If you want to grow tomato upside down and you haven’t done it before, or if you have done it but unsuccessfully, you will definitely want some tips in order to be able to harvest as many tomatoes as you can by using this ingenious method that many people are using with great results.
Before starting with the essential things that you need to do in order for your tomato plants to thrive, we are going to take a look at the benefits of growing upside down tomatoes, so that you will not forget why you are trying to do this in the first place.
Benefits of growing tomatoes upside down
- Fewer pests and less disease
Most pests reach the plants by walking or crawling, not by flying on them so if the pots are hanged, they will not be able to reach them. Also, there are some pests that might come from the soil, so if the soil in the pots has no connection to the ground, your plants will be free of worries when it comes to bugs.
Also, ground fungus and some other diseases that tomato plants can get from the soil will be eliminated if you decide to grow your tomatoes upside down.
- Less occupied space
If you want to grow tomatoes or any other vegetables in your garden and you have limited space, or if you simply don’t want your yard to not be crowded with veggies, a great way to do that is to grow the tomatoes upside down because, this way, you will not use any of the terrain available on your property.
- No stakes required
Growing tomatoes upside down will also reduce the amount of work you have to put into them and also the amount of gear you need. Because the tomato plant will not grow upward, but downward, you will not need to use any stakes in order to keep it straight.
What you actually need to do
In order to have thriving plants and for your experience to be successful, you need to take into account some things that will make a lot of difference when it comes to growing healthy plants and to avoid that your gardening becomes a total fail. We have made a list of the most important things you need to consider before starting.
- Find the right place to hang the planter
The first thing that you should consider when it comes to placing the planters is sunlight. The biggest problem that people are facing when growing upside down tomatoes is that the amount of sunlight that they get is reduced, meaning that they will not grow as rich as tomatoes that grow on the ground do.
Therefore, you should find a place that is exposed to sunlight for at least 8 hours a day, because, otherwise, you will be disappointed with how little amount of fruits your plant will make.
Another important aspect when you pick a spot is wind. If the location that you choose for your planters is exposed to air currents and the wind blows intensely, your planters might start to rotate and, eventually, fall off. So either you install wind blockers, or you choose a spot that is not so exposed.
The thing that you will need to pay attention to is that the containers have a hole at the bottom and that they are specially made for plants that are meant to be grown upside down because, if not, you will have to make the hole yourself and some materials that the planters are made of might crack or break if you decide to cut them.
- Pick solid hooks
Hooks are very important because their sturdiness will determine how well the planters will be kept in place. Some people decide to hang the planters on hooks that are fixed in the wall or ceiling and others decide to buy systems that are already made for this purpose with the hooks already attached.
No matter what your option is, the hooks are best when they are made of metal like steel, preferably stainless steel, or aluminum. Try to avoid the ones made of plastic because they will not be able to support the weight of the planters for a prolonged period of time.
- Pick the right planter
There is a rule you have to follow if you want to plant tomatoes upside down, and this is to reduce the weight as much as you can. This is why using a ceramic planter will not be such a great choice. Also, you should consider the wind, which might destabilize the planter, so the planter should be sturdy. There are planters specially made for this purpose that you can use.
- Fabric planters
Fabric planters are a great choice because they are lightweight. In general, these types of planters are made of strong polyester which will not break due to the weight of the soil and that of the tomato plant itself. This is important because when the fruit comes out and begins to grow, the plant will be a lot heavier.
- Resin and plastic planters
Resin is a little bit sturdier than normal plastic but both of them will do a great job if you don’t overload them. You will be able to find various models with different designs on the market that will suit your garden.
- Pick the right tomato type
There are a lot of types of tomatoes, but not all of them are suited to be grown upside down for a lot of reasons. First of all, you should avoid types of tomatoes that have really big fruits because they will be really heavy and the plant will not be able to hold them. Secondly, you should think about how much soil the tomatoes need in order to thrive and grow healthy fruit.
This is why some types are better than others. The ones that you should consider are Yellow Canary tomatoes, which have the ability to make fruits without the need for very much sunlight. Also, some tomatoes have been invented specially for this purpose, like Tumbling Tom tomatoes, which are a great choice and you can choose between red and yellow tomatoes.
- Watering is essential
There are some considerations that make the growing upside down tomatoes a bit tricky. Among them is the amount of water you should use. It is best to find the right amount of water according to the size of your container. After that, you should observe how quickly the soil dries. During the hot season, it might be necessary to water them every day.
- Pick all the tomatoes right after they ripen
You should do this for two reasons. One is that you will need to relieve the weight that is applied to the plant by the weight of the fruits. Secondly, if you pick them at the right time, your plants will be able to make new fruits and you will increase your harvest, maximizing the number of tomatoes that your plants will produce.
Due to the way a tomato grows, some gardeners suggest picking the fruit when it has reached maturity, even though it is still green, and not when it is ripe, in order for them to taste better. This will also allow you to control how ripe you want the tomatoes to be and to prevent bruising.
- Use only organic fertilizer for the soil
If you decide to buy soil that is already fertilized, especially for tomatoes, every now and then you will still have to reapply the fertilizer, especially because the soil that stays in pots does not have so many nutrients as the normal soil found in the ground.
The thing that differs when it comes to hanging planters is that if the water leaks at the bottom of the planter, it will also touch the tomatoes. This might not be very healthy if you use fertilizer made of chemicals, so a great practice is to use organic options which will make your tomatoes safe to eat.
Tomatoes ‘eat’ a lot of soil nutrients, this is why people who are pros at growing tomatoes like to replace the potting soil once a year in order to keep it full of the things that tomatoes need so that they grow healthy and provide rich and juicy tomatoes.
- Planting steps
- Place the root ball of the plant through the hole in the planter.
- Wet the potting soil before you place it in the container.
- Do not use soil from the garden because it will be heavy and the roots will not be able to grow properly.
- Add soil over the root until the planter is filled.
- Hang the planter.
There are various ways in which you can grow tomatoes and the upside-down option is one that many people prefer because they look a lot better and they do not take up a lot of space. If you will follow all the tips that we have given you in this article, you can be completely sure that your gardening experience will turn into a success.