Growing Tomatoes Upside Down

Growing Vegetables
Tomatoes Growing Upside Down

There are many ways to grow tomatoes. Sometimes, a chosen method will depend on your climate and other similar factors, and sometimes will depend on your own preferences. One of the more original ways to grow tomatoes is to use an upside down planter.

In this method, the tomatoes grow "upside down". Many gardeners claim that this is the best way to grow tomatoes. People who prefer this method claim that growing tomatoes upside down actually produces more healthy fruit.

Just like any other method, growing tomatoes upside down has its advantages and disadvantages:

  • Advantages: This method is excellent for those with limited space. Also, it helps preventing some pests. Also, you don't need to use staking.
  • Disadvantages: The natural way for tomatoes to grow is up, so growing them upside down may be difficult. Also, this method proves to be challenging to plant tomatoes, and it's also difficult to hang tomatoes in the right way. Also, growing upside down is limited to certain tomato varieties.

Before you choose this method for your tomatoes, it's important to inform yourself about these Topsy Turvy Upside Down Tomato Planters and to see if this planting method is a good choice for you. Growing tomatoes upside down may be trendy and may even be useful for you, but you need to evaluate the pros and cons carefully.

The Benefits

Growing tomatoes upside down offers some benefits you might want for your tomatoes:

  • Great for limited space. People with limited space can sure benefit from hanging tomatoes upside down to grow them. In fact, this might be the only available method these people can use. It's a great method to grow your tomatoes on a sunny deck or a balcony.
  • No staking. Traditional method of growing tomatoes requires staking. Staking keep tomatoes off the ground and keep the stems from breaking from the weight of the fruits. While some people enjoy making stakes and trellises for tomatoes, others find it tedious. These people will sure benefit from a method that doesn't require staking.
  • Preventing pests. Growing tomatoes upside down can prevent certain pests from attacking your plants, such as cutworms and ground worms. However, you don't have to grow tomatoes upside down to avoid these pests: any form of container gardening will prevent them.

The Disadvantages

Growing tomatoes upside down also has some disadvantages:

  • The natural way for tomatoes to grow is up. Tomatoes prefer to grow up, so even if you try to make them grow upside down, chances are that they will try to grow up. This can result in curved tomato plants. While this won't seriously affect the plant, it will make your tomato struggle, so it's possible you'll want to prevent this.
  • Difficult to hang. Growing tomatoes upside down requires special planters, which can weight more than 50 pounds (including damp soil and the heavy tomato plant). It makes them difficult to hand and secure. If you want to hang such a planter from a ceiling or a wall, it's important to make sure that your hardware can support it. Also, keep in mind that a plant can move in a stiff breeze, so you have to take that into account, too.
  • Difficult to plant. It's difficult to plant tomatoes this way. You will need to put your tomato plant into a small hole and then add the soil. After the planting, you will have to lift the whole heavy planter to hang it. This can be very difficult and usually requires at least two people to perform this job.
  • Hard for tomatoes to find sun. Your tomatoes require a lot of sun to grow healthy and strong. They need at least 6 to 8 hours of sun per day. In case of tomatoes growing upside down, this can be a problem because the planter will hang above the tomato, thus blocking the sun.
  • Only for certain tomato varieties. You need to know that only some tomato varieties can be grown upside down. It's recommended to only plant small-fruited and cherry tomatoes in this way.

Additional Tips for Growing Tomatoes Upside Down

Here are some additional tips to grow tomatoes upside down:

  • You can hang your tomato planters from a wall, a ceiling or a pole. Whatever you choose, make sure that the structure is strong enough to support the tomatoes. You may also use special hanging systems.
  • Keep in mind that most shepherd's hooks you can buy at nurseries and hardware stores are not strong enough to hold the upside down tomato planters. You will need special hooks or brackets for this.
  • If you want to grow tomatoes upside down, make sure that you grow them in a place with lots of sun. Your tomatoes need to receive enough sun to thrive.
  • Evaluate pros and cons carefully. Make sure that the upside down method is truly the best for your situation. Don't opt for this method just because it's trendy or unusual. It's best to be used only if all of the traditional methods are unsuitable for your situations. Make sure that you will truly benefit from this method of growing tomatoes. Growing tomatoes upside down can be beneficial, but you need to know when to use it and when to go with more traditional methods of tomato gardening.

Photo credit: Mike Gifford

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