How to Support Upside Down Tomatoes

Overview

Growing tomatoes upside down has captured the imagination of many vegetable gardeners. Companies that sell systems for this purpose claim that this method prevents soil-borne diseases, eliminates many pests and avoids the need for staking or caging for support. They further claim that gravity assists fruits of the upside-down plants in getting a greater share of nutrients, resulting in a juicier, tastier tomato. Set-up for these systems is a fairly straightforward operation, and even gardeners with moderate green thumb abilities should have no difficulty establishing tomato plants in upside-down planters.

Step 1

Put soil in a pot. Sprinkle a few tomato seeds in the pot and cover with 1/2 inch of soil. Water carefully to avoid dislodging the seeds. Cover the pot with a bit of plastic wrap. Place the pot in a sunny windowsill. Maintain adequate moisture of the soil to sprout the seeds.

Step 2

Ready the hanging site. Select a plant hook or stand sturdy enough to support the weight of a fully grown tomato plant laden with fruit. Select a location that will have at least six hours, and preferably more, of full sun exposure. If needed, secure wire on at least three equidistant points at the top of the planter to tie to the hook.

Step 3

Wait for seedlings to grow to about six inches in height. Thread the plant through the bottom hole of the planter, taking care not to break leaves or snap the stem. Wrap the soft cuff around the stem to secure the plant into place. Alternatively, make a 2-inch hole in the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket for the plant to go through, and carve a cuff out of spongy material to achieve the same result.

Step 4

Fill the container with fertile, sterile soil around and over the roots. Pack the soil in loosely. Water well, until excess fluid starts to leak from the base of the planter through the stem hole.

Step 5

Place the lid on the top of the planter, if one is available. Hang up the completed assembly.

Tips and Warnings

  • Failure to use good, sterilized soil in the planter could result in a soil-borne pest problem.

Things You'll Need

  • Tomato planter
  • Wire
  • Soil
  • Tomato seeds
  • Pot
  • Plastic wrap

References

  • Topsy Turvy Website
Keywords: upside-down tomatoes, upside down tomatoes, upside-down planters, upside down planters

About this Author

Elise Cooke's first book, "Strategic Eating, The Econovore's Essential Guide" came out in 2008. The UC Davis international relations graduate's second book, winner of the 2009 Best Books USA Green Living Award, is "The Grocery Garden, How Busy People Can Grow Cheap Food." Her third book, "The Miserly Mind, 12 1/2 Secrets of the Freakishly Frugal," will be out early in 2010.