How to Plant Tomatoes Upside Down in a Bucket


More than being a novel way to grow a tomato plant, growing your tomato plant hanging upside down in a bucket gives the plant more support, better air flow and allows it to spread out. A tomato plant grown right-side up requires a cage for support, and takes up a lot of space in your garden or on your patio. The upside-down system for growing a tomato plant is ideal if you do not have space for a garden. Use a plastic, 5-gallon bucket to create an upside-down system for your tomato plant that you can hang anywhere to reap the benefits of homegrown tomatoes.

Step 1

Cut a hole 2 inches in diameter in the bottom of a plastic, 5-gallon bucket with a metal handle and tight-fitting lid using a utility knife. Cut a similar hole in the lid of the bucket.

Step 2

Turn the bucket right-side up and put a piece of newspaper in the bottom of the bucket.

Step 3

Fill the bucket with a high-quality potting soil. Press the soil down firmly and fill the bucket to the very top. Place another piece of newspaper over the soil and secure the lid.

Step 4

Turn the bucket upside down, rip a hole in the newspaper and dig enough soil out of the hole to fit the root ball of your tomato plant into the soil. Replace soil around the roots and place peat moss around the stem and into the bucket to provide support.

Step 5

Water your tomato plant, place it in full sun and allow it to grow in an upright position for one to two weeks, or until it is 1 foot tall.

Step 6

Turn the bucket over carefully. Use one hand to support the tomato plant as you do so, or recruit a friend to help you. Hang the bucket by its handle in a sunny location and water your tomato through the hole you cut in the lid.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon bucket with lid
  • Utility knife
  • Newspaper
  • Potting soil
  • Peat moss


  • Old Fashioned Living: Growing Tomatoes Upside Down? An Alternative Garden Plan
  • Tomato Casual: Upside Down Tomato Gardening
  • Agriculture Guide: Growing Tomatoes Upside Down
  • Practical Home and Garden: How to Make Your Own Upside Down Tomato Planter
Keywords: upside down tomatoes, growing tomatoes in buckets, hanging tomato planters

About this Author

Em Connell McCarty has been writing for 27 years. She studied writing at the University of Iowa and at Hollins University in Virginia. She writes fiction, creative non-fiction and essays. McCarty's work has been published in Hip Mama magazine.