Posted on 04 September 2008 by

Crazy Ways to Grow Tomatoes

By Kira Hamman

Bored with your usual run-of-the-mill tomato plants?

Never fear — the powerful forces of capitalism have conspired to bring you new, different ones!

Do they really produce tomatoes? Who cares? They’re cool!

The upside-down tomato garden hit the scene a couple of years ago. Billed as a planter that “takes the toil out of tomatoes,” this bizarre-looking thing will fit on your balcony and, in theory, provide you with gobs of (upside-down, presumably) tomatoes. Wait, doesn’t a regular pot fit on a balcony?

Oh, sorry, am I being cynical?

Another version of the upside-down tomato is the Topsy Turvy tomato planter, which unfortunately can’t hold the weight of all those tomatoes and had to be recalled for tipping over unexpectedly. Wow, those plain old pots are looking better and better.

Then there’s the as-seen-on-TV Giant Tree Tomato, which allegedly grows to be 8 feet tall (not unusual for a tomato, in my experience) and consistently produces 2-pound tomatoes. Do they taste good? No one says. But you’ll get 60 pounds per plant!

Has anyone tried any of these things? If so, tell us about it! I’m prepared to be swayed…

8 Responses to “Crazy Ways to Grow Tomatoes”

  1. Ryan Says:

    If I’m not mistaken the upside down planter in the photo was actually recalled. But I’ve seen people do upside down tomatoes but said they were doing them right-side up the next year.

  2. reggiecasual Says:

    Yeah, the pictured it was recalled earlier this year.

  3. Kira Says:

    …so if you have one, take it back and get a big pot instead! 😉

  4. Becca Says:

    I’ve tried growing them upside down. Didn’t seem to make much difference in the tomato or how many I got, but it was fun to see everyone look at them;-) The one advantage was I could grow my herbs in the top of the planter and the tomatoes on the bottom. The disadvantage was I needed help to hang the planter up!

    You can make your own planters, so if you want to try it, do a google search and make it on the cheap!

  5. Loy Says:

    I’ve done this for years. I use 5 gallon buckets purchased at Lowe’s. They work great. I have four set up…2 for tomatoes,1 for cucumbers,1 for bell peppers.In the top I grow radishes,lettues,and green onion.The yield is fantastic.I have fresh salad everyday if i wish. This is great for apartment dwellers and folks who want to stretch the grocery budget.

  6. Kris Says:

    We’ve done these before out of 5gal water buckets usually used for horse feed… in the past we’ve had a lot of issues with pests getting to our tomatos, and this problem is nonexistent now. All the tomatos we get are healthy, no rotting, no bugs. Other than that – the yeild is the same more or less.

  7. David in Kansas Says:

    The new Topsey Turvy planters grow the plant from the bottom. I am surprised that no one reported a problem that I have seen many times and that is that the tomato tries to grou UP! That is the vine curves upwards in search of sun. Eventually, the bend becomes the weak spot and the plant breaks under the weight. My solution to this problem is to stake the tomato upside down to force it to grow down. When enough leaves are getting sun the plant stops trying to bend upwards.
    You can make your upside down planter using plastic 2 litter bottles but your plant will be puny and you will get one or two tomatoes out of it.

  8. dickie fickle Says:

    upside down or not the advantage of container growing is ease of weeding fruit stays off the ground keeps many pests at bay. UPSIDE DOWN YOU CAN GROW THRU BOTTOM AND TOP coserving space well draining soil is critical DISADVANTAGE the more water goes thru your container the more you need to replace the washed away fertilizer else smaller yields and fruit

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