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Odd Tomato Scarring. Anyone know what this is?? Help!

Hi my names Kurt,

I'm a 26 year old guy and a pretty amateurish gardener, this is my second year growing plants. Have tomatos mostly but trying to get my watermelons, cucumbers, and sunflowers to grow. I do enjoy gardening as something to do on the side.

BUT to my issue.. My tomato plants were growing their fruit and I started to notice odd splitting and deep gauges. Does anyone know what this is? Is it a fungal or a parasite problem? Is it safe to eat? I cut into one and the inside flesh seems fine and un touched. Just the outside where these scars are. They are planted outside in a bed by the side of the house. I live in Las Vegas so it has been getting pretty warm now this time of year about 105+ almost daily now. I water them daily as well. Should I not?

I really appreciate your replys and opinions!
Wierd Tomato Scaring.jpg

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Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:03 pm
Location: Southern California Desert

The cracking isn't odd or unusual, and some varieties are more prone to cracking than others. It can happen when there is minimal leaf cover on the plant, and high temperatures and too much direct sun during the day, and it also happens from uneven watering. Usually, too much water following not enough water. The interior sucks up all the water and the skin can't stretch fast enough. You want to make sure you're watering on a regular schedule, and in desert heat, that might be twice a day. Check the moisture of the soil about two inches below the surface. And use a heavy mulch to help retain the moisture between watering. You don't want them to be in a puddle, but you don't want them to dry out between waterings.

They're safe to eat, just cut out the scarred part. They wont keep long, and the cracks invite rotting, so eat those first.

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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

This is a typical skin-deep concentric splitting caused by drying then overwatering. It's safe to eat as long as you harvest before mold gets in. Just trim off the scar and adjacent flesh with a sharp knife.

Some varieties are more prone to this effect. What variety is this one? If this is prone to splitting, it's best to harvest when fruit has turned from green to light color if there is excessive rain expected or you are going to water a lot to avoid splitting. Also harvest already split skinned ones to prevent insects like fruit flies and mold from getting in. You can ripen them inside at room temperature.

Whether you should be watering every day depends on if you are growing in containers vs. ground.

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Planted in a bed by the house, sounds like in the ground. If so, then no you don't want to water every day, even in that heat. Water deeply when you water and mulch well to help hold the moisture in. But be aware lots of tomato varieties quit producing when it gets that hot.

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