Upside down tomato


Old 04-21-06, 09:55 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 34
Upside down tomato

Anyone ever try the upside down tomato plant trick??
We grow an heirloom roma variety, and due to fertilization methods....(top secret) - lets just say that I am really tired of pounding fence posts around the plants to stake them to because the weight of the plant has crushed the cages...

I plan to use a 5 gallon bucket and hang it by the handle..
Just wondered if anyone has had ANY experience with the upside down idea. I'd like to know what I'm getting in to...
insight may be rewarded with top secret fertilizer method..

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Old 04-22-06, 05:29 AM
mattison's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Cinti, OH
Posts: 5,549
I've never heard of it. So do you just cut a hole in the bottom of the bucket for the plant ??
Old 04-22-06, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,483
Although I have not done it, I can see no reason why it won't work. We did it with strawberries last year.
Old 04-22-06, 08:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,128
Upside down tomato

I have seen them and the system does work. I just never had the situation to try it. I just don't have enough sun where I can hang them from.

There must be someone out there that has done it. - Keep looking!!!

Old 04-30-06, 12:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2
Upside Down Tomatoes

I have done upside down tomatoes for 3 years now and it can work really well or be a disaster - just like growing tomatoes the regular way!

Here are some lessons I learned.

1. I use WHITE 5 gallon plastic paint buckets. Don't get black ones or other dark colors. You are growing tomatoes, not baking them.

2. Use the Miracle Grow potting soil with built in 3 month fertilizer if you are a lazy butt like me.

3. Use a DETERMINATE variety of tomato, not an interdeterminate one. Quick biology lesson - determinate tomatoes have vines that grow to a certain length and stop whereas indeterminate tomatoes have vines that keep growing till the first frost. Determinate tomatoes tend to do better in pots, at least that is my experience. You can see which type they are by looking at the little plastic thingy in the dirt when you buy them - Plasticus Thingymabobus?

4. If you are like me, you like BIG tomatoes. You will have to hunt a little harder for determinate tomatoes that produce 3-4 inch fruit instead of the usual 2-3 inch fruit from "patio tomatoes".

5. I found a variety from Bonnie called Bush Goliath VFN that is actually an indeterminate variety but they say it is good for containers. I am going to experiment with that this year and see what happens.

6. Regarding the container, do not rely on the skimpy handle that comes with the paint cans. A 5 gallon plastic paint bucket filled with dirt and a large tomato plant that is just watered can make those built-in handles buckle and fall off. I drilled two 1/4 inch holes on opposite sides of the can. Then I put an S hook in each hole. I connected each S hook with about a foot of chain. Then I attached another chain in the middle to hang the planter. I used a connector that had a spring clip - not sure what it is called. Finally I attached the hole thing to a J hook that was screwed into my second story deck. As the plant gets longer sometimes you need to raise the plant a bit.

Good luck with your upside down tomatoes! They drive your neighbors crazy and have an incredible coolness factor.

Old 04-30-06, 05:17 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Clyde, Ohio, 43410
Posts: 1
Thumbs up upside down tomatoes

Paul, do you let the tomato vine grow out of the top of the container, and hang that way? Do you do something to the bottom of the container, so that the tomato grows out the bottom? You didn't specify, thats why I'm inquiring. I would like to try this method and need a little more knowledge as to how this system works.
Old 05-04-06, 09:09 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2
Upside Down Tomatoes

I drilled/cut a 3 inch hole in the bottom of the 5 gallon container. The plant grows out the bottom. Here is a great link:

Hope this helps!


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