Here’s one thing that a lot of gardeners tend to take for granted – tough tomato skin. They are excited to harvest their bountiful produce only to find out the tomatoes have thick skins. In this post, we will tackle what causes tough tomato skin. These factors are pretty much easy to deal with, so you won’t have a hard time.
The thicker the tomato skin is, the less succulent its texture is. While there are people who really intended to make their tomatoes’ skin tough, there are those who are simply clueless about this. That said, continue reading and learn them all.
Causes of Thick Tomato Skins
There are fundamentally three factors behind a tomato producing thick skin. Here are the things you should pay attention to:
It seems high heat is really not the friendly factor for tomatoes. Remember how high temperatures produces yellow shoulders on tomatoes? Not only can it cause that disease, but high heat can also cause tough tomato skins.
Read more: Controlling Yellow Shoulder on Tomatoes
1. How temperature makes tomatoes have thick skin
Think of it as some sort of a defense mechanism or the tomato plant’s version of an immune system that fights for its survival. When you put the plant under extreme heat, say a hot afternoon, the fruit then is exposed to high risks of being scalded due to overexposure to direct hot sunlight.
To prevent the fruit from being scalded by the sun, the plant begins to make the skin tougher in an effort to resist the high heat. This is the plant’s ‘defense mechanism’ to prevent itself from burning.
2. Cover your tomato plants
How to protect tomato plants from extreme heat? There are some solutions you can apply today. First of which is covering your tomato plants.
If your tomato crops are grown outside, then you need to provide them shade whenever necessary. There are multiple ways to create a suitable cover that’ll protect your tomatoes from the sun above. While they mostly need healthy sun rays early in the morning, the afternoon’s heat from the sun is surely damaging.
If you already have an abundant crop outside, then you need to make efforts in covering them especially in a sudden heat wave. You also need to monitor your local weather conditions and monitor the hottest times in your area.
Read more: Growing Tomatoes Indoors
3. Plant tomatoes indoors
If you have no time to attend to your garden on a regular basis, a great alternative is to plant your tomatoes indoors. There are actually lots of ways to grow tomatoes without having to plant them outdoors. Hanging tomato gardens and planting them in pots inside are just a few of the things you can do to protect them from overexposure.
Read more: Planting Tomatoes in Pots
Read more: Hanging Tomatoes Plants
Not Enough Water
Plants need water for survival. Underwatering forces them to develop a thick skin. You can consider this as another means of the plant’s defense mechanism. Underwatering deprives your tomatoes the right nutrients that they can only get from water.
Consequently, the tomato plant will do efforts to preserve the little water it has. One thing it does is thicken its skin so it can hold the water and conserve it in the process.
1. Water your plants
There’s only one solution – that is to make sure your tomato plants are getting enough water to thrive. You are free to try different ways providing your plants water especially if you are not available on a regular basis. Sprinkler systems or a basically watering them yourself on routine makes all the difference.
Watch out for the driest seasons. Check your local weather conditions and adhere to the water needs of your plants. They may need more watering on particular seasons like summer or when there’s a prolonged drought in your area. Bottom line – simply make sure your tomatoes get the right amount of water and you can expect the fruit to maintain its thin skin.
You’ve made sure your plants don’t get sun damage as well as diligently watered them on a regular basis. And now you’re starting to wonder why your produce still has thick skin. This might be the time to consider the third factor of tough tomato skin – variety.
Your variety could be designed that way in the first place. Some tomatoes simply have thicker skins. Plum tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, and crack resistant tomato varieties all have thick tomato skins, naturally. The simple reason why these varieties have thick skin is that they are simply bred that way.
Read more: Different Type of Tomatoes
1. Crack resistant tomato
Multiple crack resistant tomatoes are bred to have tough skins. These varieties are less likely to crack, hence the name.
2. Plum and Roma Tomatoes
Plum tomatoes and Roma tomatoes for instance are usually utilized for drying and canning products. Tough tomato skins can hold together better when they are dried. Thick tomato skins are more convenient to remove in canning. Further, their tough or thick skin is what makes them ideal for preserving processes.
Read more: Roma Tomatoes – What You Need to Know
How to Prevent Tough Tomato Skin
1. Conducive environment
Nothing makes any plant thrive than a good growing condition in the first place. Make sure the area has just the right amount of sunlight. Further, make sure the soil’s pH level is monitored.
- Try adding some gypsum if pH levels don’t need to be changed
- Add some lime if your soil test suggests so. Lime contains calcium that strengthens the tomato’s cells.
- Do further research on how to grow tomatoes well.
2. Right watering
You already know that consistent watering makes a big difference. Provide your plants with consistent water and they’ll turn out pretty fine.
Under-fertilized tomatoes can also be a factor that contributes to thick skin. It’s common knowledge how fertilized tomatoes make the best harvest. Otherwise, their tissues will tend to be tougher consequently resulting in thick skin.
Read more: Best Fertilizer for Tomatoes
How to cook tough skin tomatoes
While you’re at it, here are some tips on how to make the most of your tomatoes with tough skins. It’s not actually a bad thing and actually comes with advantages.
Make the skin slip off easily by pouring boiling water into a bowl with tomatoes. Wait until they’re cool enough for you to handle. You can expect the skin to slip off as easily as skinning a boiled egg. After which you can make a great sauce no skin in.
Tomatoes do best with proper growing care and dedicated effort in your part. So what causes tough tomato skin can be summed up in three simple terms: temperature, watering, and variety.
First, you need to make sure your tomatoes don’t get too much sun exposure. Second, ensure they have enough water to consume. Ultimately, simply check the variety of your tomato as it may simply be bred that way.