How to Plant Upside-Down Vegetables


Limited space for growing vegetables means that you have to become creative in your gardening style. Container gardens are wonderful for small spaces. Some plants normally require staking or trellising of some kind. There is a way to even avoid taking up space with stakes and trellis: grow your vegetables upside down. There are several benefits above and beyond space saving: increased oxygen flow; the plants are easier to water; fewer vegetables fall to the ground and rot; fewer animals can eat the vegetables; and the vegetables are easier to harvest.

Step 1

Wash the 5-gallon bucket thoroughly with warm, soapy water. You can obtain buckets from restaurants, paint or hardware stores.

Step 2

Drill two 2-inch holes, one into the bottom of the bucket and one into the lid. Use the hole drill bit, normally used for drilling holes into doors for doorknobs.

Step 3

Place a coffee filter in the bottom of the bucket. Fill the bucket with potting soil. Gently shake the bucket to settle the soil. Add more soil, making sure to fill the bucket completely.

Step 4

Place another coffee filter on top of the soil where the hole in the lid will be. Secure the lid. Turn the bucket upside down.

Step 5

Slice the coffee filter to create an "X" in the center. Insert the plant, roots first, into the hole, at least 4 inches into the potting soil.

Step 6

Water the seedling thoroughly. Place in a sunny location for one week. This will let the seedling establish its root system.

Step 7

Pick the bucket up and turn it over slowly. Run the 18-inch length of chain through the handle of the bucket. Secure the ends using metal wire. Hang from a hook, making sure that a strong wind will not blow the bucket against the house or a window.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon bucket with tight-fitting lid
  • Drill
  • 2-inch hole-saw bit
  • Vegetable plant seedling
  • Potting soil
  • 2 coffee filters
  • Utility knife
  • 18-inch length of chain
  • Metal wire


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Keywords: upside-down tomatoes, container garden, vegetable garden

About this Author

Currently residing in Myrtle Beach, SC, Tammy Curry began writing agricultural and frugal living articles in 2004. Her articles have appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Farm Chronicle and Country Family Magazine. Ms. Curry has also written SEO articles for She holds an associate's degree in science from Jefferson College of Health Sciences.