Now that your tomatoes are ripening, you may have noticed splitting or cracking at the top. Welcome to Texas! Cracking tomatoes can be a common occurrence in North Texas gardens. There are several things that cause this damage including our weather, moisture level, too much nitrogen, and of course plant choice.
First, try to avoid tomatoes varieties that produce fruit over 10oz. Second, focus on consistent moisture levels. The most efficient way to water is with an irrigation system. It makes no difference whether you use a soaker hose or drip system. You could use a watering can if you keep it consistent. Applying a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch around the plant will help retain moisture and keep the soil cooler in the heat. Cedar mulch works well and it is a natural insect repellant. Keeping moisture levels consistent during the life of the plant will improve your odds of a successful harvest. It is not uncommon for the temperature to be 85 degrees on Monday and 100 degrees on Saturday. There is just not much we can do about Mother Nature. Hanging shade cloth will help some, as will thinning the foliage of the plant. Click here for more tomato tips.