How do I grow thinner skin tomatoes?

Tomato skin thickness is something most gardeners don’t think about — until their tomatoes have thick skins that detract from the succulent texture of the tomato. Is it impossible to avoid rough tomato skins? Or can you take efforts to make your tomato skins a bit less tough?

What Makes Tomatoes Have Thick Skin?

There are typically three things that can cause tomatoes with tough skins. These are the items:

  • Variety
  • Watering
  • Temperature

Tomato Variety Causes Tough Tomato Skin

The most prevalent cause of thick tomato skins is simply a lack of variation. Certain tomato types just have thicker skins, and for good reason. Roma tomatoes, plum tomatoes, and crack resistant tomato varieties will naturally have thick tomato skins.

Roma and plum tomatoes have thick skins in part because they were bred that way. Roma and plum tomatoes are popular for canning and drying. Tomato skins that are thick or rough aid in the preservation process. Thick tomato skins are easier to remove when canning and thick, tough tomato skins also hold together better when dried.

Crack resistant tomato varieties have also been bred to have tough tomato skins. The thick skin of the tomatoes makes them less prone to cracking.

Under Watering Affects Tomato Skin Thickness

When tomato plants get little water, they might produce tomato fruit with thick skins. This is a survival response on the part of the tomato plant. When the tomato plant has continually too little water, it will take steps to conserve the water it does get. Growing tomatoes with thicker skins is one method a tomato plant conserves water. The thick skin of the tomatoes helps to keep water in.

One way to avoid your tomato plants growing thick skinned tomatoes is to make sure that your garden’s getting enough water, particularly during times of prolonged drought. Watering tomatoes properly will help thin-skinned tomatoes retain their thin skin.

High Temperatures Makes Tomatoes Have Thick Skin

Tomato plants with thick skin may also be caused by high heat. In high heat, tomato fruit can be scalded by the sun. In order to prevent sunscald on the tomato fruit, the tomato plants will start to produce tomatoes with tougher skins. Tough tomato skins are less prone to scorch in the hot sun.

If you have a sudden heat wave and want to avoid thick tomato skins, you may give some shade for your tomato plants during the warmest parts of the day to prevent them from producing thick skin tomato fruit.

If you live in an area where high heat is just a fact of life, you may actually want to seek out thick skin tomato varieties. Although your tomato skins will be thicker, your tomato plant will produce more fruit and you will be less likely to lose tomato fruit due to sun damage.

Related Questions

  • What causes thick skin tomatoes?

    Typically, there are three reasons that cause tomatoes to develop tough skins ‘ their variety, lack of watering and high temperatures. The most prevalent cause of thick skinned fruit is tomato variety.

  • Which tomatoes have thin skins?

    Each cherry tomato is three-quarters of an inch wide, with soft, thin skin and a sweet, rich tomato taste.

  • What does magnesium deficiency in tomatoes look like?

    Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms in Tomato Plants
    The main sign of a magnesium deficiency is yellow leaves with distinct green veins – a phenomenon known as ‘interveinal chlorosis’. Magnesium is a key ingredient that drives chlorophyll synthesis, hence the leaves are chlorophyll-free.

  • What are thick skinned tomato varieties?

    Paste or Plum Varieties
    “Roma VFA,” “Amish Paste” and “Super Marzano” are all outstanding paste tomatoes, descended from the heirlooms but with improved disease resistance and taste. These deep red individuals have a high pectin content, making them ideal for naturally rich and creamy Italian sauces.

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