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Why Are My Tomato Skins Tough – 4 Main Factors And Their Solutions

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We all know the love of homegrown tomatoes. Growing your fresh produce is such an empowering experience, but it can be tough when they’re covered with those pesky and unappetizing skin. That skin is difficult to bite and makes tomatoes tasteless.

You must have found yourself wondering: why are my tomato skins tough? What is a way around this? There are many solutions for getting rid of tough tomato skins without sacrificing their flavor or juicy core inside. We will explore some options below, so read on.

Why Are My Tomato Skins Tough
Tomato Plant via Maxpixel

Factors Affecting Tomato Skin

Tomatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables in the kitchens. It is easy to grow, and those reddish greens look beautiful on the foliage, so people love growing tomatoes in their backyard. However, they can develop callous skin if not cared for properly.

Here are the factors that have a significant impact on the outcome of your garden’s tomato produce. These include the following.

1. Tomato Variety

The first step in solving this problem is choosing an appropriate tomato plant for growing indoors or outdoors, depending on where you live.

Few varieties, i.e., Roma Tomatoes (plum) or the crack-resistant types, naturally have thick skins. There could be various reasons for their thick skins, including the plant’s genetics, low nutrient levels, etc.

Roma Tomatoes Why Are My Tomato Skins Tough
Roma Tomatoes via Pixabay

2. Scarce Watering

The tomato plant can survive when water is scarce. It conserves its resources and grow with thicker skins. The thicker skin helps hold more moisture in than normal fruit because of its protective barrier around the seeds or core item within itself.

3. High Temperature

With high heat, the skin on tomatoes can get thick. It is because these fruits need to be able to withstand sun-scalding to prevent them from burning while they’re still green. The thicker skin prevents burning the fruit and helps develop its flavor before ripening into red or yellow colors.

4. Plant Disease

Tomatoes are susceptible to several diseases that can cause them some pretty tough damage, causing their skin to become tough. Anthracnose and Curly Top Virus stand out as two examples.

  • Anthracnose

A tomato’s greatest enemy is the Anthracnose fungus. The delicate fruit of these plants is at risk for rot if infected by this pesky mold. However, you can prevent it with timely fungicide use or natural control measures like watering less often and allowing the soil to dry out between irrigation.

Colletotrichum coccodes causing anthracnose on tomato Why Are My Tomato Skins Tough
Colletotrichum coccodes causing anthracnose on tomato via Wikimedia
  • Curly Top Virus

Another cause of your tough tomato skin can be the curly top virus which affects the whole tomato plant. If you notice your tomatoes look sick, that means they have a curly top virus on them. As a result, the leaves can turn yellow or drop off completely.

If these symptoms show up before harvest time, then do what needs to be done right away. Because once those fruits start ripening, their skin gets tough with bitterness towards barn flavor. Unfortunately, this virus has no cure.

>> Related Post: What Animal Eats Tomato Plants – 8 Common Animals

Thick Skinned Tomato Benefits

The thick skin tomato varieties like plum tomatoes, Roma, beefsteak, etc., are beneficial in the following ways compared to the thin ones.

1. Easy To Preserve

Such varieties are preferred if you want to preserve your tomatoes as thicker skins help store longer. You can easily store thick skinned tomatoes for long periods by drying or canning them.

2. Prevent Spoilage

It means if you have an abundance of tomatoes, they’re going to be better preserved from spoilage by staying fresh for longer.

3. Protect Against Sun Burn

The thicker skins on your tomatoes will keep them from getting sunburned and soften as they ripen to make it easier for harvesting. So, if you live in a warm area, it is best to try out some thick skin tomatoes varieties.

4. Save Nutrients

The thicker skin tomatoes will not let the sun’s harmful rays penetrate through; hence, they will retain the nutrients in the fruit.

5. Easily Transported

A tough-skinned tomato is perfect for transporting. In the market, there are varieties of tomatoes with thicker skins that better protect themselves during transport than others.

Help Your Tomatoes Not Grow Thick Skin

Tomatoes with thick or tough skin might benefit, but they are not as delicious as thinner verities. So, if you want your new tomato field to grow with thin skins, take the following measures:

1. Give Enough Water

The best way to avoid your tomato plants growing with thick skin is by making sure that their garden gets enough water. Unfortunately, most newbie growers fall into one pitfall when caring about how often you should be watering.

Depending on the variety, you have to ensure daily, weekly, or monthly irrigation schedules. A lawn care professional can assist you in this regard, or you can reach out to our comment section for gardening-related queries.

2. Carefully Select The Tomato Variety

Roma tomatoes, plum tomatoes, and crack-resistant tomatoes have thick skins. On the other hand, most of the heirloom tomatoes have thin skin, such as Black Krim and Cherokee Purple. You can select one based on your preference.

3. Avoid High Temperatures

High temperatures are not always good news when growing summer vegetables like tomatoes. But there may be some relief coming your way if you take care of them properly. To avoid thick, porky tomatoes on your plate at dinner time, provide some shade for the plants during hot periods.

4. Prevent From Diseases

Diseases like Anthracnose put your tomato plant at the risk of growing tough skins. To avoid such diseases, make sure plants don’t get too much water from overhead. Instead of using a sprinkler to water the plant, use a drip irrigation system or hose to rinse the plant’s base.


Hopefully, now you know why your tomatoes have tough skins and what you can do about it. In addition to this, you have some clever ideas for what to do with tomatoes whose skins are too thick for raw consumption.

  • Less watering, high temperature, and certain viruses cause tomatoes’ skin to become tough.
  • It depends on the tomato variety, whether it has naturally thick or thin skin.

You can avoid tough skin tomatoes by carefully considering the solutions mentioned above in this article. Leave your feedback below if you have questions or suggestions!