By Tomato Queen
Are you a container-gardener hanging your tomato plants?
Try growing them upside-down!
This recent trend is thought to put less stress on the weight-bearing stems, which require no staking, providing better circulation and a better yield.
You can also grow other delicious edibles out of the top.
To try it, just take clean, 5-gallon buckets with lids and handles:
- Turn the bucket upside-down.
- Cut a 2″ hole out of the bottom of the bucket.
- Turn the bucket right-side up, and line the hole at the bottom with a piece of newspaper or cloth. Fill the bucket with dirt and put the lid back on.
- Turn the bucket upside-down and remove the newspaper/cloth from the hole. Gently work your tomato seedling’s root ball into the hole, about 2″ deep. Pack a bit of dirt around it and, if desired to root it more firmly, coffee filters, paper, other absorbent materials.
- Water the plant.
Let the bucket sit and the plant mature another 1-2 weeks in the sun and water as normal. This will let the root ball grow and give the dirt time to compact.
Then just (carefully) flip the bucket over so it’s right-side up with the plant hanging out of the bottom. Remove the lid and hang the bucket from the handle!
The leaves and stems sticking out of the bottom will spread out, reaching for the sun, and fill out into a bushier form. Just make sure to water the container enough that the water goes down to the bottom, reaching the root ball.
- To keep the plant from drying out, you can also cut a hole into the lid and keep the dirt semi-covered.
- Urban gardeners limited on growing space can make good use of the planter by planting lettuces or herbs out of the top of the bucket.