Reasons Why Your Tomatoes are Splitting and How to Stop It In 6 ways?


There are a few possible reasons for this and a few ways to stop tomatoes from splitting. Tomato splitting occurs when the skin of the fruit cracks or breaks open, usually around the top or stem end. This can be caused by a number of things, like not watering the plant enough, the fruit growing too quickly, or even the plant’s genes.

In this article, we’ll cover the reasons behind tomato splitting and what steps you can take to prevent it.

Continue reading to learn more!

What is the Splitting of Tomatoes?

Splitting of tomatoes

Gardeners often have trouble with tomatoes splitting, which is when the skin of the fruit cracks or splits open. Cracking happens when the fruit quickly takes in water, causing it to grow bigger than it can handle and break the skin.

Splitting can happen for a number of reasons, such as uneven watering, hot and dry weather, too much ripening, or an imbalance of nutrients in the soil.

There are two main types of tomato splitting:

1. Radial Splitting:

Radial splitting is a type of tomato splitting where the fruit’s skin cracks or splits radially from the stem end toward the blossom end. This type of splitting is more common in large, beefsteak-type tomatoes, which are typically more prone to splitting.

Most of the time, radial splitting happens when the fruit quickly takes in water, causing it to grow bigger than it can handle and break the skin. This can happen due to uneven watering, overripening, hot and dry weather, and nutrient imbalances in the soil.

2. Concentric Splitting:

In this type of splitting, the cracks or splits are circular and occur around the stem end of the fruit. Concentric splitting is more common in smaller, cherry-type tomatoes.

Concentric splitting happens for the same reason that radial splitting does, which is that the fruit quickly takes in water, causing it to expand and break the skin as it does so. This can happen due to uneven watering, overripening, hot and dry weather, and nutrient imbalances in the soil.

Both types of splitting can occur in any variety of tomato. Splitting the fruit affects its appearance, its taste, and its quality, and makes it more susceptible to diseases and spoilage. Gardeners can take preventive measures to prevent tomatoes from splitting, such as maintaining consistent watering and providing shade during hot weather.

Why are My Tomatoes Splitting?

Cracked or rotten tomatoes

The splitting or cracking of tomatoes is a common problem that many gardeners and farmers face.

Here are some of the common reasons for splitting tomatoes:

  • Overwatering: Tomatoes need regular watering to keep the soil moist, but overwatering can cause the fruit to swell and eventually crack.
  • Inconsistent watering: Inconsistent watering, where the plant is watered heavily and then allowed to dry out, can cause the fruit to split as it absorbs water too quickly.
  • Hot weather: Hot weather causes rapid growth of the fruit and can lead to cracking. Extreme temperatures cause the tomato skin to expand faster than the inside, resulting in splitting.
  • Nutrient imbalances: A lack of nutrients, such as calcium, can cause splitting.
  • Physical damage: Rough handling during harvest or transport can cause the fruit to split.
  • Inconsistent fertilisation: Fertiliser can help plants grow, but too much of it can lead to rapid growth and splitting. It’s important to use fertiliser in moderation and to follow the instructions on the package.

6 Ways To Prevent Tomato From Splitting


There are some ways, by following you can protect your plants from splitting;

1. Water Correctly

Inconsistent watering is one of the main reasons for tomato splitting. When the soil becomes dry, the plant may take up water too quickly when it is watered, causing the fruit to expand and the skin to split.

To prevent this, it’s important to keep the soil consistently moist. Water deeply, at least once a week, so that the water reaches the roots. You can use a soaker hose or drip irrigation to water your plants at the base, rather than overhead watering, which can wet the leaves and fruit and increase the risk of fungus diseases.

2. Mulching

Mulching tomatoes entails covering the soil around tomato plants with an organic or inorganic layer to provide a variety of benefits.

Organic mulches like straw, leaves, and grass clippings break down over time. As they do so, they add nutrients to the soil, improve the soil’s structure, and keep water in the soil.

