How to Start an Upside Down Tomato Garden How to Start an Upside Down Tomato Garden

What You'll Need
Tomato plants
Spanish moss

An upside down tomato garden looks unusual but it’s a good way to grow tomatoes and keep them relatively pest free. The upside down tomato garden can prove especially effective where the nutrients on the soil are very poor.

Step 1 - Plants

Your choice of tomato plants is very important. You’re going to achieve the best results with smaller varieties of tomatoes or cherry tomatoes. The weight of the hanging fruit will be an issue so bear this in mind when you’re shopping for plants.

Step 2 - Buckets

Buy several metal buckets (one for each plant). They can be metal or plastic and they should have a capacity of about 5 gallons. The ideal type comes with a lid, although you don’t need to keep the lid on the bucket.

Drill a hole in the bottom of the bucket. After you’ve made the hole, use the drill to enlarge it until it’s just a little bigger than a quarter.

Step 3 - Planting

Put the bucket on its side. Take the small tomato plant from its container and shake off the excess soil. Very carefully push the roots through so that the plant is on the outside of the bucket and the roots are on the inside. Spread the rots a little with your hand.

Now, take some Spanish moss and wrap the roots loosely with it. You need to use enough moos to give a covering of about 2 inches at the bottom of the bucket. Even though it needs to be loose, the moss should still be tight enough to hold the tomato plant in place.

Step 4 - Soil

Place the bucket the upright but off the ground so that the plant isn’t crushed. The bucket should be properly supported. Take you soil and keep adding more and more until the bucket is close to 3/4 full. You can also wait until you have the bucket hanging from a stout tree limb in order to do this. The moss gives the roots ample time to start growing and means you need to use less soil, which cuts down on the weight of the bucket.

Step 5 - Hanging

For your upside down tomato garden, hang the tomato plant in its bucket from a tree limb. Bear in mind that with the added soil there’s plenty of weight (and there will be even more when the plant is properly watered) so you need to select a tree limb that can easily cope with the weight. Once in place, water the plant thoroughly to begin you upside down tomato plant garden.

To make a true garden hang several buckets from different tree limbs. This will supply you with plenty of tomatoes during the summer and add a visual feast to your garden. Select several different varieties of small tomatoes for different flavors. Each will grow differently, offering a very interesting look to your garden.

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