Want to keep your gardening life interesting and fun? Give your tomato plants the Cirque du Soleil treatment and let them grow upside down!
You grow tomatoes upside down if you have limited space or want to express your creativity. Also, upside down tomatoes can also increase the appeal of your space and provide a more accessible way to grow tomatoes.
Excited to get started? Let’s do it!
How to Make Your Own Upside Down Tomato Planter
|Length of Time
|Around 1 to 2 hours.
|5-gallon bucket or large sturdy container
Tomato seedling or young tomato plant
Potting soil or soilless mix
Small piece of landscape fabric or burlap
Rope, chain, or heavy-duty wire for hanging
Hook or sturdy hanger to suspend the planter
|Drill with a 3- to 4-inch hole saw bitUtility knife or scissors
Once you have everything on hand, then you’re ready to make your upside down tomato planter! Here’s our quick but simple guideline for it.
How to Make an Upside Down Tomato Planter
Prepare the bucket or preferred container.
If using a recycled bucket, make sure to clean it thoroughly and remove any previous labels or stickers.
Drill a 3- to 4-inch hole in the center of the bottom of the bucket using the hole saw bit. This will be the hole through which the plant will grow.
Prepare the bucket lid, if any.
If your bucket has a lid, you’ll need to remove the center portion to accommodate the tomato plant. If the lid is solid, drill a hole in the center similar to the one in the bucket bottom.
If your bucket doesn’t have a lid, you can create one using a piece of plywood or thick plastic. Drill a hole in the center of the lid.
Prepare the fabric, especially if your container has multiple holes.
Cut a small piece of landscape fabric or burlap and create a small slit in the center to fit around the tomato plant stem.
Insert the fabric to prevent soil from falling.
Pass the tomato plant stem through the slit in the fabric and position the fabric so it sits just above the soil level. This will help hold the plant in place and prevent soil from falling out of the hole.
Insert the tomato plant upside down.
Take the young tomato plant or seedling and gently pass it through the hole in the bottom of the bucket, so the plant’s root ball is inside the container. The plant should be upside down with the stems and leaves hanging downwards.
Add soil and compost to fill in the gaps.
Fill the bucket with potting soil or a soilless mix until it’s about two-thirds full. Optionally, you can mix in some compost with the soil to provide additional nutrients for the tomato plant.
Secure the plant with more soil.
After placing the plant, add soil around the root ball to secure it in the bucket. Handle it carefully to prevent any harm.
Hang the planter in a well-lit area.
Attach a rope, chain, or heavy-duty wire securely to the handle of the bucket, making sure it can handle the weight of the planter and the plant.
Hang the upside down planter from a sturdy hook or hanger in a location that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily.
How to Care for an Upside Down Tomato Plant
Taking care of an upside-down tomato plant is crucial for healthy growth and a great harvest. Keep in mind that it’s different from regular methods, so watch its growth and adjust when necessary.
Provide adequate watering.
Check the soil moisture regularly by sticking your finger about an inch into the soil. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
Water the plant thoroughly until you see water coming out of the drainage hole at the bottom of the container. This ensures that the entire root system is adequately hydrated.
Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot. Also, prevent water from stagnating inside the container.
The main issue is watering as water should focus on the soil, not the leaves and fruits. When watered upside down, the tomato leaves get wet frequently, which may lead to issues.
Place the tomato plant in a location that receives bright sunlight.
Place the upside-down tomato plant in a spot that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Tomatoes are sun-loving plants and need ample light to thrive.
For success, make sure the upside-down tomato planters get plenty of full sun to prevent mildew and mold growth. Spraying the leaves with your preferred organic treatments often helps prevent diseases and keep pests away.
Feed the plant with a balanced fertilizer.
Upside-down tomato plants benefit from regular fertilization. You can use a balanced liquid fertilizer or a slow-release granular fertilizer formulated for vegetables.
Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for application rates and frequency. Generally, fertilizing once every two weeks should be sufficient.
Prune the plant regularly.
Prune the tomato plant regularly to remove any suckers. These are small stems that grow in the crotch between the main stem and branches.
Doing this encourages the plant to focus its energy on producing fruit.
Remove any faded or yellowing leaves from the plant. This prevents diseases and allows the plant to direct its energy to healthier parts.
Look out for pests and diseases.
Inspect the plant regularly for signs of pests or diseases. Common tomato plant pests include aphids, whiteflies, and tomato hornworms.
If you notice any infestation, take appropriate measures to control them. Neem oil or insecticidal soap can be used as a natural remedy for some pests.
For severe infestations or diseases, consider using an appropriate pesticide or fungicide, but always follow the instructions carefully.
Help the pollination process.
Tomatoes don’t need bees for pollination and you can help by gently shaking or tapping or brushing the stems. Growing tomatoes upside down is different from the traditional way, so watch the plant’s growth and adjust as needed.
Planter’s Tips: While it’s a fun experiment, growing tomatoes upside down is not the best way to grow tomatoes. It can harm their health and cause issues when it comes to harvest.
Growing tomatoes upside down does not provide any guaranteed harvest, but if you’re up for a weekend planting project, give it a go!