Growing tomatoes upside down in a Topsy Turvy Planter or a bucket with a hole in the bottom, is becoming more and more popular, but like any other way to grow tomatoes, there are advantages and disadvantages …

Topsy Turvy Planter


  •     Off the ground at easy picking height.
  •     More difficult for bugs to attack.
  •     Branches on bush varieties are less likely to be pulled off by the weight of the tomatoes.
  •     Good air circulation.
  •     Easier to remove dying leaves.
  •     Spot diseases early as leaves are more visible.


  •    The weight – the handle and bracket needs to be very strong, or you may hear a thump in the night!
  •     The small root area – not good for larger tomato plants – small plants that have less root requirements are going to enjoy it more
  •     The likelihood of the soil drying out quickly – soil needs daily watering in warm weather

Help retain water

It is helpful to add perlite, vermiculite or water retaining gel to the soil to help moisture retention.

When weight is an issue

A heavy clay-based compost like John Innes will add to the weight of the container, so a lighter mix would be desirable.

Overall, growing tomatoes upside down is fun and has many advantages. It certainly looks great on the patio when the friends and family visit … just be aware that the ease of picking will mean that those juicy toms won’t be hanging there for very long!

Next …

Direct Soil Planting

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