Upside Down Tomatoes
by Shelley Goldbeck
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
Did you know you can grow tomatoes upside down? You can buy a Topsy Turvey product from the hardware store or do what Shelley has done and make your own. Below is a summary of Shelley's upside down tomato experience.
Shelley's mother replicated the Topsy-Turvey by cutting the bottom off a five-gallon water bottle. These are the bottles used for office water coolers. The cost here is $10 for a bottle compared to about $30 for the Topsy-Turvey
1st cut around three inches off the bottom of the bottle. Then drill three small holes near the edge for chains so you can hang them.
When the bedding plants are about 12 inches tall, insert them into the bottles so the stems are in the necks of the bottles.
Put a two-inch piece of sponge into each bottleneck to secure the stems and to prevent the soil from falling out. Now it's time for the soil - add a good quality soil or potting mix with some compost.
Shelley has tried a number of varieties, including Beefsteak, Early Girl, and various cherry tomatoes.
Both years the hanging tomatoes have out-produced all the others by far.
Remember that plants in pots require more water.
Throughout the growing season, add some mulch
to the tops of bottles, grass clippings are great. This will help to keep in the moisture.
Other benefits - you can move the pots in case of frosts or if too much sun. Easy to put a net around to keep bugs or fruit fly away. Container Gardening
let's you save room in your garden for your other veggies.