Often, summer residents are faced with such a problem as cracks on the surface of tomatoes. As a result, vegetables become unsuitable for long-term storage. This is usually the result of mistakes made when cultivating tomatoes.
For the correct formation of a tomato bush, gardeners thin out the green mass, which draws out the lion's share of nutrients from the plant, inhibiting the development of fruits. But if you remove a lot of leaves, it will cause an uneven distribution of moisture from the soil. As a result, tomatoes crack from an excess of liquid.
It is recommended to cut no more than 4 leaves per week from the bottom of the stem.
Seasonal feeding of the crop with concentrated formulations without observing the dosage leads to chemical burns or intensive plant growth, which causes cracks.
Greenhouse tomatoes require less saturated solutions, because in conditions of high humidity, nutrients are absorbed much more actively. But the rate of assimilation is the same, which negatively affects the fruits.
Lack of nutrients is very dangerous for the crop. In plants that do not have enough feeding, the fruits are small and deformed, and the green mass turns yellow and withers.
Hot weather and lack of timely irrigation will slow down fruit development. And an attempt to correct the situation by introducing large portions of water or falling out of a significant amount of precipitation will provoke accelerated growth. The skin will not have time to adapt to changing conditions and will crack.
The flooding of the beds also negatively affects. An excess of liquid bursts the tomatoes from the inside.
If the culture grows in a greenhouse environment, then it must be remembered that watering is carried out there more often, because the soil dries out faster.
The manipulation of stalk piercing with copper wire to protect against late blight is highly controversial. The effectiveness of such an agrotechnical measure is still not scientifically proven.
But this definitely leads to cracks.
The normal development of tomatoes provides for a daily temperature rate of +25 degrees. If an abnormal warming comes to the region, then the air can warm up to 35 degrees. This jump slows down the development of the fruit, making the skin denser.
When weather conditions return to normal limits, the skin no longer stretches as before, and the increasing internal pressure causes cracking.
Smallpox (or netting) of tomatoes causes shallow cracks that resemble circular skin stretch marks.
Usually these insignificant deformations heal quickly. The main cause of the disease is varietal predisposition.
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According to the calendar, spring is already dominating with might and main, but in fact winter does not recede, surprising with frost and flying snow. When examining the overwintered garden in early spring, the conscientious owner of the personal plot will first of all pay attention to the condition of fruit trees and shrubs. It is no secret that overwintering woody plants, pretreated, trimmed and prepared for wintering, are subject to natural changes that do not depend on the presence of autumn sanitation. On examination, one can find breaks and cracks in the bark and branches, gnawed trunks of young plantations, sunburns of bare tree bark.
Cracked skin is not a sign of illness. This is a cosmetic defect that spoils the appearance of a ripening vegetable. As a result, the tomato becomes substandard, its price on the market is significantly reduced. In addition to losses for farmers, cracks in tomatoes also pose a serious threat to the rest of the crop.
If a deep crack appears on the skin, such a tomato must be plucked from the bush. If the crack is quickly healed with a rough brown crust, the tomato will continue to grow and pour without losing its shape and flavor. It is not necessary to pick such tomatoes, they are even allowed to be used for conservation in the future.
It is necessary to start fighting top rot on tomatoes from the moment they are sown. Correctly carried out prevention will help to avoid this trouble. First, varieties of tomatoes are selected that are resistant to top rot. The seeds are soaked in a weak solution of potassium permanganate or copper sulfate.
Then, before planting the seeds in the hole, a little of one of these substances is added:
If there is ash in the area, about half a glass of this substance is added to each well. Mulching the soil is useful for tomatoes, and watering is best done in the evening to better absorb moisture.
Tomatoes should be regularly watered, but in no case should they be poured. Otherwise, from exaggeration of moisture, tomatoes will grow watery and tasteless. Excessive watering leads to the fact that the skin cracks, and the fruit begins to rot.
Prevention consists in reducing the risk of contamination of cherries through cracks that have appeared on them. Here are some simple guidelines to help you avoid cracking cherries:
To avoid cracks, a special solution should be applied to the barrel every year: 2-3 kg of ash, 50 g of soap to dissolve in 10 liters of hot water. Lubricate the tree well with a rag. It is necessary to process the trunk with this tool in spring, autumn. This procedure nourishes the tree and disinfects the bark.
When the cherry is cracked, it must be treated immediately. Otherwise, the tree may die or bear fruit poorly, the ripening of berries will slow down. It is very important to engage in the prevention of cracking in order to avoid problems with the plant in the future.
High soil moisture reduces the elasticity of the tomato skins. Because of this low elongation, the fruit will form many small cracks when it grows rapidly in size and develops rapidly. So far they are small, but later they transform into noticeable cracks. In conditions of low soil moisture, the elasticity of the skin increases. As a result, plants grow more slowly and have fewer fine cracks. Such changes usually occur with irregular watering. Cracking of tomatoes is typical for prolonged wet weather or over-watering, as water penetrates into the fruit through these small cracks.
