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Too much rain
Q. Daily heavy showers causing tomatoes to split before they are ripe. How early should I pick them?
A. Great question during a rainy season!
Tomatoes split because of fluctuations in watering. When there is an influx of rain, the insides of the tomatoes grow faster than the outer skin. Tomato skins crack because they can't keep up with growing as fast as the interior flesh.
While this can sometimes be a problem when the tomatoes are still green, it happens more often to tomatoes that are starting to ripen. Outer skins becomes more fragile the closer a tomato gets to ripening.
Two suggestions for you to take:
- Watch tomatoes daily. Let them ripen on the vine as long as possible before they crack.
- Pick as soon as the tomatoes crack. They are very susceptible to bacteria and viruses once split. Flesh begins to change as soon as there is a split. Cut away from the split area and eat or process the remainder.
Good luck and happy gardening!Your friends at Tomato Dirt
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By Kathy Widenhouse, award-winning writer and owner of Tomato Dirt, a leading online source for growing tomatoes and using them.
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