Friday, July 13, 2012

Heavy Rain Causes Tomatoes to Split

If you walk into the garden today to find many of your tomatoes have split open, don't blame it on Friday the 13th. Instead blame the recent heavy rainfall.

When heavy rain follows hot, dry weather one immediate effect is fruit splitting. This is especially common in tomatoes, which may burst their sides or develop cracks near the stem end as a result of absorbing more water than the fruit can hold. Cracked or split fruit should be pulled from the vine as soon as possible, since they will quickly rot. Cracked fruit are still edible if harvested immediately, before fruit rotting diseases set in. Throw out or compost fruits that ooze liquid or have a sour smell.

Both ripe and unripe melons are also prone to splitting following heavy rain, as are peaches and figs. These are rarely salvageable and should be pulled from the vine or tree and composted. Keeping plants watered during dry spells and mulching to conserve soil moisture can help reduce rain induced fruit splitting.

Learn More!
If you have questions about garden problems, contact your local Extension office. If you live in Pender County, call 259-1235. In New Hanover County, call 798-7660. In Brunswick County call 253-2610, or visit where you can post your questions to be answered via the ‘Ask an Expert’ widget.

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