How To Grow Tomatoes Upside Down

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All you will need is a 5-gallon bucket with a handle.


First drill a hole in the bottom of the bucket for the tomato plant. Generally a inch hole works well. Plant your tomato plant in the hole and secure it using a coffee filter or a piece of a peat pot, as shown in this video here. When it is ready, you can use the bucket handle to hang your planter. Five-gallon buckets are really heavy when filled with wet soil, so be sure to select a sturdy plant hook and secure it with heavy-duty fasteners to a post or wall.

Whether you create your own or purchase a commercially made upside down tomato hanger you will want to use good soil. Choose a nutrient-rich soil like potting soil.

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Since having even moisture is important for keeping your tomato plants healthy, it is a good idea to add a little mulch or peat moss to your top soil before using it. Fertilizer will help to replenish the nutrients that your tomatoes remove from the soil, so fertilize regularly. Since nutrient depletion can occur quickly in areas where tomatoes are grown, replace the soil each year before planting a new tomato plant.

Some varieties of tomatoes grow better upside down than others.

Does Growing Tomatoes Upside Down Produce a Good Crop?

Generally you will find that patio and container varieties of tomatoes work best since these plants can thrive with limited growing space and soil. In general patio varieties and those with small fruit are a great choice. Here are a few varieties to try. Your location will determine the success of your upside down planter. Tomatoes need lots of light, so choose a very sunny area to hang them, that gets at least 8 hours of sun a day.

You will also want to choose a location where you will be able to frequently water your plants. The soil should be kept evenly moist. During hot weather you may need to water them daily or even twice daily. Curbly has some great DIY upside down tomato planter instructions, if you want to do it yourself. Old Fashioned Living has another do it yourself bucket approach to tomatoes.

Tips for Growing Tomatoes Upside Down

Wired has a wiki about DIY upside down tomato planters. It appears as if some of the text on your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too? Many thanks.

Oh they know what you mean. Unlike there mom though I have no issues with your mom as she does everything perfect…If you know what I mean. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Just stay away from plants that typically yield fruit that are larger than eight ounces. Start this project with a sturdy bucket.

Five gallon buckets with a handle can be bought at a home improvement store and are excellent for this type of project. These buckets are also used to hold paint and joint compound, so save the empty buckets as you do home improvement projects for your garden.

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Once you have a suitable bucket, drill a hole that is two inches in diameter in the bottom center of the bucket. Place the bucket on several bricks or other items that will hold it at least six inches off of the ground while you plant the tomato seedling in the bucket. Add some of the soil you will be using to the bucket. Thread the seedling through the hole in the bucket, but only allow three inches of the seedling to hang out of the bucket. The rest of the stem should be buried in the bucket.

Any leaves on the part of the stem of the tomato plant that is inside the bucket should be pinched off to prevent disease. When the plant is secured in the bucket, continue adding soil until the bucket is almost full, leaving only a two inch lip for watering purposes. You may also want to add nitrogen rich compost during this step.

Upside-Down Garden Tips – Growing Plants Upside Down

With the tomato seedling planted, you can then hang the bucket. Be sure that the hook that is used can easily support the weight of the bucket. Water the bucket until water leaks out of the hole in the bottom. Check for settling of the soil: if it is significant you may have to add more soil to the bucket.

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When the soil is at the correct level, put the lid on top of the bucket to prevent as much water loss as possible.