Help Tomatoes splitting on top

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jul 24, 2007
Sacramento, CA
Can one of you green thumbs here tell me what causes tomatoes to split on top just as they are starting to ripen? My foggy memory says either too much water or not enough but I'm not sure.

That usually happens when it is very dry and then it rains a lot or someone waters the plants a lot and they swell, then split. Just keep the watering more constant.
Also some varieties are more prone to splitting than others. Celebrity is a good example. I also think it happens more in the heat of the summer due to tougher skins.
I'm beginning to think this can happen for various reasons and depending upon where you live.

In this area most likely reason is too much moisture as the fruit is ripening. On another forum I frequent one fellow in Il. has cracking problems and fruit sours within a hr or two. Been very dry where he lives and hasn't been able to water his tomatoes since spring.

I'm just starting to get ripe tomatoes, some are split and have healed over the crack. A few large cherries have split and haven't healed but are OK to eat. Had several days of light rain this past weekend. Don't see any cracks on the fruit that is still real green.
I water my tomatoes every night for some time now and I noticed last season I was getting alot of splits. So I looked into it and found that if you stop watering your plants but once a week after you get golfball size fruit on the vines you'll prevent the splitting. A heavy rain can also cause splitting. Hence the reason I'll do an emergency harvest of anything ripe right after a heavy rain.

Man, once a week
i could not do that if Florida. I was watering everyday and doing fine, then our heat and humidity went nuts. That's when the splits showed up.
Now is there a difference from splits on top of tomato compared to splits that run from top to bottom??
Well, I'm in NJ. "The Garden State" ;) It rains alot throughout the summer up here, and the temps are basically 75-85 with your tedious days popping up here and their.

Anyway to my knowledge splits are usually due to the plant storing the water into the fruit, the skin being tight and the fruit bursting.

If you think about it this way the tomato itself is really just a shell for the seeds in order to reproduce the plant. So in all actuality it's doing what it's designed to do. Absorb the water, Split, fall to the ground, rot and feed the seedlings. Hence re-producing the plant. I believe this is all done because of an abundance of water.

Reason being is that if the ground isn't moist then the seedling may not be able to sprout into the dirt. So the over-watering is basically just a signal to the plant. Maybe?

Just my theory. Shoot me if i'm wrong. ;)

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