Gardening Magazine

Tomato Splits

By Chooksandroots @chooksandroots

You may recall we had ‘tomato-gate’ earlier in the year, where the other half took it upon himself to whip out the stems in the ‘v’. Since then, he’s become a veritable tomato expert, and takes care of all the watering, pruning and feeding of our crop. If he’s nowhere to be seen, it’s always worth a check in the old greenhouse: more often than not he’ll be lying horizontal along the path in there, snipping off the lower leaves to let the fruits have a bit more light.

Although why he’s taken on our tomato crop is still a slight mystery. The tomatoes are romping along, but he  doesn’t actually eat them. Slight amendment – he forces a couple down with a salad now, just so he can taste the benefits of all his hard work, but I’m not convinced there’s any chewing action going on just yet


There are three varieties we’re growing:  Gardener’s Delight and Sungold for eating and Roma for cooking.

We noticed recently that a few of the fruits were splitting. If  you catch them in time this isn’t a problem – just cut them along the split before serving, and Hey Presto – who’d know the difference? Left a little longer however and they can go a bit mushy around the split. Those ones have gone to the chickens, and Winnie, Maud and Mildred LOVE them!

Split tomato

Apparently the splitting can happen when your watering’s a bit hit and miss. They like a constant amount of water, at regular intervals. If you give them loads then a little bit, then loads again, this can cause them to keep sucking up the water on the inside, and split through the skin.  Apparently.

I’m not convinced. Being a Virgo, the other half has been meticulous in his watering. Some of the plants are even drip fed by an irrigation system hanging in the greenhouse.

We’ve also read that splitting can be avoided by harvesting the tomatoes just before they ripen, and finish them off inside. That looks like a plan: from now on, we’re going to check every day for potential splittage, and bring them all in a touch early.

Our crops look to be bumper, so I think my ‘Cooking with Tomatoes’ book will be out before very long.

Bon appetit!

Bumper crops

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