HOME > Chowhound > Gardening >


those crazy upside down containers

We succumbed and bought a (cheapie) topsy turvy tomato planter. Anyone used one & have tips/thoughts on them? The only advantage I see is that it's hung high so critters can't get the tomatoes. Otherwise, looks like one of those fad gizmos. Other perspectives?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Birds and squirrels will be able to get to the tomatoes. That's why I don't have one.

    1. They can help prevent diseases as the fruit does not have contact with wet surfaces such as soil after a rain (but this is obviously also avoided by very good staking). Air circulation is also good for tomatoes as it is for other plants.

      As I live on the prairies with very little shelter our frequent high winds would zap all the moisture out far too frequently. Not only that but the winds here always shatter many plants each year. But I'd be interested to see how it works for you!

      1. It's a nice solution for when one has limited space. I have a deck, and was thinking of getting one of those this year, so that I can save the space along the railing for herbs and peppers.

        1. I tried two last year, in different locations in my yard, using two different kinds of tomatoes. No luck. It was a fad gizmo for sure. I'm glad they were gifts, as I would have been dissapointed to spend my money.

          1. My father-in-law just used some old plastic buckets- they did fine...

            1. I used the cheapie ones last year to grow currant tomatoes in for mainly decorative but edible hanging containers on my porch. They did well. But- the tomatoes required a LOT of water making the planters very heavy and I needed to upgrade the hooks and chains to more sturdy ones. I also had to add a bungee cord hooked on to the bottom of the planter and tethered to the porch railing to control the planter's swinging, twisting and banging about in anything from mild breezes to actual wind.

              1. Don't mean to rain on your parade, but they're definitely nothing but a fad item. I almost succumbed to them one year, but am glad I didn't, as everyone I've come in contact with who has tried them has had nothing but problems. Require LOTS of water, are EXTREMELY heavy, & extremely susceptible to wind damage. And the ultimate con? The yields are nowhere near the stupendous numbers the ads say they will be, regardless of the variety you plant.

                But since you have it, give it a try. I'd definitely stick with a smaller-fruiting bush variety though.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Breezychow

                  Too true, but you can make your own. I've done it for the last three years using a milk jug, just to see what visitors say when they spot it, but the yields are definitely disappointing and I had to water every day. Probably the best tomato varieties to use are the dwarf cherries like Tumbling Tom or Golden Dwarf Champion if you must do it.

                2. Thanks, all. This is just an experiment and almost a joke planting, so it's not our main tomato crop for the year. I already have 4 potted tomatoes (the raised beds needed a rest from tomatoes this year), and 5" seedlings of San Marzanos nearly ready for transplant, so we should have a decent yield from all of those.

                  1. Gadget, fad, nonsense. If anyone else is inclined, they can be made without buying the kit