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upside down tomatoes

Posted by tpw1963 7b (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 1, 04 at 8:59

Hello,

I have grown currant and pear tomatoes upside down through the bottom of buckets wit some success. My question, do you/yall think that largerbetter boy and early girl varitys will work here or will the weight themselves out of the bucket? BTW, am using heavy 5 gal buckets

TiA
Tom


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: upside down tomatoes

I don't think the plants themselves will pull out of the bucket root an all, but have concerns about all that unsupported weight hanging down without a tresslis or cage to help support it.


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RE: upside down tomatoes

I also don't think the whole plant, root and all, will pull out of the bucket. But, as said above, I would worry that the vines themselves would snap if unsupported. I know that with Early Girls, the vines which escape my tomato cages often either hand tenuously because of the weight of the fruit or sometimes break in twain. It would be worth a try, though, with a few plants at least.

I've never tried the upside-down buckets... can you tell me how you go about it with the small varieties?

Thanks,
Shawna


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RE: upside down tomatoes

Just my opinion not scientific or anything, but I would think that since the tomatoes are not being encouraged to grow "against" gravity, i.e. an upright plant, they would not have to fight the downward growing battle. What I mean is everything on earth wants to be pulled downward and if you have a plant that is growing upward, the gravitational pull will struggle with the plant and of course gravity will often times win and you get plant limbs breaking. I would think that if you are allowing gravity to have its way with the tomatoes by encouraging them to grow down not up, then there won't be as much of a problem. JMO :)

Karen in NC


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RE: upside down tomatoes

Karen,

I cut 2" whole in bottom of bucket. push plant through the whole. I use cardboard strips to help hold inroot ball. Then fill w/ planting mix. Wate from top and and mulch. I built a hanging rack out of scrap wood and hung about 16 plants last year. Didn't loose any, even in the hurricane.

Tom,

Down East in Carolina


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RE: upside down tomatoes

Some time ago I stumbled across the link below (GardenGate magazine) which does a nice job describing the process to plant upside-down tomatoes. I was also wondering about the support of vines for the larger varieties but I do not believe it should be a problem. It seems as though the stem sizes of the larger varieties should provide ample support. I am going to plant a couple this year so at the end of the season I'll post an update.

David

Here is a link that might be useful: Upside-down tomatoes


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RE: upside down tomatoes

I'm verry interested in using this method. Could you descibe how the plants responded to hanging upside down?
I would be intested to know if all the leaves turn upward toward the sun or if more of the underside of the leaf is exposed. I would also be interested in how the truss, flowering and fruiting stuctures formed. If I was trying this for the first time I would be worried particulary about the nuckle/joint on the pedicel atached to the fruit snapping.

Did you do any pruning or training with the vines? I would be interested to how multiple vegetive vines would react to hanging upside down and if this should be encuraged.

How and how often did you watter your buckets?

I have tons of other questions but I supose these will do for now lol.


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RE: upside down tomatoes

I have an old metal clothesline pole that I am going to use behind my storage building and try this technique. We have LOTS of 5 gallon buckets left from my DH's floor buffing business so that wouldn't be a problem. I love experimenting in the garden :)
Karen in NC


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RE: upside down tomatoes

Beamster.

I did prune the suckers. The vines kinda grow in a "J" Form w/o the leaves turning . The under side wasn't exposed to the sun. The plants appeared to set flowers and clusters of fruit normally.

You do have to water a lot. I used a "Rain" nozzle on a hose end.

I am going to use the 3 partmix for the soil this uear, maybe this will cut down onthe amount of watering.

Also, No cut worms!!!

Tom
Downeast in Carolina


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RE: upside down tomatoes

This looks like a lot of fun to try. We have more windy days than not though, so I wonder how they would do here. Oh and look! I have an extra bucket! A yellow currant should work fine but I will also have to figure out a way to cover in case of cold nights. I'll time it to hang about the first of June.


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RE: upside down tomatoes

I have grown cherry tomatoes upside down in a discarded hanging flower basket. The suckers turn upwards and can be tied to the 3 hanging wires supporting the basket.


