Upside down tomato planting

If you watch tv you have probably seen the ads for some container to grow tomato plants upside down. It's no mystery, it's a hanging container with a hole in the bottom, which I could make from a pail. My question is how well this actually works. I'm not questioning the fact it will grow that way because I know it will. The question is whether the plant will sustain weather conditions. Won't the stem break after it gets heavy with tomatoes? Indoors, it likely will (like in a greenhouse), but outdoors, wont a common windstorm break the stem off?
These tv commercials show a plant loaded with tomatoes. There's probably 15LBS or more, plus the weight of the plant itself. That seems like a lot of weight for a stem to handle.
What is your opinion or experience with this?
LM
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On May 31, 11:29 am, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

Some friends of mine are growing a plant in one of these things. It takes more care than a plant in the ground, but it is great if you don't have any ground to plant in. Theirs has done well through the crazy thunderstorms we have had here, but it is still a small plant.
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On May 31, 12:29 pm, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

Tomatoes need constant watering. If you can't lift a watering can, not so easy.
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"Father Haskell" wrote:

Tomatoes need constant watering. If you can't lift a watering can, not so easy.
============== Um, just because some folks are physically challenged doesn't mean they're mentally challenged too... most folks can manuever a hose fitted with a crookneck irrigating nozzle, and those self coiling hoses weigh practically nothing... about the only time I use a watering can is for where my garden hose won't reach, and then I'll haul a few 5 gallon bucketsful in a wagon, or if it's just a couple small plants to water and I'm too lazy to futz with uncoiling, dragging about, and recoiling. And watering cans are available in various sizes, why lug around a two gallon can whan a 2 quart can is quite adequate... heck I water potted plants with a 1 liter plastic pop bottle. There are even those self watering spikes that screw onto a pop bottle, I bet that would work with those hanging maters. Even though I can easily lift ten gallons of water over my head it would never occur to me to lift a two gallon watering can to water a hanging basket... my momma didn't raise any donkeys.
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20 ounce coke bottles are handy, since you can poke the snoot under foliage. I've seen perforated caps that turn them into sprinklers, but at $6 for a pack of 5, I can make my own with a 1/8" drill.
I use a turkey baster for irrigating containers up to 1 quart, same reason I use watering cans -- precision. Water itself is useful as a growth regulator. To slow or speed growth of a healthy plant, water less or more. Flow from a hose varies with such factors as someone running a bath or flushing a toilet.
Fertigation is similarly easier with a watering can.
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My two grandsons age four and six are coming to spend two weeks with us at our rural estate. Quite a difference from their Las Vegas home. We saw those ads on TV, and we are going to do some, but in the 5 gallon bucket. Getting a little late to plant here, but I've been busy with other major concrete projects and such. Comes a time when it's ........ do you want to sleep or work ...............?
Steve
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On Sun, 31 May 2009 11:29:41 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

I did the topsy-turvy thing a few years ago before I went the community garden rental approach. My observations follow:
1) Make sure the bags are securely attached to or hung from something sturdy. When the bags are full of dirt, wet from rain and/or watering, and your plant has lots of tomatoes, they are extremely heavy. I hung two from a tall metal shepherd's hook that I thought could support the weight, but after two disasterous collapses wound up having to rig additional support at both the base and near the top -- in the latter case, an anchoring brace that creaked annoyingly whenever the wind blew. I had no problems with stem breakage and actually believe the stems, due to constant stress while growing, were thicker and better suited to do what they are supposed to do.
2) Cherry- and medium-sized tomatoes do better than the larger variety. Unlike the tv commercial, I never had a profusion of bigger tomatoes and the few that I did have were severely cracked or cat-scratched.
3) As already mentioned, you need to constantly add water. Most of it simply flows through and what remains behind inside the bag quickly evaporates due to heating of the bag by the sun. The constant watering also promotes blossom-end rot, so you need to develop a strategy for dealing with this or be prepared to throw out a lot of mushy fruit.
4) Aesthetically, the upside-down plants, with the tomatoes dangling, look like something you'd see growing in the hydroponics wing of a spaceship or on an alien planet -- so be prepared for lots of questions/comments from intrigued neighbors/strollersby. I even managed to wrangle a date out of one such session.
viv
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