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Location: N. Texas

What Causes Rings and Split Skin on Tomatoes?

Anyone have a clue what could be causing my tomatos to look like this?


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Senior Member
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:52 am
Location: North Georgia

From what I've read, this is called 'concentric cracking.' It appears to be caused by either too much water following too little
water; very fast growth with high temperature and moisture; or a large difference between day and night temperatures.
Basically, either heat or rapid growth is causing the inside of the fruit to expand faster than the outside can, resulting in the
skin being split.

The rest of the fruit is still edible, once you cut away the affected parts.

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I'm in N. Texas and we've had tons of rain the last 6 weeks or so. That really explains it. Thanks.

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Location: Scottish Borders

Hi Roger,

When I grew outdoor tomatoes in Australia for the first time I had a few split skins due to irregular watering but they tended to split lengthways.

These tomatoes seem a wee bit strange in the almost perfect circular incisions around the stem. Is that just due to their exposure in the garden maybe? Definitely not an insect?



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Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 12:30 pm
Location: PA, USA

Growth cracks occur as a result of the rapid growth stimulated by wet weather following a dry period. Two types of growth cracks affect the stem end of tomatoes: concentric and radial. Concentric cracking produces circular cracks around the stem end of the fruit. Radial cracks spread outward from the stem scar.
In essence they are the same phenomena. The plant accepts large amounts of water (tomatoes are very thirsty) and the internal soft pulp expands. The out skin is slower to expand so, when a dry spell follows the pulp continues to expand whilst the skin remains static. This results in cracking. It is ugly but doesn't affect the flavor or edibility of the tomatoes.
It looks like you've picked these puppies so eat away but be aware that fungi may invade a cracked skin in later fruit. It always pays to monitor your plants.
Like blossom end rot, smaller fruiting plants experience this problem less. there is no hybrid that will prevent this ( I may be wrong) so maintaining a constant moisture availability for your palnts is essential

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Re: What is causing this?

this is due to irregular watering

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Location: Middle Georgia USA

they still taste good so don't throw em away
just thought I should mention that.

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