Hanging Tomatoes Upside Down

Image courtesy of A Taste Of The Earth
I’m a little skeptical about this fad of hanging tomato plants upside down. I can certainly see the benefits. Tomatoes are vines and by hanging them upside down, you don’t have to worry about the tomatoes lying on the ground and rotting. Gravity works in your favor and you have easier access to the tomatoes. On top of that, you don’t need to worry about weeds.
The reason I’m skeptical is that tomato plants need a lot of nutrition and water. In a limited space like a bucket, by the time the plant is producing fruit, it seems like it would have used up the nutrients in the soil around its roots, forcing you to use chemical fertilizers. And it also seems like you would have to water more. Hanging plants seem to run out of water faster than others–at least, that’s my observation. Maybe it’s gravity?
So I’m a little unsure about this, but also curious. I admit, hanging tomatoes could be great for a container garden. In limited space I could see it being a good way to grow fresh tomatoes.
You can buy kits in the store to hang your tomato plant, but it seems like a matter of rigging a bucket on a rope, drilling some holes, and hanging it on a hook in direct sunlight. eHow has instructions on how to do it. From what I know of tomato plants, you would need a strong hook, because between the dirt and the water and the vines loaded with fruit, that plant is going to get very heavy.
So hanging tomatoes–good or bad? Anyone tried it?

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7 thoughts on “Hanging Tomatoes Upside Down”

  1. Once upon a time, we tried it – and yes, it works. Don’t overwater, but water more frequently to manage hydration, and use a good quality soil (not that you shouldn’t anyway, especially in the case of good veggies). Compost is your friend. We used five-gallon plastic buckets and they worked fine. Of course, we use five-gallon buckets for just about everything in some cases, including growing tomatoes traditionally, so there.
    Also, for what it’s worth, Epcot (Disney) grows a great many vines from their greenhouse ceilings to max space – vines up top and other plants in beds – including tomatoes, pumpkins/squash and zukes, if I remember correctly.

  2. Kate, I was thinking about growing zukes upside-down this year, but I was talked out of it by my far-more-knowledgeable boyfriend. I’m going to look up Epcot’s zukes – I’m excited to see if I can one-up him.
    Thanks for the photo credit and link Savvy Housekeeper! Kate’s right: compost is your friend, although I admit to using fertilizer’s when I run out of the “black gold” (that’s what my mother used to call compost). A lot of people seem to be concerned about watering, but I really haven’t noticed that I have to water them more or less often than when they were right-side up.
    Now I’m going to go explore the rest of your site! It looks really cool!

  3. Container or bucket gardens are pretty easy to get started with.
    For instance, I created an upside down bucket planter within 10 minutes.
    It only cost be a $1.50 and is working nicely. You can take a look at my step by step pictures if interested.
    Good luck on yours Gravity Gardener.. 

  4. Alynxia, I hear it will work with other vines. I don’t know about melons because of the weight, but cucumbers or zucchini might work. Let me know if you try it.

  5. I hope you got the nice down pour that we did in the other part of Southwest Volusia last eveinng. My garden is breathing a sign of relief.


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