Tomato cracks occur when the skin of the tomato splits open, often turning a yellow or brown color. They tend to make your once-beautiful tomatoes look pretty unappetizing.
In a popular video, one Instagram user revealed why this happens — and how to avoid it with a simple hack.
Instagrammer Noah Young (@theshilohfarm) is a self-described “advocate for agriculture” who shares his gardening knowledge on Instagram and in his podcast.
In a reel, he explains that tomato cracks usually occur when the moisture levels in the soil change quickly.
“The fruit expands faster than the skin is able to grow,” Young explains.
To avoid this, he recommends digging an inch and a half into the dirt by the base of the plant to test it before watering, which you can easily estimate using your thumb. For the average adult, the distance between the top knuckle to the tip of your thumb is approximately an inch.
If you dig deep and find that the soil is still moist, then you shouldn’t water your tomato plant — it has plenty of water already.
Young also mentioned a second tip in case the hack wasn’t yielding results.
“If you are still having a problem, pick your fruit when it’s a little green and it will ripen on the counter,” he says.
How it’s helping
Splitting tomatoes isn’t the worst thing to happen to your homegrown produce, but it does make it easier for them to go bad quickly — and it makes them visually unappealing.
However, trying out these hacks is a much better option than just giving up tomato gardening.
Growing your produce can save you money at the grocery store and might even encourage you to eat some extra veggies — if they’re already sitting in your kitchen freshly harvested, they make for an incredibly convenient snack.
Plus, fresh fruits and veggies tend to taste better and help to fight food waste. Produce straight from the garden lasts longer because it hasn’t been transported anywhere except to your kitchen.
Meanwhile, approximately one-third of the food in the U.S. is thrown out each year, sometimes simply because of the way it looks or because it didn’t make it to the grocery store shelves quickly enough.
Not only that, but picking tomatoes from your garden avoids extra plastic packaging. Around 40 million tons of plastic ends up in landfills each year in the US, so cutting back on any of that waste can make a difference.
What everyone’s saying
Commenters were grateful for the hack.
“I wondered why this kept happening,” pondered one, while another wrote, “Solid info, I appreciate it!”
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