Why do my tomatoes crack open after starting to turn red? They never get very big.
Hardiness Zone: 10a
By Paula from FL
It may actually be inconsistent watering. Tomato plants need to get the same amount of water consistently through out their life to do well. If you water them differing amounts, or you get a hot streak, or you get a dry spell, or you get downpours for days, (you get the idea) they will crack. Hope this helps.
Tomato Cracking is usually from excess rainfall, or from hand watering from the top of the plant. Tomatoes prefer to be watered at the bottom, ie, drip line, bubbler, running hose, etc. Watering from the top during the day, makes the tender skin crack from the excess heat, (it's like basting them) and watering from the top during the evening can harbor or otherwise encourage diseases of various kinds to take hold.
Water the roots, not the plant for crack free tomatoes.
Here are questions related to Cracked Tomatoes.
Why are my tomatoes cracked and yellow on a small part of the top?
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Could someone please tell me why my tomatoes are cracking?
Maria from Sterling Heights, MI
This happens after a dry spell and then you either water a lot or it rains quite a bit. They grow too fast for their skin, literally. (08/24/2007)
Tomato plants when growing the fruit are particular boogers. These are stress cracks.
These cracked because of one of several reasons.
Cracks usually occur after the fruit has reached its full size and is in its ripening stage. Extreme high temperatures for a number of days while ripening can cause this. Another reason might be because they need to be kept at the same moisture level for the time they are bearing the fruit. They need watered everyday unless it rains. Also, never put water on the leaves in extreme heat (unless mother nature does it).
I learned this from a older lady who use to run a green house. Hope this helps.
A really good gardening book to own is Ortho's "Home Gardeners Problem Solvers Book". (08/24/2007)
By KittyFartz New Carlise, IN
Too hot of a temperature will do the same thing. (08/24/2007)
It can also be caused by too much fertilizer. (08/24/2007)
This article explains that allowing tomatoes to ripen on the vine can cause cracking. Hope it helps.
I concur. Tomatoes need adequate moisture, but it must be dispersed equally during the growing season. If a dry spell is followed by a wet one, the tomato grows too fast and the skin splits. Dry spells are caused by temp extremes, so the plants get unusually stressed. This is a really common problem, you're in good company. (08/27/2007)
Wash them just before you eat, otherwise they will crack sitting on the counter, too. (08/28/2007)
Even fertilizer and watering across the whole growing season should eliminate this problem.
If there is excessive rain early on ignore it and continue with even watering. Don't water in the heat of the day. Don't overhead water, pay attention to your PH balance. (08/31/2007)