How to Plant an Upside Down Tomato


A recent approach to container gardening is the upside-down planter. While several different plants are suitable for upside-down growing, the tomato is the most popular vegetable grown in this manner. Tomatoes grown in this fashion are protected from soil diseases and have greater air circulation. These factors contribute to healthier plants. Smaller tomato varieties are more suitable for this type of growing due to the weight of larger plants. Purchase a young plant from a garden center and choose a sunny location to hang your upside-down container.

Step 1

Use a utility knife to cut a 2- to 3-inch wide hole in the middle of the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket.

Step 2

Place five sheets of newspaper in the bottom of the bucket.

Step 3

Use the utility knife to cut a hole in the newspaper where it meets the hole in the bucket.

Step 4

Hang the bucket on something, or lay it on its side, and push the plant's roots through the newspaper and bucket hole so that the plant is protruding from the bottom of the bucket, with the roots inside the bucket.

Step 5

Hook the handle of the bucket over a tree branch or wood post at least 5 feet above the ground to accommodate growth.

Step 6

Scoop equal parts compost and garden soil into a bucket and mix.

Step 7

Scoop the compost and garden soil mixture into the upside-down bucket, filling to the top.

Step 8

Water the plant inside the bucket with a hose. Water will begin to drip from the bottom once it is well saturated. Water the plant whenever its soil is warm and dry.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Utility knife
  • Newspaper
  • Trowel
  • Bucket
  • Compost
  • Garden soil


  • University of Illinois Extension: Tomato
  • National Gardening Association: Container Tomatoes
Keywords: upside down tomato, container gardening, upside down growing

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.