- 1 Why do Tomatoes Split?
- 2 How to Prevent Split Tomatoes
- 3 Are Split Tomatoes Safe to Eat
- 4 What to do With Split Tomatoes
- 5 The Benefits of Eating Split Tomatoes
- 6 FAQs
- 7 Conclusion
One of the worst feelings is going out to your personal vegetable garden and seeing one of your tomatoes with a large split or crack. As easy to grow as tomato plants are, they are still susceptible to damage and splitting.
It also takes some time to master the art of growing tomatoes! There are thousands of varieties that all need separate things. Listed below is information regarding why tomatoes split and most important – are split tomatoes safe to eat?
Why do Tomatoes Split?
Tomato splitting is common! Although it can be frustrating to see your tomatoes start to split or crack, don’t worry! It is normal and there are ways to prevent and further protect the tomatoes from worsening.
Why do my tomatoes have splits in them? The two main reasons tomatoes split is a lack of water or an abundance of water.
Lack of Water
Tomatoes are fragile and need enough water consistently to bulk up and thrive. Although the tomato plant can bounce back during a drought or freeze, the same cannot be said about the fruits that the tomato plant produces.
While your tomato plant fruits, you need to water it frequently! If you miss even a day or two, especially during the hot sunny months, you can cause your tomatoes to split and crack. When there is not enough water, the lack of water causes the fruit to stress and split.
The splits are not usually dangerous, but can be unsightly.
An Abundance of Water
Interestingly, the opposite is correct as well. Tomato fruits that contain too much water can crack and burst. The process is similar to what happens to a fruit with less water. Although tomato fruits do need frequent watering, if you accidentally overdo it, the water can cause pressure to build.
Eventually, when the pressure becomes too much, the plant can burst causing a mess of cracks and splits. It is usually harder to save your tomato fruits after this occurs.
How to Prevent Split Tomatoes
How do you stop tomato fruit cracking? It is not entirely possible to prevent all split tomatoes, however, you can try and lessen your chances by providing your tomato plant with sufficient water and plant food.
Fertilizer, also known as plant food, can add important nutrients to the soil which prevent tomatoes from splitting.
The plant food helps the fruit of your tomato plant grow. However, you do need to carefully add it to your plant! There are organic options which contain natural ingredients that can be beneficial to the growth. It is also safer to eat.
Watering tomato plants is tricky, because all varieties need different amounts. The water amount also varies depending on the season and temperature. However, you can help your chances by creating a self watering system or purchasing a watering bulb.
Depending on the dryness of the soil and the direction of the sun, the water releases from the self-watering system. Not only does this save you money in the long run, but it also prevents cracking in your tomatoes.
Are Split Tomatoes Safe to Eat
Most of the time, split tomatoes are safe to eat. However, it completely depends on the state of the fruit. For instance, if the tomatoes heal white, then they are completely safe! You can even eat the ‘scar’. Although most people prefer to cut it.
You can also cut around the cracking or split. Most of the time, the insides are safe to eat and it is only a blemish on the inside. If your tomatoes are a red blush color and have a strong and sweet scent, they are safe to eat!
The best way, however, to check to see if you can eat your cracking tomatoes is by cutting them in half and looking at the inside. Your tomatoes should be healthy, red, and strong. If there is a strange odor or fuzz growing on the inside, toss the tomato out!
Why do my tomatoes split after picking? The majority of the time, tomatoes split before you pick them, however, they can split afterwards. If you place them in a hot and sunny area, the sun can essentially ‘cook’ or ‘fry’ the tomatoes, causing cracks and scars on the skin.
What to do With Split Tomatoes
So, what do you do with split tomatoes? Instead of wasting them, there are many things that you can do! Since they are mainly safe to eat, you can cut off the ‘cracks’ or ‘splits’ and cut them up. The tomatoes are delicious and colorful in a salad or as a side dish with a dash of salt!
If you don’t feel comfortable eating your split tomatoes, you can also throw them into your compost alongside any kitchen scraps and worms. The compost is a great fertilizer for your plants and the spit tomatoes aren’t wasted!
The nutrients and energy from the split tomato, goes back to your plants. You can make it into a liquid fertilizer with water or a soil-based fertilizer.
Can you cook split cherry tomatoes? Most of the time, yes! If the split is large, simply slice it off and start the process to cook the tomatoes. Some recipes call for peeling the skin of the tomato, but not all! This can be tricky since cherry tomatoes are so small.
The good thing about cooking split cherry tomatoes is that they can last a long time! There are recipes that you can use to make dipping sauces, red sauce, salsa, and more! Most of the time, the process includes boiling water.
Boiling water kills and burns off any harmful bacteria. This is the best option if you are looking for a safe way to eat and use tomatoes in food.
The Benefits of Eating Split Tomatoes
If you eat split tomatoes that are safe, there are many benefits. For one, you produce less waste. Tomatoes with splits also have various health benefits like:
- antioxidant lycopene
- Vitamin C and K
- Reduces heart disease risk
- Skin relief
You can also harvest seeds from tomatoes with cracks! Tomato seeds hardly harbor diseases and grow rather quickly. You can process the seeds by drying them on a towel, before using them in the soil.
Why do my tomatoes have splits in them?
Tomatoes can split and crack for many reasons. While it may be concerning at first to see large splits in your tomatoes, don’t be alarmed! Most of the time, tomatoes crack because you give them too much water or not enough water.
When tomatoes get too much water, they can bloat and expand quickly. If your tomato fruits are not used to receiving so much water quickly, they can expand and burst, causing scars and splits throughout the fruit.
Tomatoes can also split if you don’t give them enough water. The heat and high sun will essentially cook the tomato, causing cracking and splits. This is especially true if you start to water your tomato plant regularly after a high dry spell.
Can you cook split cherry tomatoes?
There are many ways you can cook split cherry tomatoes. Don’t let the size of a cherry tomato fool you, these small fruits are flavorful and have many benefits! Although they are hard to cut and peel, you can still cook split cherry tomatoes as long as they are healthy!
Why do my tomatoes split after picking?
Tomatoes usually split before you pick them, however, they can split afterwards. When you pick your tomatoes, always place them in a safe space away from the sun. Too much sun and heat can cause the pressure to build in a tomato, causing splits and cracks.
To prevent this, try and place your tomatoes in a cool area away from direct sunlight. The refrigerator is a great choice for preservation, although tomatoes do not need to be kept in the fridge.
How do you stop tomato fruit cracking?
There are many ways to stop tomato fruits from cracking. You can water your plants appropriately by creating a self watering system or add fertilizer so the tomato fruits continue to develop and grow.
The self watering system is easy to set up. You can use a water bottle that is empty and poke holes in the bottle cap. The water will slowly drip out in the amount necessary to keep the soil moist without overwatering it. This quick trick can save your tomatoes from cracking!
All in all, tomatoes are delicious fruits that are easy to manage and grow. While this is the case, there are things that get in the way of the fruit maturing, which includes splits and cracks. These splits and cracks form when the soil and root systems do not get enough water.
The best thing to do when you notice a tomato is cracking is to pick the tomato and bring it inside. If you leave the tomato outside with cracks, it can develop bacteria and mold. The faster you can pick a split tomato, the better chances you have of eating it!