Tomato farming in Kenya is a common practice among many farmers. This is because everyone loves tomatoes. They are great in cooking, salads and sauces and even make a great gift. However, with these beautiful and tasty beauties comes a problem. Sometimes, right in the middle of thinking everything is alright with your tomatoes, you will find splitting tomatoes or tomato cracking. Farmers in Kenya have made losses through tomato cracking and we want to help you prevent it.
What causes tomatoes to split?
Fluctuation of temperatures sometimes can cause problems for newly growing tomato transplants. It is therefore very crucial to mulch your plants, either with organic mulch such as straws, wood chips or plastic. The mulch will conserve water and also prevent disease from spreading. When it comes to mulch and tomatoes, plastic mulch has shown to be the best mulch to help prevent tomato cracking. Sometimes, if you have a lot of rain after a spell of really dry weather, you’ll find splitting tomatoes on your tomato plants. A split tomato problem is really caused by lack of water. If you take away water, the tomatoes cannot stay lush and juicy, and the skin will crack just as your skin cracks if you do not have enough moisture. And when the tomatoes receive a large amount of water quickly after this, they fill with water and the skin bursts at the cracks like an overfilled water balloon.
How to Prevent Tomato Cracking
This cracking problem in tomato is more than just an aesthetic problem. You will realize that through these cracks bacteria and fungus can be introduced into the fruit and cause them to rot or provide an easy access to pests. For you to prevent splitting in tomatoes, you will have to water your tomato plants once a week with about 1-2 inches of water. To keep tomato cracking to a minimum, be sure to keep your tomato plants watered evenly on a regular basis. Protect them from a severe drought in your absence by setting up a watering system on a timer. This way you can water your farm when you aren’t home to do it and you won’t have to deal with severe tomato cracking. It’s as easy as that to solve a split tomato problem. Finally, be sure to fertilize your tomatoes according to the instructions on your tomato fertilizer. Fertilizer or manure is important to keep the soil healthy enough to help your plants produce as many tomatoes as possible. If you follow these rules, soon enough you will have plenty of unsplit tomatoes to enjoy and to sell.