Growing Tomatoes Upside Down

A great way to grow an individual tomato plant is in an upside down tomato container – saving you digging, weeding and bending down. These hanging posts keep the plants suspended above the ground. Protecting them from many ground-pests, soil-based fungi and diseases and stopping the tomatoes from resting on the earth. And although it may sound surprising, upside down tomatoes can grow and taste just as good as normal ones.

You can find upside down tomato containers in specialist gardening stores. And the transplanting process and soil preparation is actually almost exactly the same as a normal potted tomato plant, except the roots go into a root-bag with the stem poking out of the bottom. Here are the steps to follow for the best results:

Choose the Right Position

Like any potted tomato plant, it’s important to position the plant well. The plant wants 6 or 8 hours of direct sunlight every day, but good shade too. Try to keep the root bag mostly in the shade, which will help to keep the moisture in the soil.

Try to hang the bag next to a wall which will also receive sunlight, the reflected heat will help your tomatoes even more.

Planting

Use regular potting soil for your bag, or garden soil mixed in with peat moss and vermiculite. This makes sure the soil is denser, to retain moisture and stop excess drainage – a potential problem with upside down tomato plants. Also, add some slow release fertilizers to the soil, for a great healthy growth burst right at the beginning.

When you are actually planting your plant, choose one with a small pot, so the root ball will be able to insert into a small hole not bigger than 3 inches in diameter. And before you transplant get the young plant used to the idea of plying upside down. Lye it on its side outdoors for a few days, so the underside of the leaves can receive full sunlight and get used to it.

For the technicalities of planting the plant in the root bag, follow the instructions that come with the container. Just make sure you hang it somewhere that’s strong enough to hold a full-size plant, which your baby will soon be! Hanging the plant up is usually a two-man job. And use good quality potting mix for strength and structure.

Watering

You need to water upside down tomatoes regularly as the roots can’t reach far to absorb moisture. Once a day at least during summer, twice if necessary.  The easiest way to water an upside down plant is with a hose pipe and maybe a ‘water wand’ extension that lets you reach those heights.

Best Types of Tomato Plants

Most tomato plants that grow well potted the normal way up also do well when upside down. The best-known types for pots are Bragger, Brandywine, Celebrity, Delicious, Early Girl, Fantastic, Floradel, Husky Gold, Oregon Spring, Stupice and Walter tomatoes. You can plant wither determinate or indeterminate varieties. Just be prepared for the length some of those cherry and indeterminate tomato plants – you don’t want them lying all over your floor!

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