All ‘Topsy Turvey”
One of the things that keeps us all gardening is optimism- that the sun will shine, the rain will fall, the seeds will germinate and with a little luck, we will have beautiful tomatoes mid- July. We will have the tomatoes, but not from our original Topsy Turvey planting. As you can see the plants in the purchased topsys flopsied! Too much water was the culprit. These poor plants simply drowned.
David came up with another set of directions to build our own upside down growing container (directions below). This second round of tomatoes is growing strong and seem to be holding the water just right.
You may also notice another garden favorite growing out of the top of our planters- it’s basil. Not only is this a delicious planting pairing, it is a practical one. Tomatoes and Basil require similar soil, sun and moisture and are complementary to one another. Planting the Basil in the top of the planter creates a natural umbrella for the soil, again assisting with moisture control.
|The plant on the right is bearing fruit. The brown leaves are because we are gone over the weekend and Topsy Turveys require regular watering.|
Hanging Bucket Tomato Planter
Purchase an empty 5-gallon bucket. This bucket can be found at hardware stores. Clean the bucket with warm sudsy water to prepare it for planting your tomato plant.
Cut a hole in the bucket using a drill or a utility knife. The hole should be right in the middle of the bottom of the bucket and about 2 inches in diameter.
Opposite of the handle, drill two holes to accommodate a sturdy cord to form a cross handle. If the bucket does not have a handle, add a second cord to form an X.
With the bucket hanging, place several layers of newspaper in the bottom of the bucket, covering the hole. You can also use a 4 x 4 inch of 1 inch thick foam rubber. This will later be used to anchor the tomato plant.
Cut a slit in the newspaper or foam rubber at the bottom of the bucket to allow you to plant the tomato plant. Plant the seedling with only about 3 inches of the plant coming out of the hole. Use soil to anchor it in the bucket.
Fill the bucket with soil. Soils with vitamin additives, like Miracle-Gro, are the best for growing tomatoes. In the top of the bucket you can plant your favorite herbs. This will help to retain the moisture in the bucket.
Hang the bucket in a sunny area and water. Tomatoes require at least 50 percent sunlight. Move the bucket according to where the most direct sun is during the day.
Harvest tomatoes as they ripen on the vine. Tomatoes will begin to form not long after the tomato plant flowers. The fruit should be red and firm before cutting from the plant.