The Topsy Turvy tomato planter is an ideal option for anyone short on garden space, battling mobility issues, fond of garden novelties or hoping to avoid tomatoes rotting on the ground. These planters hang from your porch, patio, or a hanging post in the garden, and the tomatoes grow downward rather than upward. You can buy the Topsy Turvy planter or even create your own as a budget friendly alternative.
A Topsy Turvy or upside-down planter suspends the plant in hanging position with the root ball above the plant itself. Container varieties of tomatoes and smaller peppers are well suited to these planters. The Topsy Turvy planter takes a planting strategy used by gardeners with 5 gallon buckets or specialty terracotta planters to the masses in an accessible and easy-to-use form.
The Topsy Turvy planting bag consists of a vertical grow bag, a plastic lower support ring for the plant, several foam rings for even watering and hanging hardware. One planter can hold up to two tomato plants, inserted side by side. The plants are put into position, then the planter is filled with a light planting mix and hung in place before the plants are watered and fertilized.
The tomato plant hangs from the Topsy Turvy planter. Plants will attempt to grow upward in the early stages, so it is important that you watch the early growth of your newly transplanted tomatoes to keep them growing downward. As the plant bears fruit, the branches will naturally weigh it down. With easy access to all sides of the tomato plants, you won't miss tomatoes when harvesting.
Begin with started plants in your upside down planter rather than seeds. Choose varieties that do well in containers, and avoid overly large tomato varieties. Pick tomatoes regularly to keep weight on the plant reasonable. Regular watering of your Topsy Turvy planter is critical; the plants have no access to ground water.
Make your own upside-down planter using a 5-gallon bucket or a recycled container like a 2-liter bottle. Cut the bottom off of a 2 liter bottle or drill a hole in the bottom of a bucket to prepare your planter. Insert sphagnum moss or coffee filters to support the young plants until the root ball has grown. Plant tomatoes or smaller peppers in a lightweight soil mix, then water and fertilize. Make a simple wire hanger for a 2-liter bottle or hang buckets by their handles.