DIY Upside Down Tomatoes

Ever since the blight killed all but one of our tomato plants last summer, I've been wondering how we'd avoid the same fate this year.  I knew it would probably involve containers, but until last night, I still had no solid plan.  Thanks to this post at Dinosaur Dry Goods and a NY Times article, I'm sold - they're going upside down.  

I'll admit, I saw the silly commercially made bags around last year and didn't know what to think.  Apparently most tomatoes grow well this way and the tops of the containers can be used to plant the basil and cilantro that are inevitably going to be pared with them.  I love the idea of creating my own hanging baskets out of the old plastic planters that have been building up in my garage for years.  I'm going to get my tomatoes started today and will let you know how it goes.  Until then, here are some photos from around the web for inspiration...

 the photo that sparked my interest via this post
all in a row via this post

  a pretty version via this post

 a similar plan, but upside up via this post


  1. Huh. I'll be interested to see how this works for you. I would think gallon-sized milk jugs would be too small for a tomato's impressive root system, though.

  2. I see what you mean about the gallon being too small. I'm thinking about using normal sized hanging basket containers and was hoping they'd be big enough. My mother in law grows big bushy tomatoes in containers that couldn't hold more than 2 gallons of soil(and probably hold way less) every summer - hers are upside up, but still. I

    'll let you know how it goes - it does feel kind of experimental because I'm confined to using the pots I have - no 5 gallon bucket purchases this summer!

  3. This is great Alyssa. I have so much shade in my garden that it's hard to grow anything. But the areas with the sun have concrete - I could do a hanging basket with tomatoes... Thanks.

  4. I have one going right now, it is really getting big (much better than the one's in my garden). Kristen got me one of those bags for christmas and I will let you know how it goes! So far I am sold on them, but make sure you support the stem with something like an ols sponge so all the water doesn't pour out the stem.