So these folks come in the store and tell me that their tomatoes are cracking. I welcome them to Texas and let them know that cracking tomatoes can be a common occurrence in our gardens. There are several things that cause this damage including picking the right type of tomato, moisture level, too much nitrogen and of course our weather.
I try to avoid the tomatoes that produce fruit over 10oz. We need to 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. I find 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 to be at 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. Stay tuned for on tomato pruning in upcoming Wells Bros. newsletters.
For more information on cracking tomatoes, please visit the Texas A&M AgriLife website.