Inorganic mulches, like plastic or gravel, don’t break down. They are mostly used to keep soil moist and stop weeds from growing.

Mulching around tomato plants can help control the temperature of the soil, stop soil erosion, stop weeds from growing, save water, and make the soil more fertile. It can also help keep the soil from getting too hard and stop soil from splashing onto the plants, which can spread diseases.

The mulch layer should be about 2-4 inches thick, being careful not to cover the stem of the plant. Mulch should be replenished as needed to maintain the desired thickness.

3. Plant Resistant Varieties

Some tomato varieties are more prone to splitting than others. So, choose a variety that is known for being less susceptible to splitting.

Also, the skins of heirloom varieties are often thicker and less likely to split than the skins of hybrid varieties.

4. Adequate Nutrients

To grow healthy and strong, tomatoes need the right nutrients, and a lack of nutrients can cause tomatoes to split.

Use a balanced fertilizer or a slow-release organic fertilizer like compost or well-rotted manure to make sure your soil has the right mix of nutrients. Follow the instructions on the package for application rates.

5. Pick Up Early

Overripe tomatoes are more susceptible to splitting, so it’s important to pick them up from the vine as soon as they are ripe. Check your plants frequently for ripe tomatoes, which are fully colored and have a slight give when squeezed.

Ripen them off by gently twisting the fruit off the vine or by using a pair of scissors or pruners to cut the vine.

7. Shade Cloth

During periods of hot and sunny weather, tomato fruits can absorb water too quickly, which can cause them to split. Shade cloth can help keep your plants from getting too hot or getting too much sun, which can cause them to split.

Shade cloth can also help your plants avoid sunburn and heat stress. Drape the cloth over the plants, making sure that it is securely anchored.

8. Proper Pruning

Pruning can keep your tomato plants from becoming overcrowded and ensure they get enough air and light, reducing the likelihood of splitting. Prune your plants by removing the lower leaves and branches that are close to the ground.

This will improve the flow of air and let more sunlight in, which will help stop splitting and other problems like fungal diseases. Be sure to use clean, sharp pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant.

What to Do if Your Tomatoes Split?

There are many things that can cause tomatoes to split or crack, such as uneven watering, too much heat, or overripe fruits. Split tomatoes may still be good to eat, but they don’t look as good and are more likely to go bad.

Here are some steps you can take if your tomatoes split:

  • Harvest the tomatoes: If the tomatoes are ripe, it is best to harvest them as soon as possible to prevent further splitting or damage.
  • Cut off the affected area: If the split is small and the tomato is otherwise healthy, you can cut off the affected area and use the rest of the fruit. However, if the split is significant or the tomato has started to rot, it’s best to discard it.

Tomato splitting is not caused by fungicides or bactericides. It is normal to split tomatoes; therefore, we can use it in various ways.

  • Cook them: Split tomatoes are still edible and can be used in many cooked dishes, such as pasta sauces, soups, stews, and casseroles. Simply cut away the damaged area and use the rest of the tomato in your recipe.
  • Make salsa for bruschetta: Salsa and bruschetta are both dishes that use fresh tomatoes, and split tomatoes can work well in these recipes. Simply chop the tomatoes and use them as you would in a normal salsa or bruschetta recipe.
  • Make tomato juice or sauce: If you have a lot of split tomatoes, you can make tomato juice or sauce by blending or cooking the tomatoes and straining out the seeds and skins.
  • Freeze them: If you’re not ready to use your split tomatoes immediately, you can freeze them for later use in cooked dishes. Simply cut away the damaged area and freeze the rest of the tomato in a freezer-safe container.


Remember that split tomatoes may not have the same texture or flavor as undamaged tomatoes, but they are still perfectly safe to eat and can be used in a variety of dishes.

By reading this article thoroughly, you can easily prevent your tomatoes from splitting.

Thank you for reading!

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