In a greenhouse, over-watering increases the manifestation of radical cracking.
The anatomical features of crack-sensitive varieties are as follows:
Cultivation techniques that result in uniform and relatively slow fruit growth, such as constant soil moisture, help protect tomatoes from cracking.
Greenhouse growers should maintain a minimum difference between daytime nighttime temperatures and increase the temperature gradually from nighttime to daytime.
The use of crack-resistant varieties and the elimination of excessive fluctuations in the water supply to the plants minimizes losses due to this disturbance.
Cracking of tomato fruits occurs with uneven growth, especially too fast after a temporary slowdown. There are great varietal differences here. Small-chambered fruits are more sensitive than multi-chambered fruits, with a smooth surface than slightly ribbed ones. Less cracking is observed in fruits with low color intensity before ripening.
Fruit cracking is most often associated with temperature fluctuations, uneven water supply (due to lack of water in the substrate, salinity of the substrate and the removal of a large number of leaves on sunny days after sunny days), excessive exposure to sunlight on fruits (especially on open fruits of the upper brushes) and sensitivity varieties.
The availability of calcium can have a significant impact on minimizing cracking losses.
High root pressure also contributes to the cracking of tomatoes.
High temperatures and additional irrigation rates stimulate increased root activity. Only in this way the plant can strongly evaporate moisture and cool itself. When the weather changes dramatically, plants take time to adapt to new conditions. The roots are still active and absorb a lot of water, which goes to the warm fruit. The tough skin of the fruit is especially sensitive to stress at this point.
Fruit fogging is a sign of high relative humidity and low plant temperatures. When the temperature of the plants is low, the evaporation process diminishes. At high root pressure, the plant is pumped with water, and evaporation does not occur, then the incoming water is directed to the fruits, putting pressure on the skin. The fruit, which is cold in the morning, also fogs up very quickly and becomes dirty during harvesting.
The problem is caused by very high or very low temperatures during flower formation or fruit setting, or any disturbance in the parts of the flower. May also be caused by chemical damage.
In greenhouse conditions in the winter-spring period, such disturbances are associated with hypothermia of tissues during the laying of a flower. In this case, large double flowers are formed, giving curl oval shapes (in contrast to the round ovary of a normal fruit).
The double flower is the first in the brush - it is recommended to remove such flowers without waiting for the fruit to start growing, since the fruit will be of poor quality, and will also strongly dominate and delay the development of other fruits in the brush.
The growing ovary of the fetus is out of shape. Non-standard fruits should be removed earlier. With abnormal development of flowers in cold or hot weather, cracks form at the base of the fruit, through which the seed chambers are visible.
In practice, irrigation and nutrition are seen as the causes of many problems, often unreasonably. Watering and nutrition are important, but a good microclimate in the greenhouse allows the crop to absorb water and nutrients.
What is a good greenhouse climate? This is a daytime microclimate, since it is during the day that photosynthesis and accumulation of primary photoassimilates take place.
How to avoid tomato cracking problems?
Maintain high calcium levels. Provide good shade for the fruit in hot weather. Harvest at the earliest stages of maturity.
One of the possible ways to solve the problem in generative plants is to leave an extra stepson with leaves several times.
On heavy vegetative plants, leave at least 18 leaves per bush, and on less heavy plants, leave 20 leaves.
To prevent cracking of the skin of the fruit, a good plant-to-fruit ratio is important: a small number of fruits and a well-developed plant are prerequisites for the formation of large, rapidly growing fruits.
Too high a load on fruits leads to a weakening of the growth of leaves and causes insufficient protection of the fruits from the sun. Too many fruits should not be removed in a short period, so as not to create a sharp decrease in the load on the plant and not to provoke vegetative growth.
Root pressure should not be allowed to rise in the early morning hours. Do not start watering too early - no earlier than 07.30 hours. On a cloudy day, after several sunny days, it is better to start watering 1 hour later. With abrupt transitions from clear to cloudy weather, you should not start watering earlier than 10.00 in the morning.
It is necessary to ensure that by the beginning of watering the plants begin the process of evaporation - this reduces the turgor of the fruit tissues. On sunny days in summer, watering should be completed at 19.00-19.30 hours, on cloudy and rainy days - earlier.
In greenhouses, don't let temperatures get too cold during cloudy weather.
After a change of weather, plants recover within a few days. When they adapt to weather conditions, the problem of cracking the fruit ceases to exist.
Morning adaptation of the air temperature in the greenhouse is necessary so that the tops of the plants do not become too cold in relation to the temperature of the roots. A too cold top of the plant can cause the plant to go out of balance.
In warm weather, to create a favorable microclimate around the plant, it is better to leave more leaves. This has a beneficial effect on plant growth. More leaves also have a positive effect on the quality of tomatoes.
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