Tomatoes cracking: Underwater or overwatering?

J Goodell
September 2, 2019

This is my first year growing tomatoes, so it’s been a learning experience we got a decent twirls and then in the last 2 weeks or so I’ve noticed notable cracking. Would you venture to see the cracking I am seeing is from over watering, underwatering or maybe inconsistent watering? They are in raised beds with about 2 feet of soil, they get a small amount of drip irrigation 3 times a day in the summer. Thanks in advance!

Comments (4)

  • lgteacher

    Some of this is caused by temperature variations which we can't control and some varieties seem more susceptible that others. https://vric.ucdavis.edu/veg_info/catface.htm

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    It's my experience that cracking is caused by uneven growth. Usually because after a dry spell the tomato gets a spurt of growth and the fruit grows faster than the skin can surround the new growth. If you grow thin skinned varieties you'll see more cracking. But it's also likely the varieties that tend to crack will taste better.

    I always say the uglier the tomato the better it tastes.

  • cindy_7

    Over-watering can also be a cause of cracking. Once the skin of the tomato has started to change color it stops growing, but the interior will continue to grow with additional water.

  • NHBabs z4b-5a NH

    My part of New England has had a lot of irregular rain in August, and IME that contributes. When one gets 4” of rain in 24 hours after only what the drip irrigation provided for 3 weeks, the plant tends to soak up a lot and the skin doesn’t grow fast enough to accommodate the extra moisture. As others have said, different varieties often have different levels of susceptibility, but I typically choose my tomatoes according to flavor. You can either shelter them under an overhang where they won’t get extra moisture during rain, or pick the ripe ones before rain, or just eat them ASAP if they crack.

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