How to Build a Hanging Tomato Planter


An upside down tomato planter is designed for growing tomatoes when space is limited. The tomatoes are planted in the bottom of a hanging planter and then suspended from poles, or structures such as the eaves of a home. According to Washington State University, the advantages of an upside down planter include not having to bend to harvest fruit and an early harvest. The tomato plants also curl upward toward the sun, creating an unusual-looking plant.

Step 1

Drill a round hole in the bottom of a 5-gallon plastic bucket, and another hole in the lid using an electric drill and spade bit.

Step 2

Place the bucket on its bottom end and cover the hole with a coffee filter.

Step 3

Create a potting mix with one part peat moss, one part compost, one part sand and one-half part manure. This creates a lightweight potting soil suitable for hanging baskets and tomato planters.

Step 4

Fill the bucket with your potting mix. Place a second coffee filter over the top center of the soil. Cover with the lid so that the hole in the top of the bucket is directly over the second filter. Turn the bucket over so that the lid is against the ground and the bottom of the bucket faces upward.

Step 5

Cut an "X" in the filter and peel it back. Hollow out a planting hole in the soil and place the tomato plant into that hole so that it is covered up to the top two leaves. Roots will sprout from all of the lower leaves.

Step 6

Water and wait for the tomato to develop a strong root system (approximately six weeks).

Step 7

After the tomato plant has an established root system, turn the bucket back over and hang it from a hook. Water the tomato from the hole in the top of the bucket.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon plastic bucket with lid and handle
  • Drill
  • Spade bit
  • 2 Coffee filters
  • Peat moss
  • Potting soil
  • Manure
  • Compost
  • Utility knife
  • Garden hose


  • Extension: Gardening Trends for 2010: 'Smart and Green'
  • Washington State University: Upside-Down Planter Puts Tomatoes Within Reach

Who Can Help

  • Old Fashioned Living: Growing Tomatoes Upside Down? An Alternative Garden Plan
Keywords: tomato gardening, container gardens, topsy turvy tomatoes

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."