‘Best’ method to stop tomatoes from ‘splitting’ and ensure they ‘taste great’

Tomatoes split open when the fruit outpaces the growth of the skin – usually after heavy rain or as a result of inconsistent watering. 

When tomatoes split, this can introduce bacteria into the fruit and cause them to rot.

This is exactly what happened to one gardener recently when they were growing their tomatoes. 

Posting a picture of cracked tomatoes to the Gardening UK Facebook page, Ravinder Romany asked for advice on how she can prevent this from happening to the rest of her tomatoes still on the vine.

She wrote: “Please could I have some advice with my tomato plant. The tomatoes are ripening but splitting. 

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“I’ve had to pick a few off their vines this morning. Not sure what’s happening here and if I can do anything to prevent the rest. Thank you.”

Gardeners in the comments section explained that this happens due to “irregular watering”. Ronan Montasser said: “Irregular watering. So when they don’t get enough water the amount of water in the fruit reduces along with the skin of the tomato. 

“When you water it after a dry spell the fruit suddenly bursts with water and the skin splits.”

Wendy Locket wrote: “Inconsistent watering does this. I water mine every day twice if it’s hot.”

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Carole Mellett said: “Need to water them everyday. If they dry out in between, they will split.”

To avoid the risk of splitting altogether, gardening enthusiasts claimed that it is best to remove tomatoes from the vine immediately and ripen them indoors.

Jenna Campbell wrote: “You can harvest when they’re green, they’ll still go red and taste great”.

Nikita Kidd instructed: “Remove them before they are fully ripe and let them ripen indoors.”

Nancy Wilson said: “The best way to avoid this is to pick them while they’re still green and ripen them indoors using a banana.”

Picking tomatoes early not only stops cracks from occurring but also means gardeners can control the ripening process. 

Tomatoes can be left to ripen on their own on the kitchen counter, or the process can be sped up by placing them in a container or paper bag with a banana.

The banana will release ethylene, a hormone associated with the ripening of fruit, which will help speed up the ripening process.

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