How to Garden With a Topsy Turvy


If the idea of growing vegetables at eye level appeals to you, a Topsy Turvy planter might be just what you're looking for. The Topsy Turvy planter allows gardeners to plant, water, fertilizer and harvest vegetables without bending and stooping. Also eliminated are problems caused when vegetable plants get heavy and hang down on the soil, causing not only spoiled vegetables, but rot and other disease. Most vegetables, including cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, peppers and herbs can be grown in a Topsy Turvy, which will easily accommodate two plants.

Step 1

Purchase one or two vegetable plants at a greenhouse or garden center. Read the tag on the vegetable to determine how much light the plants will need, and locate your Topsy Turvy accordingly.

Step 2

Predrill a hole for the hook that comes with your Topsy Turvy planter. Mount the hook into the solid wood of a balcony or overhang. Make sure the hook is inserted into a beam, stud or other solid wood.

Step 3

Use a cord, chain or piece of rope to temporarily lower the Topsy Turvy bag to waist level to facilitate easier planting. If you prefer, hang the Topsy Turvy on a broomstick suspended between two chairs.

Step 4

Remove the lid from the Topsy Turvy. Take the vegetable plant out of its container. Working from the outside of the bag, insert the vegetable plant into the hole in the bottom of the Topsy Turvy. Reach inside the bag with your other hand and fit the sponge insert securely around the roots of the plant.

Step 5

Fill the Topsy Turvy bag with commercial potting mixture until the potting mixture is about 2 inches from the top of the bag. Jiggle the bag gently to make sure any air pockets are filled in with potting mixture. Replace the lid on top of the Topsy Turvy bag.

Step 6

Use a ladder or sturdy step stool to lift the Topsy Turvy bag up and attach the bag securely to the hook.

Step 7

Water the potting mixture in the Topsy Turvy planter thoroughly, and keep the soil damp throughout the growing season. Check the Topsy Turvy bag daily, as containerized vegetable plants will dry out quickly. Add water to the Topsy Turvy planter slowly so the water will be absorbed by the potting mixture.

Step 8

Fertilize your vegetable plant according to the directions on the plant's tag, using a water-soluble fertilizer applied through the top of the Topsy Turvy. Mix the fertilizer according to the package directions, and repeat as directed throughout the growing season.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never hang the Topsy Turvy from vinyl siding or plywood.

Things You'll Need

  • Topsy Turvy planter
  • Vegetable plants
  • Drill
  • Hook
  • Cord, chain, rope or broomstick and chairs (optional)
  • Commercial potting mixture
  • Ladder or step stool
  • Water-soluble fertilizer


  • Topsy Turvy Instructions
  • Gardener's Supply Co.: Topsy Turvy Instructions
Keywords: Topsy Turvy planter, vegetable gardening, garden with a Topsy Turvy

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.