Upside down tomatos

I have seen on TV these upside down tomato containers. They look like, and probably are simple bags that let you grow tomatos in a hanging position upside down.
I have raised tomatos in Louisiana for about six years, so am familiar with a lot of the basics. I now live in Utah, and although it is quite a different climate here, some of the basics apply.
Has anyone ever tried these? Do they work? Could one build some of the same thing out of say, burlap bags, as I believe they would probably last only one season anyway?
Or just grow them the right way?
Steve
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SteveB wrote:

Made out of what looks to be 2 or 3 litter pop bottles. http://www.flickr.com/photos/programwitch/128697633/in/photostream /
Made out of buckets http://www.dailyherald.com/special/givinggarden/tomato.asp
Using those hanging baskets http://picasaweb.google.com/mrsnierhake/OurHomeAndGardens/photo#5105797960128460578
Anyway, I think burlap would work but you might want to line the inside with plastic before you build your dirt sack, that way it would cut back on watering.
I'd actually always wanted to try that.. I've got a few buckets on hand.. Maybe I'll whip up one and play a bit.. ;)
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Those poor plants just don't look happy. Probably not going to be enough soil to keep the plants going in the long haul. I'd think that the clear plastic would cook the roots when the sun is in full on summer mode.

The guy across the street has two 5 gallon white buckets hanging on his balcony he grows tomatoes in. They always seem to do pretty well. He grows herbs in the top of the buckets.

http://picasaweb.google.com/mrsnierhake/OurHomeAndGardens/photo#5105797960128460578Interesting....still looks weird, I like the lobelia better ;)Val
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Val wrote:

http://picasaweb.google.com/mrsnierhake/OurHomeAndGardens/photo#5105797960128460578Interesting....still looks weird, I like the lobelia better ;)Val

Yeah.. I think the best DIY bet would be those 5 gallon buckets.. I had several I cleaned and kept when I sealed the driveway at the old house.
Seems like the bigger the container the better the plants do, which is no surprise.
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Does anyone have any experience growing these? I'd just planned on container gardening this year to save on water costs, (water costs make it cheaper to buy at the store rather than garden anymore! At least here...) but if one gets a better yield from these, I may try it.
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I tried them, when I got tired of my hanging baskets of strawberries.
I tried 2 kinds of tomatoes, Early Girl and one other which I've forgotten. We don't have a good tomato climate--too cool. They did about the same as plants in the ground, a little smaller. BUT on one kind (and, I'm sorry, I don't remember which) almost every fruit rotted before it ripened because of water dripping on it; watering was from a tiny sprinkler stuck in the top of the hanging container.
We used small plants from the nursery, in potting soil with a time release fertilizer. As soon as they started growing they realized they were upside down, and turned up. Eventually the weight of it all pulled them down, but it was not graceful. Same thing with the petunias I tried in them the following year.
The whole setup was interesting, but unattractive.
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My problem would be having someplace to hang them. <g>
I'm thinking of topping the soil with sphagnum to also cut back on watering.
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I just remembered--we once tried them with cucumbers. They did pretty well, but just grew straight down. Once again, not very attractive, but lots of cukes.
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Hm. I've got one of those out front that I've never used for anything. Might be worth a try. :-)
Wonder if I can try it with a pre-grown bedding plant? I've always just bought bedding tomatoes. Never tried them from seeds...
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SteveB wrote:

Steve,
The ones that they sell are EXTREMELY overpriced (usually about $10 per bag). If you want to try to grow upside down tomatoes you can make your own up side down containers. One year I took some three liter soft drink bottles and cut off the bottoms, poked some hole near the bottom, used some twine for hangers and planted a tomato plant in each one. The ones that did the best were the smaller type plants (determinate). They were all hung in a nice sunny area of the garden and all produced a good crop. Comparing them to the same type of plant that were grown in the ground the only advantage that I saw was that the upside down ones produced tomatoes a few days earlier than the "in ground" tomatoes. The BIG disadvantage that I found was that the 3 liter containers had to be watered daily (if it didn't rain).
I might give them a try again this year because the grand kids seen them on TV and expressed an interest in trying them. I've been looking around for a cheap alternative to the bags that they sell but I think three liter bottles are as cheap as you can get.
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wrote:

If you have five gallon buckets, poke holes all along the bottom and sides and hang those upside down with the tomato plants in them.
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Just saw the ad and was curious. I think I'll just wait until the local nursery starts selling them, then grow them in the customary way, and do what I did before. Nothing like fresh tomatos.
Steve
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The only thought I had about this was that some of the tomatoe plants get mildewed or moldy or spotty leaves and start dropping them from getting water on the leaves. Any overwatering would go right to the foliage and could promote what ever that is. It would be so much easier to pick them with them higher and with less foliage though, that I've wanted to try it. Our Amish farmer friends place the plants between two fences about a foot apart and let them 'climb' between them. They remove some of the foliage and have less reason to water. The plants produce voluminously, and are easy to see and get to. Trying to get DH to put up the fences this year. Olde Hippee
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On Tue, 26 Feb 2008 09:31:40 -0800, "SteveB"

I got some on sale for Christmas gifts, and kept one. The plastic is heavy, and I think it will last more than one season. I'm going to try a couple of 5 gallon buckets, too. I thought I'd put tomatoes in the bottom and and a chile pepper and cilantro in the top and have little salsa gardens dotted about the yard.
I even thought about buying one of those hard plastic hanging flower pots that have openings on the sides and bottom, and putting some smallish, bushy pepper plants like a Criolla Sella in there. They're kinda expensive, and the root space would be pretty limited, so I probably won't. It would look pretty cool, though.

That, too.
Penelope
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No one has mentioned Harbor Freight yet. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber235 $14.95 not available in their store

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