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Upside-Down Tomato Buckets

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My husband built this frame work to hold three tomato plants. The grass in the top of the buckets helps hold the moisture in. He cuts it with a scissors.
The chains on each side allows him to raise the buckets as needed.

By DeeJay from Delphos, OH

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By Bullseye (Guest Post)12/28/2008

Hi. I came across your site while looking for info regarding hanging tomatoes. I just received a hanging kit for Christmas from a relative and I figure it probably cost them about $30.00. Well, after I put it up I got to thinking that I could make one a lot cheaper. I went and purchased two reusable grocery sacks (the material is identical to the store bought kit) for a $1.00 apiece. Then I bought a 55 quart bag of Lamberts potting soil for $10.00. Throw in two Home Depot five gallon bucket lids at $1.00 each and two Celebrity tomato plant starters at $1.25 each. Toss in a couple of scoops of Osmocote that I had laying around and that's it. Total cost for the two, $16.50.

Below is a link to a video of my garden and the hanging tomatoes. I live in sunny south Florida so I start my garden around November when the threat of hurricanes has passed. I was gonna make a video of me making the homemade kits but I probably would have gotten the camera all dirty, haha. Hope you enjoy.

Bullseye

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qja6TZTl1SY

By DeeJay (Guest Post)07/22/2008

I could only upload one photo at a time. Here's the other
Some of the leaves are starting to turn yellow. Is that
too much water? It has rained a lot here. Far left plant is
Beefsteak, Center is Roma, far right is cherry. We also
put a tablespoon of sugar in the soil of each bucket. Makes them very sweet.

RE: Upside-Down Tomato Buckets

By DeeJay (Guest Post)07/22/2008

The buckets are cat litter buckets. We have gotten about 10 tomatoes from the far right plant. The center plant now has about 30 on it just waiting for it to ripen. The far left plant only has two very large tomatoes so far.

The hole is 1 inch, some stones were placed around the opening but I think coffee filters would also work. The handle of the bucket is just bent over the rail. I like the idea of planting something else in the top.

RE: Upside-Down Tomato Buckets

By Deb (Guest Post)07/22/2008

How do you attach the buckets to the pole? Could you post a close up? Thank you!

By susan [5]07/20/2008

Simply popping the lids on the buckets will also stop evaporation and keep moisture in. I plant another tomato or a green pepper plant on the top of mine -- doesn't stop the evaporation process, but gives me extra food in otherwise unused space. This year, I have cantaloupes growing under my buckets, so in effect, I am gardening on three levels. By-the-way, the buckets do not have to be filled with dirt. You can add more as the plant roots fill the container. It is extremely important to thoroughly water the plants before they dry out, or at least every other day, and to fertilize them too.

By Pattie McIntyre [37]07/19/2008

Hi, Can you give a bit more info on setting up the buckets to hold the tomato plants? How big a hole is in the bottom where the tomato plant is threaded through? What keeps soil from seeping through, especially when you water the tomato's? Thanks.

By Kim Churchman [3]07/18/2008

I didn't plant my upside down tomato thingie because I had nowhere to hang it. Voila!

By Lynda (Guest Post)07/18/2008

There is a trademarked idea like this on the web, and several decorated containers with the same idea. I thought I could just make my own, but failed as others here say they have. I wonder if it's just that all conditions have to be just right? Are there tomatoes on the vines in the pictures? I'm not seeing them, if so. What planting medium/soil and food do you use? How often do you water them?
Do you think the idea works because the roots are warmed by the sun or because the leaves are shaded by the buckets....or both?
God bless you. : )

By Pat Giles07/18/2008

That is ingenious! I hope you get loads of tomatoes to eat yourself and to share with friends. Thanks for sharing this with us and God bless you.

By jamish (Guest Post)07/17/2008

Mine dos not look like that. I have a whole lot less dirt than that in my bucket, so maybe that really is my problem. Seems to me I need to get a big bucket like that to hold my tomato plant, I may copy this. Thanks for the GREAT idea.

By Lori Cobb [4]07/17/2008

I love this. I have seen tomatoes grown upside down but this is the best yet. Thanks so much for sharing. Lori

By Jill [4]07/17/2008

Very, very cool!

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