Wednesday, April 07, 2010

How to Grow an Upside Down Tomato: Attempt # 2

When I first heard that tomatoes can be planted upside down, I was intrigued.  And so I tried it.  To read my first upside down tomato attempt, check this. And here's how it looks now.  Apart from looking cool, why plant your tomato upside down?  You avoid weeds.  It helps with space.  You don't need to stake or support the plant.  Saves water since you get to the roots at once.

Where did I go wrong the first time?  If you checked the picture, you'd see that I used the drainage hole to plant the tomato.  By what I've read in other sites, that hole is too small since tomatoes are gigantic plants.  While you can buy expensive 5-gallon containers to hold your tomatoes, I've also read of more economical solutions, such as using a 2-liter soda container.  In my case, I used 500 ML.  Who knows, right?

So look at the picture.  I'll talk you through how I did it (whether it's right or not)

  1. Got a 500 ML bottle and cut through 4/5 of the bottom
  2. Used scissors to cut 4 holes around the bottle, near the bottom
  3. Inserted straw through the holes and tied it around the bottle
  4. Tied straw near the mouth of the bottle and connected it to the straw near the bottom
  5. Had two loose ends which I used to tie the container to a hanger (in this case a tree)
  6. Inserted newspaper around the bottle because I read that the sun should not hit the roots
  7. Filled the bottle (through the hole I cut at the bottom) with good drainage soil
  8. Inverted the bottle and inserted the seedling (about 1/2 of the entire seedling is inside).  Personally,  the transplant is the hardest part for me.  I've killed about 6-7 tomato seedlings while transplanting so please be careful.
  9. Filled the bottle with good drainage soil through the mouth (yes there will be space after you inverted the bottle)
  10. Covered the mouth with newspaper and taped it around the mouth.  This ensures that the stem is snug and that the tomato seedling won't fall.  This also prevents the soil from spilling out. I used newspaper since it will just melt as needed when the stem grows bigger. 
  11. Hung the bottle inverted on the tree.
  12. Watered the plant from the bottom.  I watered until it dripped from the mouth. 
  13. I'll tie more straw around the bottle as the plant grows heavier.
I hope it survives!   Go try it and let me know what happens.


  1. hey, I think I WILL try it!!

    Did you read Hilary's cool post the other day about Vertical Gardening?? Fascinating, was the first tiem I'd heard of it.

    read her post here...


  2. Hi Jannie,

    I just read it. Good concept.

    Let me know what happens to your upside down tomato.

  3. Very nice, it was my first time I saw tomato plant up side down. Very impressive.

  4. Anonymous9:15 AM

    Hello Sir,
    This is the first time I have seen your website/blog after googling "siling labuyo seedlings" I suspect that the seedling I bought is of the Taiwanese variety and not the local variety since the leaves are large not like the ones i see on your blog which has slimmer leaves... oh well. About your tomatoes --- did they grow well upside down? Am interested to know how they are doing -- I would like to grow tomatoes and I am looking at how best to grow them. Thanks!

  5. I'm not sure what the Taiwanese variety looks like. I think it'll be a lot cheaper though if you just buy a bag of labuyo from the supermarket. That bag probably has about 500 seeds.

    Anyway, my upside down tomatoes died. It's not because they were upside down. One fell because a cat climbed up a tree and pushed the pot. The plant was dead before I discovered it. The other one died because I dared to prune it aggressively while it was still very young. Let me know what happens to your tomatoes.


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