How to prevent tomato cracks

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How to prevent tomato cracks

Jan 18, 2017 | 16:57 1 Name:  cracking tomatoes 2.jpg
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When a tomato plant gets too much water too fast, either from rain or dis proportionate watering, the interior grows quickly to absorb the extra water, but it expands too fast. The tomato skin is unable to stretch to accommodate the extra fluid and so it cracks to ease the pressure.

The first step to preventing this is to plant crack-resistant tomato varieties that have elastic skin which you can get advice from your local agrovet.

Another intervention would be to mulch your plants to help retain moisture in the soil. Wait until the plants are established, about 3-5 weeks after planting, to do this.

You could also keep the water supply even throughout the season. While you cannot control the weather conditions, you can ensure that the plants are on a regular water schedule. Tomatoes need about 1-3 inches of water a week, including rain. During dry spells, water them deeply, using an irrigation system such as a drip hose, so that subsequent rains don't shock the skins and lead to cracking.

Proper application of fertilizer is also key. When blossoms and fruit develop, tomatoes need more phosphorous and potassium; excessive nitrogen can cause plants to grow too fast leading to cracking. Do not over-fertilize as excess nutrients can lead to growth spurts which end in cracking.

Cracked tomatoes can bring huge losses to a farmer and it's essential that one remains watchful during the season so as to ensure increased yields.



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