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RE: upside down tomatoes

I covered hanging tomatoes w. trash bag w/ a hole for the handle to thread through


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RE: upside down tomatoes

  • Posted by Lythir Bay Area, CA (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 23, 04 at 20:37

My question is: why? What is the point of growing them upside down? Honest curiosity here. I can't think of any reason to do it aside from experimentation purposes. And when you water, wouldn't it drip down the stems onto the leaves?

-L


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RE: upside down tomatoes

send


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RE: upside down tomatoes

Does there have to be a point? I am growing them just for fun this year. Makes people wonder what brand of crack I switched to.

But what about someone with limited space; say you live in an apartment, and have only a small patio....

You could grow three times as many things... one set of containers on the patio, hanging buckets with tomatoes growing from the bottom, and other small flowers or herbs growing in the tops.

Some answers to other questions I have seen posted here:

The plants try to grow upward. The stems curl around, and the leaves face upward. Gravity eventually pulls them down.

I was using quite a bit of water, as it just ran out the large hole in the bottom. So I started using the soda bottle watering spikes, they release the water slowly into the soil, so it stays moist without a lot running out the bottom.

I also started with seedlings in 4" pots, so I had to cut a big hole in the bottom of the bucket. I trimmed down the lid, and cut a 1" hole in it, and slitted the lid from the hole to the outside edge. I stuck my root ball into the 4" hole, then slipped the lid around the stem. I added about 6" of potting soil, put a round cardboard on top to slow down the water, then filled the bucket with soil. I am growing pansies, basil, and oregano on the tops of the buckets.


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RE: upside down tomatoes

We do it every year with tomatoes... just for the fun, and now, as I've built up the garden, we just want more unique items, and an upside-down tomato is just that... unique.

Last year our early girl did ok, not too great, but the year before, we had a nice beefsteak. remember to support the fruit ppls... hehehehe...

This year, Mrs put a RedRobin in a flower bag on the side... should be interesting... I'm going to do a LemonBoy yellow tomato myself with herbs on top like ohbOb does...

But no matter how hard you try, the plant will attempt to curl up, it's nature is to seek the sun!... But it still works!

Here is a link that might be useful: Boris's Square Foot Garden


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RE: upside down tomatoes

In response to "why?" There is something in the soil in my garden that causes my tomato plant's leaves to turn yellow and get black spots, and the plants seem to die before the tomatoes reach the stage they can be picked. I have tried moving the plants to a different part of the garden, and I get the same results. Someone told me it's caused by a fungus, and I should cover the soil with black plastic and burn it out. I tried it, and it didn't work out so I just gave up on growing tomatoes. I would like to be able to grow the yellow varieties of tomatoes because I've heard they are less acidic than the red, and they are hard to come by where I live or very expensive if I do find them. Someone mentioned this bucket idea, and I am considering trying it. I can get fresh soil and not have to worry about the fungus. Also, my neighbors yard behind me is sitting higher than my garden (which is right along the property line). There never seems to be any dandelions in their yard so I wonder what they are putting down to take care of them, and when it rains, is it running right into my garden? I won't have to worry about that if my plants are hanging.

Has anyone tried other plants? -like strawberries?


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RE: upside down tomatoes

I was just thinking, maybe because I can't grow yellow squash because of squash borer wonder if it would work with squash upside down. Have Scoop-away kitty litter buckets all I have to do is fiqure where to hang them from.
I will let you know.

Stella


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RE: upside down tomatoes

I tried upside down Toms one year but the vines did not head for the ground as antisipated, instead they insisted on reaching upwards toward the sun, what did i do wrong?


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RE: upside down tomatoes

Here are illustrated directions for doing upside-down tomatoes.

http://www.minifarmhomestead.com/gardening/tomato.htm

Did it successfully last year.

Will continue to do so again.

Best to you in all you do!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures of upside down tomatoes


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RE: upside down tomatoes

I would like to try this but have a lots of questions for those who have experience using this method. I really want to get this right.

I would guess that others have many of the same questions.

