Upside down tomatoes…

It is all the rage this year…  There are infomercials selling kits for upside down tomatoes and ads in all of the gardening magazines for kits and blog posts on making your own kits.  I’m not usually one to fall for fads but this one intrigued me.  I have a difficult time with tomatoes because the squirrels take them as soon as they get to a good size.  The plants get unruly and I hate tomato cages.  But this whole upside down thing seemed to be a good answer to at least some of my tomato growing problems.

I did not purchase a kit because they cost $19.99 and you really can make your own.  I got the idea from a blog which recommended using those big 5 gallon buckets for big plants.  But I didn’t want to hang those from my house, so I used coffee cans.  S and I are rabid coffee drinkers, so we have a ton of old cans around the house.

I turned the coffee cans upside down and cut half-dollar sized holes in the bottoms.  The holes have to be wide enough to feed the plant down through, but small enough so that the whole of the plant doesn’t fall through.

I bought two tomato plants from the Wal-Mart Garden Center, one regular Beefstake and one grape sized Roma.  I took them out of the store pots and fed them down through the holes that I had cut.  I then filled in the rest of the coffee can with potting soil.  I also added some organic fertilizer.

I had drilled some holes around the top rim of the can and S tied twine through the holes so that we could hang them.  I put two nails into the side of the house and we hung the twine from them.

I chose to hang them on the driveway side of the house because it gets lots of sun all day long.  S was feeling a little snobby when I hung them and insisted that my hillbilly creations be hung toward the back of the house so the neighbors wouldn’t see them.  I complied even though I thought she was being ridiculous.

What is kind of neat about the upside down tomato contraption is that the plants still want to grow up toward the sun.  So they curl upwards.  Since I started with a more mature plant I don’t have to worry about it as much.  But if you start with a really young plant you have to make sure it doesn’t try to grow up through the hole in the coffee can.

Another neat thing is that you have the top of the can full of soil and nothing in it, so you can plant other things in it.  I chose chives.

We already have two yellow flowers on the Beefstake tomato plant and the start of some flowers on the Roma.  I cannot wait to watch them grow.


One Response

  1. […] One red tomato… Posted on September 2, 2008 by myrenovations I have an update on the upside down tomato experiment.  […]

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