Homemade Upside-Down Tomato Planter


Upside-down tomato planters have become a staple in garden centers. They are sold as a space-saving garden device for apartment dwellers or those who are otherwise limited in space. The planters are hung in a sunny area, and the tomato plant grows from a hole in the bottom. Like most containers, an upside-down planter may not grow a plant that produces as many fruits as a garden-grown tomato, but the method is a viable alternative if a traditional bed isn't available. Instead of purchasing an expensive planter system, make your own.

Step 1

Draw a 2-inch square in the center of the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket. Cut the square out with a sharp utility knife, cutting away from yourself to avoid injury.

Step 2

Cut a circle from landscaping fabric that is 3 to 4 inches larger in diameter than the bottom of the bucket. Line the inside of the bucket with the fabric and cut an X in the fabric over the square hole you cut out.

Step 3

Prop a broomstick up on two tables, and hang the bucket handle over the broomstick. This elevates the bucket off the ground as you work.

Step 4

Slide the roots of the tomato seedling through the hole in the bucket and landscaping fabric, from the outside in. Hold the roots in one hand as you scoop soil into the bucket with the other hand. Firm the soil lightly around the plant's roots to hold it in place.

Step 5

Fill the bucket half full with soil, then water the soil until the excess moisture begins dripping out around the plant's stem. This collapses any air pockets in the soil. Finish filling the bucket with soil, then water a second time.

Step 6

Place the lid on the bucket to help retain soil moisture. Hang the bucket by the handle in an area that receives at least six to eight hours of sun a day.

Tips and Warnings

  • The roots of the tomato plant are primarily in the bottom of the planter, not near the top. Water thoroughly; otherwise, your plant may die, even if the soil surface feels moist. There are no nutrients available to the tomato plant in the planter. You must water it with a liquid fertilizer, following label instructions, every two weeks, or the plant will die of nutrient starvation.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bucket with lid
  • Marker
  • Utility knife
  • Broomstick
  • Landscaping fabric
  • Tomato transplant
  • Potting soil
  • Liquid fertilizer


  • Chicago Daily Herald: Directions for the Homemade Upside-Down Tomato Planter
  • University of Illinois Extension: Tomato
Keywords: upside down tomatoes, hanging tomato planter, homemade inverted planter

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.