Although a tomato plant will grow well when planted in the ground, there are many benefits to creating a hanging tomato garden. The tomato plant can survive perfectly well upside-down. Letting the plant live clear of natural soil can be a great preventative measure against pests and disease.
A hanging tomato garden also allows the plant to move with the sun, saves you time on weeding and makes the fruit of the plant easy to pick. Follow these steps to create your own hanging vegetable garden.
Step 1 – Prepare the Coco Liner
Cut out an ‘X’ shape in the bottom section of the coco liner. If the husk of the liner is particularly hard, try using a knife with a sharp, serrated edge.
Before cutting, line up the coco liner in the basket and cut the ‘X’ so that the framework of the basket will offer the liner some support once the project is complete. Then place the coco liner in a basket.
If you don’t want to buy hanging baskets, a large drum or bucket can be used instead.
Step 2 – Position the Plant
Turn the basket upside-down and insert the rooted section of the plant through the ‘X’ in the coco liner. Try to insert if far enough that the first couple of leaves on the plant pass through the cut in the liner.
Check that the stem of the tomato plant isn’t too close to the wire frame of the hanging basket. This could cause the stem to become damaged during growth, and it will stop essential nutrients reaching the fruit itself.
Step 3 – Hang the Basket
Hang the basket in a position where the plant will get a large amount of sunlight. Do not add any soil before the basket is in a hanging position. There is more chance of the plant being damaged if the basket is resting against the ground while it is being filled.
Try to hang the basket so that the soil will be at eye level. This will make watering and other maintenance a little easier.
Step 4 – Add the Compost
Compost can now be added. This can be purchased at a local garden centre or you can make your own using a 1:1:1 ratio mix of vermiculite, manure and peat moss.
Support the plant by hand while you add compost until the weight of the mix holds it in place. You can them fill the rest of the coco liner with the remaining compost.
At this stage, you can also plant other vegetables or seeds into the top of the basket to create a mixed garden, providing a wonderful visual effect.
Step 5 – Water Regularly
Because more water will drain straight to the floor, you should regularly drench your hanging tomato garden. During warm weather, you may even water your plants several times in one day.