Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Tomato fruit splitting (164)

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  • Worldwide distribution. Tomato. Not a disease, a physiological disorder that occurs when water supplies or temperature change suddenly.
  • There are two reasons for the disorder: (i) cracks start in dry weather, and then when water arrives fruits fill and burst; or (ii) water arrives, and the inside of the fruit grows faster than the skin. Usually, the splitting happens near harvest.
  • Cultural control: ensure adequate nutrition, but not excessive amount of N; water plants regularly during dry times; apply a thick mulch to keep soil moist; harvest early and ripen in warm, dark place; test different varieties – those bred in recent years show greater resistance.
Common Name

Tomato fruit slitting, tomato fruit cracking

Scientific Name

This is not a disease; it is a physiological disorder.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from NC Cooperative Extension (2020) What causes tomatoes to crack? ( Photo 1 Royal Society of Horticulture. (

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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