grow resistant varieties, another is to try to make sure the tomatoes are grown in evenly moist but well drained (meaning not soggy) soil. To achieve this, water deeply about once a week or if the soil seems dry to the touch about an inch under the surface and use a mulch.

If you are concerned about drainage, there are two things you can do. One is to grow your tomatoes in raised beds, and the other is to add ample organic matter to the soil. This will help it to hold both air and water and stay evely moist without being soggy.

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