How to Grow Your Tomatoes Upside Down


According to the University of Missouri's extension service, tomatoes are among the most popular garden crops because they are easy to grow, and are one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen. But tomatoes have plenty of challenges, including mildew and soil-borne diseases. One way that some gardeners are getting around these problems is to plant tomatoes upside down in containers. Tomatoes planted upside down are protected from soil-borne diseases. Additionally, the vines receive increased air circulation when hanging upside down rather than being staked. Cherry tomatoes are simple to grow using 2-liter soda bottles.

Step 1

Draw a ring around the base of a 2-liter bottle with a marker at the point where it begins to slope inward. Cut away the base using this line as a guide.

Step 2

Punch holes in the plastic bottle at four points that are the same distance from one another around the bottom of the bottle.

Step 3

Cut a piece of garden twine into four pieces. Tie one end of each of these pieces into the holes in the bottom of the bottle. Knot the loose ends of the garden twine.

Step 4

Cut a small X into the center of the window screen mesh cloth and place the cloth into the neck of the bottle. The X should be centered over the bottle's opening. Secure the cloth by placing a bead of hot glue under the corners of the mesh and pressing it into the surface of the bottle.

Step 5

Pull a cherry tomato plant out of its seedling pot. Gently clear the dirt away from the roots, being careful not to damage the roots. Strip away all but the topmost leaves of the plant. Insert the root ball into the neck of the bottle and slip it past the X shaped hole in the mesh window screen. Feed the stem into the bottle until the topmost leaves are even with the neck of the bottle.

Step 6

Scoop potting soil into the 2-liter bottle using a teaspoon. Be careful not to break the stem or damage the roots as you fill the bottle. When the bottle is full, slip an S hook through the garden twine and hang the bottle with the tomato plant pointing downward. Water the tomato plant.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-liter soda bottle
  • Marker
  • Utility knife
  • Hole punch
  • Garden twine
  • Scissors
  • 4-inch piece of window screen mesh cloth
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Potting soil
  • Cherry tomato plants
  • Teaspoon
  • S hook


  • The Cheap Vegetable Gardener: Make Your Own Upside Down Tomato Planter
  • Texas A&M ce: Tomato Problem SolverExtension Servi
  • University of Missouri Extension Service: Growing Home Garden Tomatoes

Who Can Help

  • Garden Desk: Do Upside Down Tomato Planters Work?
Keywords: upside down tomatoes, topsey turvey tomatoes, growing tomatoes in hanging baskets

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."