How to Grow a Tomato in a Hanging Bucket


Upside-down tomatoes are found in many container gardens. The plants, which really do grow upside down through holes in the base of a 5 gallon plastic container, seem to thrive due to the amount of water that the roots receive. Additionally, tomatoes grown in hanging buckets are more resistant to diseases found in soil, and the fruit is easy to harvest.

Step 1

Turn a 5-gallon bucket onto its lid.

Step 2

Cut a hole in the bucket's bottom using a saw-toothed forstner bit and a drill.

Step 3

Cover the hole with a coffee filter.

Step 4

Turn the bucket back over onto its base.

Step 5

Fill the bucket with potting soil.

Step 6

Place the lid securely on the bucket and turn it back onto the lid.

Step 7

Cut a criss-cross into the coffee filter with a utility knife. Scoop out soil with a garden trowel. Place the rootball and stem of the tomato plant into the soil to a depth that puts the bottom leaves level with the hole in the bucket.

Step 8

Fill in the soil around the stem. Water well.

Step 9

Continue to water the plant and allow roots to develop in the plant in the bucket.

Step 10

Hang the bucket in an upright position when the plant reaches 1 foot tall. The plant will now be hanging upside-down.

Step 11

Water the plant by removing the bucket's lid and pouring water from a watering can into the bucket. Feed the plant by adding a few drops of balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer into the watering can before you water.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 gallon plastic bucket with lid
  • 2 ¾ inch saw-toothed forstner bit
  • Drill
  • Coffee filter
  • Potting soil
  • Utility knife
  • Garden trowel
  • Balanced (10-10-10) liquid fertilizer


  • Oklahoma History: My Experience Growing Tomatoes Upside Down
  • Mini-Farm Homestead: Upside-Down Tomato Plants
  • University of Illinois: Tomato

Who Can Help

  • The Cheap Vegetable Gardener: Make your Own Upside-down Tomato Planter
Keywords: topsy turvey tomato, hanging basket planter, upside down vines

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.