I know my tomatoes usually climb right out of the 5 ft cages and then back to the ground. How high do these need to be off the ground? My 5 gal. bucket stands almost 2ft. off the floor which means if I put them 6ft. off the ground, that leaves about 4ft. for the plant to grow. Will that be enough? Or will growing them in a bucket restrict the growth? I can build a support that will get them up to 8ft off the ground but will that be too much? On a hill with lots of wind, should I be concerned? Rope or other support method recommended? For the plant? For the tomatoes? Would it be better to put a 2x4 (or whatever) right through the handle? Or use something else? What about spacing? How much? Will they tend to slide from the wind?

The bush plants I grew (in ground) last yr. were almost 5ft but sprawling. Is it better to grow a bush or other determinate? Is pruning recommended? I tend to let mine just go with minimal pruning. Usu. just the lower branches which would be just the opposite using this method.

I usu. intermix basil with my tomatoes. Anyone tried growing basil out of the same bottom hole?

Also wondering about tips/tricks on watering. I know from growing a tomato plant in a bucket (on the ground) last yr. I had to water it almost every day because of the wind drying out the soil. It really didn't do that well but was early. To aid in watering, is it recommended to drill more than one hole in the lid or just leave it off?

Any recommended nutrients or soil amendments? Other thoughts or recommendations?
Thanks to ALL,
Gumby CT << suffering from "Cabin Fever", can't wait to get started.

ps. Looking for a reliable source for Siberian Tomato seeds. Supposed to produce fruit down to about 38 deg. Anyone have experience with Siberian Tomatoes?


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RE: upside down tomatoes

After 10 days...I am thinking no one has any experience using this method.


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RE: upside down tomatoes

I have one bucket growing now. I put a lid on and cut a hole in the center to hold the moisture in. I have a bottle and slowly pour into the top of the bucket every 2-3 days. Now that it is getting hotter I will have to watch closer but 2-3 days seems to be working. The plant grows upwards and eventually drops lower. I just picked my first six tomatoes and this plant has lots of green tomatoes and yellow flowers. I have an old clothes line (sunk in concrete) I hang from. I also have a concrete block with braces on it(normally used for patios or decks). I also have a 4/4. Going to put that together and then some sort of metal on top so I can hang two plants on it. This would be portable and I could move it anywhere I like in the yard. Will be great in fall and such when the yard gets shade. I can just pull it to a sunny location. This so far to me is the best as NO BUGS!!!


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RE: upside down tomatoes

Posted by Lythir
My question is: why? What is the point of growing them upside down?

To save valuable space. Tomatoes take up a lot of room and are a hassle to try to cage an tie up. This way there is much less maintenance and all the space it would have taken up on the ground can be used for other veggies.

I have one and it's not a small variety. Basically, just keep it watered. You can set up a timed drip irrigation system to make it easy. You want the base of the container to be at least five preferrably 7 feet off the ground.


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RE: upside down tomatoes

I tired it this year with the "Early Girl" variety, unfortunatly the vine grew up, not down and shows no signs of fruit or any kind of general health.


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RE: upside down tomatoes

What variety would be good to use? One that does not grow too long/high. How about "Roma"?
Has anyone grown any other vegetables upside-down? Courgettes?


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RE: upside down tomatoes

Bringing this back up with a link to current discussion about growing an upside down tomato.

Make your own bucket instead of paying for this gimmicky planter if you are going to try this. Just drill a hole small enuff the seedling won't fall out.

Read the link below for what others thought of this idea. I say if you have no other way to grow a tomato try this. If you do, I think they grow better when planted in the ground.

Here is a link that might be useful: Topsy Turvy Planter?


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RE: upside down tomatoes

I have started one this year. I am experimenting with a Tiny Tim Tomato plant that I started inside. I bought a "coconut liner" to put in a hanging basket, poked a hole in it, stuck the plant down through it (carefully) and put soil around the roots. I also put a coffee filter on the outside of the coconut liner to catch any water that would come through and drip on the plant. I also try very hard not to over water it so it won't come through.

It started grown back up after a day and I felt so badly for it but if this is normal, then I guess he will be OK. I do want to do this with my other plants if it works. I just stayed away from the heavy tomatoes because I thought it would break the stems.


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