How to Grow Tomatoes Upside Down in a Bucket


Growing tomatoes upside down is becoming more common. Benefits of this style of tomato growing include better air circulation to cut down on disease and reduced chances of rotting fruit and foliage because they don't come into contact with the wet ground. Also, hanging tomatoes may be difficult for animals to reach. You can make your own hanging tomato planter out of a bucket.

Step 1

Wash your bucket thoroughly and allow it to dry.

Step 2

Ensure that the handle of the bucket is secure enough to hold the bucket when full; if not, drill four holes evenly spaced apart and one inch below the bucket's rim. Use wire to hang it.

Step 3

Drill a two-inch hole through the bottom of the bucket using the hole saw bit.

Step 4

Cut a slit in the center of the four-inch square of landscaping fabric just big enough to fit the tomato seedling's root ball through.

Step 5

Place the fabric inside the bucket over the hole; this fabric will keep the soil from falling through.

Step 6

Trim the leaves off the lower portion of the stem and plant the tomato deep; this encourages the plant to form roots along the buried section of stem, creating a strong root system.

Step 7

Insert the tomato seedling's root ball up through the hole in the bottom of the bucket and through the slit in the fabric. You may need to have someone hold the bucket up for you.

Step 8

Fill the bucket with potting mix, tamping the soil firmly around the root ball as you go.

Step 9

Hang the bucket from a solid structure, such as a clothesline pole, where it will receive full sun and protection from high winds.

Step 10

Increase the attractiveness of your hanging tomato planter by planting herbs or flowers in the top of the bucket.

Step 11

Drill a two-inch hole in the lid of the bucket and place it on top if you're not planting herbs or flowers. The hole will provide a means of watering your tomato without having to remove the lid.

Step 12

Pay careful attention to watering; tomatoes grown this way will need more frequent watering than tomatoes grown in the ground. Check your tomatoes at least once daily.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon food-grade bucket, light-colored and opaque
  • Drill with an eighth-inch bit and a 2-inch hole saw bit
  • Wire
  • Landscaping fabric, 4-inch square
  • Tomato seedling
  • Potting soil
  • Herbs or flowers (optional)


  • Mini Farm Homestead: Growing Tomatoes Upside-Down

Who Can Help

  • Old Fashioned Living: Growing Tomatoes Upside Down
Keywords: growing tomatoes upside down, tomato growing, hanging tomato planter

About this Author

Angie Mansfield is a freelance writer living and working in Minnesota. She began freelancing in 2008. Mansfield's work has appeared in online sites and publications such as theWAHMmagazine, for parents who work at home, and eHow. She is an active member of Absolute Write and Writer's Village University.