Tomatoes in buckets upside down?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by JulieNC, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. JulieNC

    JulieNC Well-Known Member

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    I read somewhere about growing tomatoes in hanging baskets/buckets, planting them upside down so that the growth comes out of a hole you cut in the bottom of the container.

    I'm going to try to grow a few plants that way this year--anyone else had any experience with this? Also, any suggestions on other plants that might be suitable for upside down growing?
     
  2. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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  3. JulieNC

    JulieNC Well-Known Member

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    I first saw the idea in a print article. I later did a web search and found the cite you posted. There's a fair amount of information on the web about growing tomatoes this way.

    I think it's a great idea for maximizing space. For me, I have lots of space, but I always seem to have trouble keeping the plants caged/staked, and I experience a lot of fruit rotting and blighting. I'm thinking that this approach will allow better air circulation and since nothing's touching the ground, the fruit shouldn't rot (unless, of course, I get lazy about harvesting).

    I saw another article talking about how you can do this with different flowers . . . I might just experiment a bit this year. I'm curious about what other types of vegetables you might be able to grow this way.
     
  4. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Do you think they would get enough light growing this way in a screened in porch on the north side of the house?
     
  5. JulieNC

    JulieNC Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, tomatoes really do need a lot of sun. If the side of the plant facing away from the porch gets a lot of direct sun, then it might be worthwhile to try it--you can always turn the plant every day or so to even out the exposure to the sun.

    The experiment shouldn't cost much. If it doesn't work, you're out an old bucket, a tomato plant and some time.

    I also thought of another reason to try this. If you have an indeterminate plant, you can bring it in every night and extend the growing season.
     
  6. I tried it a couple of years ago and didn't have any luck with them. To begin with the only place I had to hang them up was on the north side of my house under the eve. The bucket collected a lot of rain runoff which I thought would be good but it turned out to be bad. It seemed every few days that summer we got rain which kept the plant in water all the time and they kept a pale yellow color and eventually died. Never did have a tomato grow on them.

    But I've been wondering about making a tomato barrel. If you've heard of a strawberry barrel then you can imagine making a tomato barrel. Just plant tomatoes instead of strawberries coming out the sides all around. Have all your tomatoes plants in one place. I don't know if it will work but I'll try anything.

    If you've never seen a strawberry barrel just type it in a search engine and you should find one. Then imagine adapting it into a tomato barrel. I think it would only work with bush type plants. Vine tomatoes may demand too much staking for the barrel to work.

    Goodluck whatever you try!
     
  7. JulieNC

    JulieNC Well-Known Member

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    I tried it a couple of years ago and didn't have any luck with them.

    Bummer. I did NOT want to hear that. ;) Mine will be hung in full sun so perhaps I'll have better luck.

    I had an old hanging planter, so I modified it somewhat and stuck a tomato plant in it upside down. Now I'm thinking the container won't be big enough for the roots. So this week I'll scrub out some old buckets and give it a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    I'll let everyone know how it works out.

    r.h.--the tomato barrel sounds interesting. I think you're right about the vining type of tomatoes requiring too much staking, though. Still, maybe you could rig a few trellises around the barrel and have an interesting edible garden sculpture. :)
     
  8. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    Does this work with any tomato, or just the cherry types? Wondering how the vines do at holding on to heavy fruit......
     
  9. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Hmmm, maybe off the front porch instead?. Start hanging them in trees all over the yard. :haha:
     
  10. cowboy joe

    cowboy joe Hired Hand

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    Thanks for the link and the thoughts. Looks interesting to say the least. Doubt if we'll do all of our plants like this but might just hang a few near our roadside stand to attract passers by.
     
  11. violets

    violets Member

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    There's an indepth article on this in The Heirloom Gardener Magazine (pp 14-15) called Upside-Down Tomatoes: An Alternative Method which includes real pictures. Quite fascinating!
     
  12. Gimpy_Magoo

    Gimpy_Magoo Well-Known Member

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    I grew several this way a few years ago when we had a small greenhouse.
    It worked great :D
    lot's and lots of tomater's.

    The trick was to water only enouph to allow a small trickle of water to escape through the grow hole.
    Otherwise to overwatering happens AND the access water trickeling down the plant can hurt the plant. rot or mold or something like that.

    We used 5 gal buckets and cut the small ring out that is raised on the bottom of all buckets. Worked GREAT.

    good luck.


    Gimpy

    ps. oh yea. worked for cherries AND the regular 'maters also. I cant remember which ones we grew however. it was whatever was climatised to the region.