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Grow tomatoes upside-down

Filed Under: gardening and plants, staying green

upside-down tomatoesTomatoes are fabulous and very easy to grow. Many critters think so too, so they will gladly come and eat your bountiful tomato harvest, especially if you grow them in the ground.

Considering the recent recall of Topsy-Turvy Tomato planters, some people may have given up on the idea of planting their tomatoes upside-down, but Jim decided to forgo the $30 cost of commercial tomato planters and made his own planters, using 5-gallon buckets.

Jim used recycled buckets from a local restaurant, but he says paint or hardware stores should also have them. He drilled a hole in the bottom of the bucket and one in the lid, then covered the holes with coffee filters so the dirt wouldn't fall out. He planted the tomatoes in the buckets, and when the plants were about one foot tall, he hung them up on a sturdy surface that could support the weight of the bucket filled with potting soil.

Be sure to check out Jim's alternative method for growing tomatoes. I love the idea of using buckets for the tomatoes instead of something flimsy that could tip over at any given moment. The buckets would be perfect for peppers and cucumbers too.

Thanks for the tip, Ian!


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  • ian

    Glad you liked this one. I'd do it in a second if I didn't live in a studio apartment in the middle of a city....

    Reply
  • sanman

    While there are some advantages to growing your tomatoes in this fashion, I would think there are also drawbacks...First off, I'd be interested to see what a rootball from one of these plants looks like as roots don't normally grow upwards...Secondly, since the 'pot' is relatively small and surrounded by ambient air, I think it would be more affected by high summer air temperatures (rather than the relatively cooler shaded ground) which also would probably require increased watering...

    Reply
  • Jim

    I bought my buckets at Walmart, and over two successive days, the handles gave out - luckily the buckets fell sideways and the plants are salvageable. Best to add you own rope handles that wrap around the bucket and distribute the bucket's weight on the lip around the bucket, not on the two weak points where the handles attach.

    Said handle failures have presented easy viewing of roots - they basically grow straight out from the buried stem.

    And yes I have to water daily.

    Reply
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