The Topsy Turvy, an upside-down tomato planter, can grow a range of vegetables beyond tomatoes. "Time" magazine rated the product as one of the picks for the Best Inventions of 2005. This inventive growing container eliminates the need to cage tomato plants, and protects plants from diseases and bugs in soil by growing the plants suspended upside down. Plant vegetable plants as you would a tomato plant, receiving the same results as if growing tomatoes.
Cucumbers usually require staking or some kind of other support. That need is eliminated when they are grown in the Topsy Turvy. Cucumbers can not be grown from seed in the planter; cucumber plants are ready for planting in the Topsy Turvy when they have at least two leaves. Some varieties best suited for container gardening are Burpless, Liberty, Early Pik, Crispy and Salty.
Look for varieties that produce smaller fruit. Larger varieties may break the stems of the plant before they are able to grow to full size. Smaller varieties include Mini Belle, Patio Bell, chili and cayenne.
Lettuce varieties, with their shallow root system, will have plenty of room to grow in the Topsy Turvy. Start lettuce seeds indoors in peat pots. Transplant into the planter when seedlings form. Some varieties to try include Buttercrunch, Romaine, Ruby, Bibb and Salad Bowl.
Eggplant usually must be caged, but not with the Topsy Turvy. Fruits of the eggplant can vary widely in size and shape, so choose a smaller variety such as Florida Market, Long Tom or Black Beauty.
Both bush and pole beans grow in the container as long as they have access to plenty of sun and water. Beans will grow toward the ground, so plant where they have room to sprawl along the ground. Some varieties to try include Kentucky Wonder, Blue Lake, Greencrop, Topcrop and Contender.
Zucchini is typically grown from seed, so plant it in the Topsy Turvy as seedlings. Fruit can grow very large, but should be harvested when they are small--around 8 inches long--so you don't too much stress and weight on the plant. Use smaller varieties such as Baby Round or Eight Ball for the best results.
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