Everyone loves tomatoes! A beautiful, ripe tomato is not only a big part of the garden, but also one of the best items to enjoy with friends and neighbors.
Which is why it's so heartbreaking when you see one of those gorgeous fruits with a giant crack! And it happens so quickly-that wasn't there just yesterday it seems! What is going on?
Tomatoes crack due to an irregular water cycle. Either from Mother Nature (i.e., too much rain) or irregular watering. So now that we know why it's happening, how do we fix it?
STEP 1: Create Mounds
Creating mounds in your garden or greenhouse at the base of your tomato plant is the first step. The aisles are the low spots, and the mounds are where you want to plant. This offers plants an elevated location for their roots. Water will run off to the aisles and reduce the risk that the tomatoes take on too much water, which causes them to pop/crack.
STEP 2: Ground Cover
Place ground cover over the mound. This helps with water retention in the ground and will also shed rain to aisle, keeping the amount of water to the plants from being received all at once.
STEP 3: Drip Irrigation
If drip irrigation is placed under the ground cover, it can help with water control. Small amounts (20 minute intervals, 1-2 times a day) will offer a consistent drink for the plants without too much water at one time.
Consistency is the key to successfully keeping those tomatoes from cracking. Too little water, followed by a long watering will split your beautiful fruit. Follow these steps and keep your tomatoes the envy of all!