upside down tomatos.

bugkiller

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I was asked to post how I did my tomato's in the upside down planters. I heard a lot of people had bad luck with there's. I tried it this year and yielded more tomato's than ever before. First I built a stand to hang the bags, using 2- 10 foot 4x4' and a 2x6 10 feet long. I put the posts in the ground about 6'apart using post spikes and nailed the 2x6 at the top of the 4x4. ( yes there 10 feet high seems bit much but trust me it needs to be that high)I spaced heavy duty hooks about 15" apart. this let me hang 8 planter bags from the 10' long board. The important thing that I learned with this method is the type of tomato's you use. If your stuck on the huge beefsteak variety than this wont work for you. they are just too heavy and break the vine when hanging. I used early girl witch is still a good size but not too heavy still. romas work great and any small to medium variety of tomato. also the plant is only going to do well if you put it in good soil. I bought a high quality soil to start these. the planters come with seeds. I throw them out and used started plants. the plants you start can not be too big cause you got to put the plant in the hole so if it is too big it will damage the plant pulling it through( remember you can start these earlier too cause there up off the ground and if it does get too cold you can always move them in at night). after you pull the plant in place I put about 4" of soil in the bag than added a bit of bone meal ( tomato's need a lot of calcium) than fill the bag almost full. hang the bag where ever you plan on growing it ( full sun is best) and water it a lot. You cant over water these. any excess water just drains off so the roots wont be over watered like they can in the ground. You don't need to steak them, no weeding, no turning the soil. They are very high so a water wand is needed but other than watering and pruning the suckers they are very low maintenance. I found a dollar store that was selling the bags so I bought the bags cheep. the soil was the most expensive part, but I empty them in the fall into the compost and am just going to refill them with that next year. I am going to do my peppers this way next year as well. This saves a ton of space in the garden as well.

any questions feel free to message me.
 

Carol Dee

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COOL we tried this several years ago with no real luck. But used a 5 gallon bucket. Do you have photos to share?
 

bugkiller

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I set up a hose line that run in to each bag and all I had to do was turn on the tap and it would water all of them at the same time but using a watering wand that is 6 ' long with a angled head on it will work too.
 

OldGuy43

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bugkiller said:
I set up a hose line that run in to each bag and all I had to do was turn on the tap and it would water all of them at the same time but using a watering wand that is 6 ' long with a angled head on it will work too.
Thank you. Guess I didn't make myself clear. The ones I had said I had to keep them soaking wet all the time. That seemed to be too much. How did you do it?
 

bugkiller

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I did not really keep them soaking wet. I would water them until the soil was drenched and water was pouring out of the drain holes and I would just do this once a day usually early in the morning.
 

NwMtGardener

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I grow some of my tomatoes in upside down pots, and i did struggle with keeping them from drying out until i installed my automatic overhead drip lines into each pot. Here with little or sporadic rainfall and low/no humidity during the summer, i found it hard for me to hand water them before they got too dry. My auto matic watering system is set to do a short duration drip twice a day, and that has really helped.

I also might suggest using new potting soil every year. Upside down tomatoes seem to be less likely to get soil borne diseases, but since my compost pile doesnt get hot enough to kill things, i wouldnt feel comfortable using soil from my compost. Buying potting soil for my 4 large tomato pots is one of my more expensive investments every year though :/
 

bugkiller

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NwMtGardener said:
I grow some of my tomatoes in upside down pots, and i did struggle with keeping them from drying out until i installed my automatic overhead drip lines into each pot. Here with little or sporadic rainfall and low/no humidity during the summer, i found it hard for me to hand water them before they got too dry. My auto matic watering system is set to do a short duration drip twice a day, and that has really helped.

I also might suggest using new potting soil every year. Upside down tomatoes seem to be less likely to get soil borne diseases, but since my compost pile doesnt get hot enough to kill things, i wouldnt feel comfortable using soil from my compost. Buying potting soil for my 4 large tomato pots is one of my more expensive investments every year though :/
Yes I would use new soil if your compost is not good quality. I am diligent about turning my compost and I am sure it gets hot enough in the summer that there is no problem. I also add chicken manure to it so I am confident that I will not have a problem. I may add a bag of good soil every couple years to top it up.
 
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