My tomatoes have white seeds and cracks

Q. I want to know why I have white seeds in my tomatoes this year. Are they safe to eat? The tomatoes also have cracks around the top but I'm not as worried about that.

A. You didn't mention the variety you're growing or how ripe the tomatoes are when you pick them. Both these factors can contribute to seed color. Have you planted several varieties? They could have cross-pollinated, creating an unusual seed color.

Most of the time, tomato seeds are a buff color. If they are dark brown or black, they may have passed their prime (especially if you are working to save them to use next year and are in the fermentation process.)

As for whether or not the seeds are safe to eat ... one of the best ways to know if tomato seeds are ripe and healthy is the tomato itself. If the tomato is ready to pick and eat, along with being mold-free, seeds generally are too.

As for cracks ...
Tomato cracks (sometimes called “growth cracks”) are a problem associated with growing conditions. Dry weather that gives way to excessive watering or a rainy period can lead to cracking. Tomatoes get too much water too fast. The skin cannot keep up with the fruit's interior expansion, so it breaks.

Two kinds of tomato cracks are most common:

  1. Concentric cracks. These encircle the tomato around its circumference, most often at the top of the fruit.
  2. Radial cracks. These start at the stem and extend downward.

Tomatoes with cracks are safe to eat, although you may wish to cut out the cracks. There are all kinds of facts and information about tomato cracks on a special page devoted to this condition.

Good luck and happy gardening!
Your friends at Tomato Dirt

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