Monday, March 1, 2010

How to Prevent Cracking in Vegetables in your Home Garden

We have all been there before. A nice tomato is getting ripe, red to the point where it looks almost too perfect. You think to yourself that you will give the tomato just one more day on the vine and low and behold when you go back, it has a huge crack in it. Cracking is a common condition in tomatoes, celery and rhubarb which is either caused by the changes in soil moisture of a deficiency in certain soil elements. Here are some ideas you can try to help prevent this issue from occurring.

Start by taking a pH level reading of your soil. I can not mention this enough. The pH level of your soil is very important and you can get a test kit from your local home or garden center for just a few bucks. Get your soil in the 6.5 to 7.5 range for most fruits and vegetables. The few bucks that you spend on the kit will be well worth the money.

Give your garden a good mulch, hopefully with some quality compost that you created. Mulching helps regulate the soil moisture. By using compost as your mulch not only are you regulating the moisture by you are adding much needed nutrients to the soil over a slow release.

When your fruits and vegetables are ripe do not wait any longer go ahead and pick them. Sure letting them grow a day or two longer will help retain a lot of the flavor, but if your garden is susceptible to cracking don’t chance it.

As a side note there a number of genetically engineered tomatoes specifically created to reduce cracking as well as many other diseases and susceptibility to garden pests. If cracking or idea problems persist in ytour home vegetable garden, you may want to give a few of these types of seeds a try.

Cracking is very common and we have all been victims of it at one time or another in our vegetable gardening adventures. However, it does not have to ruin your entire growing season. Follow these ideas and you will greatly reduce the chances of cracking occurring in your home vegetable garden.

About the Author
Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC is the exclusive home of the seeds of the month club where you can sign up and receive 4 packs of vegetable, fruit and herb seeds every month.

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