A few years ago I only saw the inverted tomato planters on late night TV
ads (the kind where the pitch man screams at you) and figured they were
a gimmick. But now they are showing up in the more reputable catalogs I
Do these work? I'm tempted because we live in a city with limited
garden space, and apparently these could be used on a porch or patio.
Not as bad as I expected, but not as good as ground 'maters. I had
the water problem Val mentioned. They are sorry looking things, fer
sure...like some animal hung up ready to be gutted. From a distance,
without the specs on, they looked like a mossy octopus hanging from
I plant indeterminate 'maters, so they hang clear to the ground. I
would imagine that a determinate variety would at least look purrtier.
I only did that one year....since, I've planted cherry 'maters right
side up in hanging buckets and let them drape down, covering and
shading the bucket. The cherries do very well this way, and have the
benefit of not having to train/tie/stake them upwards for six to ten
feet. I ran a piece of split garden hose around the rim to soften the
angle of the dangle. Still takes a lot of watering and fish juice,
Giving up dirt? Not a chance, just trying to grab a little more
growing area on our small spot.
yeah, that's what I was thinking; seems like there would be more
mechanical problems with the whole upside down process, and i can't
see any advantage over having a suspended bucket and letting them
drape down like you said.
definite advantage in not having to worry about those persistent
diseases in the soil; disadvantage in that buckets need a lot more
attention to the soil because of their small capacity.
I haven't used them but my son has grown his tomatoes with the upside down
planters for two years now. He started out with two, last year he had six,
this year he plans on hanging ten along the rafters of his patio cover since
it faces south and gets full sun all day. He's had great success with them.
He uses Miracle Grow Moisture Control potting soil. He said he had a problem
keeping the plants watered the first year so used the moisture control the
second and it worked out very well.
I have tried them but found them to be more of a gimmick than as great
as they are advertised to be.
If you are tempted to try them don't buy the overpriced ones you see
advertised. Use the suggestions that others have posted to make your
own. And, as others have said, use some mix that retains moisture well.
I found that smaller tomatoes (the "cherry" varieties) work better
than the larger ones.
Harder to water plants when they're above your head. Even harder
when the plants need LOTS of water, such as beefsteak tomatoes.
For patios or porches, try an Earthbox-type subirrigation planter.
Cheaper homebuilt from Rubbermaid totes than purchased.
Well, the results are in on this device, probably not scientifically
accurate as I only had one, and it was, around here, a lousy year for
vegetables in general, with out very first ripe tomato coming in the
week of September 15.
I start seedlings inside under lights, so I had enough of the same
species at the same size to plant one in the inverted device, two in a
large pot on the patio, and eight in the garden. There are a number of
these devices, and the one's they carry in the garden centers around
here are flimsy, but cheap; I got one through a catalogue and it seemed
sturdy and well made, but with the device, the recommended soil, and the
recommended fertilizer, it came to about $50.
I have an irrigation system that waters the garden twice a week; the pot
on the patio and the inverted device had to be watered by hand (not easy
as it is elevated and thirsty).
The first ripe fruit was from the pot on the patio (it has good
sunlight, while my neighbor's trees keep growing and are starting to
shade my garden. The next fruits (larger and more abundant, were from
the garden. The inverted device produced only three tomatoes, two small
and one normal, and seemed to fade quickly. One day I went out and the
plant was gone. My wife, fed up with watering it, had pruned it out of
existence (she couldn't take down the device as it is quite heavy and I
had elevated it, anticipating that the vines would prosper and drag on
the ground. Incidentally, now that summer is over, we have a good crop
of tomatoes, but the ones that develop in the cooler weather never seem
to get tender.
So I would say that the inverted device doesn't work, or at least it
only works to separate you from some of your money. For next year, I'm
going to put my efforts into convincing my neighbor that his trees are
damaging the roof on his garage and should be cut down.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.