Gardening upside down eliminates many of the problems associated with planting in a traditional garden bed. The vegetables do not lay on the soil, preventing rot and insect incursion. They are easier to water and the water permeates the root ball more easily. Harvesting the plants or vegetables is also easier. There are several upside down gardening kits on the market, but you can make your own with a five gallon bucket and some chain. You can grow almost anything upside down, but there are a few popular vegetables that grow particularly well with this method.
Tomatoes are by far the most popular vegetable--or technically, fruit--to grow in an upside down garden. Tomato plants can grow tall and unwieldy, often requiring staking in a traditional garden. Growing them upside down allows their growth to work with gravity instead of against it. Cherry tomatoes work especially well and produce more than they would growing upright. Choose an indeterminate variety, meaning that the vines continue to grow and produce until frost kills them, for the longest harvest.
Peppers also perform well in an upside down garden. Peppers require a long, hot growing season and confining their roots to a container that will be warmed by the sun continually allows them to grow faster and more vigorously than if their roots were in a cool spring garden bed. Pepper plants will not grow as large as tomato plants and therefore the container does not need as much clearance to the ground. Both sweet and hot peppers can be grown this way.
The vining nature of cucumbers make them a good candidate for upside down growing. When vines begin to brush the ground underneath the container, they can be snaked back upwards again. Both pickling and slicing cucumbers can be grown with this method. It is important to pick ripe cucumbers regularly to keep the plant producing.
Another unruly vine in a traditional garden, beans produce abundantly upside down. Choose a pole bean variety rather than a bush-style bean for the largest harvest. Pole bean vines will grow until killed by frost or until beans are allowed to mature and dry on the vines. Any particularly vigorous vine can be looped back up to the junction of the bean stalk and the container and allowed to begin its downward descent again.
Snow peas are one of the first garden crops to start in the spring as they are very cold-hardy. Growing them upside down allows you to start them even sooner in the season as the soil in the container will stay warmer than the soil in the garden beds. Once the snow peas begin to grow, it is best to not disturb the vines, as they become damaged easily. Pick snow peas daily to keep the vines producing.