Upside-down gardening provides small-space gardeners room for more plants without taking up precious square footage in the ground or on a patio. Growing vegetables upside down can eliminate the need for weeding, trellising and keeping the fruits off the ground, and can decrease problems with pests, fungi and disease. Some vegetables are particularly well-suited to grow upside down.
Tomatoes were the first popular vegetable that steam-engined the upside-down growing trend. The most popular vegetable for home gardeners, you can have fresh tomatoes on hand without worrying about space or digging up your yard. When choosing tomato varieties for upside-down planters, choose determinate plants with small to medium-sized fruits.
Any variety of peppers can be put in an upside-down planter because they are the perfect size, and the weight of the fruit won't put stress on the stems. Capsicum plants are generally short and stocky, and even large bell peppers are partially hollow and light-weight.
Cucumber vines will naturally spread out and look for something to grab, even in an upside-down planter. If you do not want your cucumbers clinging to anything, rig your planter with several feet of empty space around it. Cucumber plants can benefit, however, from trellising, even in an upside-down planter. If you can place your planter near a porch post, gate or wire fence and allow the vines to hold on, this will reduce stress on the plant.
Much like cucumbers, zucchini plants will benefit from clinging to supports. While zucchini fruits can grow extremely big, it's best to harvest them when they are between 6 and 8 inches long. This is not only the peak size for flavor, but longer fruits become so heavy they can put stress not only on the vines, but on your planter rig. Other summer squash, such as yellow squash, is grown the same way upside down.
Bush beans are always an excellent choice for a small-space salad garden because, unlike pole beans that grow several feet high, bush bean plants are fairly stocky and compact. The benefit is that even one plant will produce an abundant harvest, more than enough for one or two people to enjoy throughout the entire season. If you are growing more than one plant, stagger the planting by two weeks. "Staggering" is growing plants in succession so that they won't all be ready to harvest at the same time. Transplant the second plant two weeks after the first one, and a third plant two weeks after that, and so on, depending on how many plants you have. This will give you a constant supply.