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Why Are Tomatoes Splitting and How to Stop This Common Problem

Looking for a way to prevent your tomatoes from splitting? This expert-approved tip will help you maintain a healthy crop this summer.

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Cracking and splitting tomatoes are common issues for many gardeners. Even though tomatoes are easy to grow, they can get damaged in late summer due to fluctuating temperatures and water levels.

The threat of splitting tomatoes can be discouraging, but it shouldn’t stop you from growing them.

While it’s tough to ensure your tomatoes won’t split, understanding why it happens and following a simple trick can improve their chances of success. We explain it below.

Why Do My Tomatoes Split?

Expert Kate Russell from The Daily Garden says tomatoes crack and split when the inside grows faster than the outside.

This can be caused by extreme heat, high humidity, heavy rain, and big temperature changes between day and night.

‘Irregular watering can also cause blossom end rot, so proper irrigation is important when growing tomatoes,’ she adds.

How To Prevent Tomatoes From Splitting

Why do tomatoes split? There are three main reasons, and here’s how to avoid them for a better crop.

Overenthusiastic Pruning

Kate Russell advises that removing too many leaves can lead to tomatoes splitting by the end of summer. So, be careful when pinching out tomatoes.


Overwatering can also cause cracks, so stick to the recommended watering schedule: daily in the morning, early in the season, then twice daily as it gets hotter.

Be cautious, though: tomatoes need up to two inches of water a week, with more needed for those in containers than those in the ground.

Dry Soil

Using mulch can improve tomato health. Cory Tanner from Clemson University suggests adding a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch (like straw or leaves) around your plants to retain soil moisture.

‘Maintain even soil moisture by watering regularly between rains. Avoid letting the soil get too dry or too wet,’ Cory advises.

Brett White, a vegetable growing expert, recommends using red plastic mulch to improve tomato health. This type of mulch reduces soil evaporation in hot weather, allowing roots to access more water for longer.

Will Split Tomatoes Heal?

Horizontal (concentric) cracks are usually mild and can heal; vertical (radial) cracks are deeper and often worsen.

Can You Eat Split Tomatoes?

You can eat split tomatoes without visible fungus, insect, or bacterial invasion. If you see split tomatoes on your plant, it’s best to harvest them and let them ripen indoors for better protection.