Your tomatoes are splitting because you’re an a**hole

cherry tomatoes -

Clockwise from top: Pearly Pink, Fox Cherry and Supersweet 100

I love to grow cherry tomatoes.  But they would perplex me every year.  Within minutes of picking them, I would have half a basket of split tomatoes.

So when the old timer up the road ordered me to get up to his house to test his homemade wine, I made a mental note to pick his brain about the tomato tumult.

In between sips of what I can only describe as a cross between grape juice and gasoline, I asked him about the splitting tomatoes.

“Well, how do you pick the damn things?” he asked with a purple-tinted sneer.

I gave him a confused look and said, “I pull them off the vine?”

“You’re cherry tomatoes are splitting because you’re an a**hole.  You need to cut them off the vine and leave a little bit of the stem,” he snipped back at me.  “You’ll ain’t get none of those splitted-up tomatoes if you do it the right way.”

“Thank goodness the mason jar of gasoline wine that he drank softened up his demeanor a little bit,” I grumbled in my head.

“Take this home to your husband,” he ordered me, shoving a milk jug full of “wine” into my hands.

I trotted home and picked a basket full of cherry tomatoes, just like he told me to and not one of them split!  Mystery solved.  I’ll have to thank him for the advice, but I don’t have the heart to tell him I stopped and dumped out his “cabernet” on the side of the road.

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