Growing Tomatoes Upside Down – What’s All The Fuss About?

Growing tomatoes the traditional way has never been a problem for me. I usually end up with many more than I know what to do with and am happy when the harvest season is over with. The first year I was married I planted something like 30 tomato plants of all types including heirloom. I was literally giving away 5-gallon pails full to the local private school and that was after I had canned 100 quarts for my fruit cellar – only to find out that my (now ex-) husband didn’t like tomatoes. He ended up giving quarts away to his buddies which they mixed in with their beer. Needless to say, I greatly reduced my planting the following year.

So, like I said, I’ve never had any trouble growing tomatoes in the garden. But last year after seeing all the hype about the Topsy Turvy tomato growing hanger (and since I’m now using the raised garden beds and have limited space) I purchased a cheap knockoff at the local hardware store. I struggled to get the tomato plant inserted into the hole because the plastic star-shaped opening was made out of such a stiff plastic, that by the time I got the root ball through the opening, the plant was pretty beat up. The plant never really survived the stress and within a few weeks died off. The cheap knockoff tomato growing hanger went out in the next garage sale.

So this year when the local Walgreen’s offered the Topsy Turvey bag for $9.99 I bit. So with Steve’s help, I just planted a fairly large tomato plant upside down in the hanger. I have to say that it went much smoother than last year’s process. There’s a white foam circular disk that is secured around the stem of the plant to keep the plant inside the bag. It’s a much more gentle way to secure it. I did have to discard some of the excess dirt from the pot in order to get the root ball through the bottom opening but the plant was still intact when we were done.

Upside Down Tomato Growing
Growing Tomatoes Upside Down - What Are the Benefits?
Growing tomatoes the traditional way has never been a problem for me.  I usually end up with many more than I know what to do with and am happy when the harvest season is over with.  The first year I was married I planted something like 30 tomato plants of all types including heirloom.  I was literally giving away 5-gallon pails full to the local private school and that was after I had canned 100 quarts for my fruit cellar – only to find out that my (now ex-) husband didn’t like tomatoes.   Needless to say, I greatly reduced my planting the following year.
So, like I said, I’ve never had any trouble growing tomatoes in the garden.  But last year after seeing all the hype about the Topsy Turvy tomato growing hanger (and since I’m now using the raised garden beds and have limited space) I purchased a cheap knockoff at the local hardware store.  I struggled to get the tomato plant inserted into the hole because the plastic star-shaped opening was made out of such a stiff plastic, that by the time I got the root ball through the opening,  the plant was pretty beat up.  The plant never really survived the stress and within a few weeks died off.  The cheap knockoff tomato growing hanger went out in the next garage sale.

So this year when the local Walgreen’s offered the Topsy Turvey bag for $9.99 I bit.  So with Steve’s help, I just planted a fairly large tomato plant upside down in the hanger.  I have to say that it went much smoother than last year’s process.  There’s a white foam circular disk that is secured around the stem of the plant to keep the plant inside the bag.  It’s a much more gentle way to secure it.  I did have to discard some of the excess dirt from the pot in order to get the root ball through the bottom opening but the plant was still intact when we were done.

Tomato plant safely planted in the upside down hanger.
Tomato plant safely planted in the upside down hanger.

We thoroughly watered the upside down tomato plant (the pear tomato variety) and hung in an area of the yard that gets at least 8 hours of full sun daily.  Now we’ll see how it does compared to the 6 plants that are growing in the raised garden beds.

To learn more on how to get started growing organic tomatoes, click here.

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