Friday, January 16, 2015

How to Grow Tomatoes Upside Down


Tomatoes are a sweet and delicious fruit from a very tolerant plant. Tomato plants are so popular to grow because they're easy and homegrown tomatoes always taste best. As a vine, they're also good for the gardener who has very little space. This article will tell you how to grow tomatoes hanging from the ceiling, although it could be adapted to suit a hanging basket, too.

Grow Tomatoes Upside Down Step 1.jpg

Set up the hanger. Choose a sunny place indoors to hang the tomato plant's container. Your plant can be hung from a hook in the ceiling or tied around a beam––use what works for the space you've allotted.
  • If you're using a basket around the bottle, using string or twine, knot the basket to create hangers for attaching to the hooks or around the beams. Attach the basket to your ceiling or beam, ready for the adding the plant. When selecting the basket, choose one that will hold the upside-down milk or juice bottle that you'll be using without slipping out or toppling sideways. Be sure to check thisbefore hanging the basket up! This step is prettier but optional, as you can also use the bottle direct (see below).
Grow Tomatoes Upside Down Step 2.jpg
  1. 2
    Select a small tomato plant. Plants bought or grown from seed are both fine choices. Water this plant well and set it to one side.
  2. Grow Tomatoes Upside Down Step 3.jpg
    Take the large, clean plastic milk or juice bottle and cut off the base. Remove the lid. See the image for more details.
    • Tie string or twine to the edges of the cut end of the bottle for hanging. Punch out the holes using a hole puncher, or use a sharp tool to insert holes through which the string can pass. Knot the string in place with loops to attach to the hangers you've made. While the image shown later in this tutorial shows two holes, you may find three holes produces a better balance––experiment to see what works best.
  3. Grow Tomatoes Upside Down Step 4.jpg
    Take the tomato plant out of its original pot. Gently set it upside down in the milk or juice bottle. Gently feed the plant through the pouring hole, so that the tomato plant is hanging out of the hole, with the roots still inside the bottle.
  4. Grow Tomatoes Upside Down Step 5.jpg
    Fill the milk bottle with a mixture of good compost and garden soil. Then water it. (Now you see why the hanger was put up first - it's impossible to put the plant on a surface without covering it in soil or damaging the plant.) If using a basket, insert the bottle into the hanging basket for hanging; if not, simply hang the bottle direct to the hangers. You're now ready to begin growing your upside-down tomato plant.
  5. Grow Tomatoes Upside Down Step 6.jpg
    Water your upside-down tomato plant regularly. The easiest way to water is to purchase a plant watering bottle which contains a hooked tube that sucks up the water and delivers it via the hook into the top of the container; you simply hold up the bottle, tuck the hook over the top of the container and squeeze the water in. These can be purchased from garden and hardware stores.
    • Be aware that the water tends to dribble out of the neck of the bottle; this will gradually reduce as the root system develops.
    • Try putting another plant underneath your hanging tomato plant to catch the extra water that escapes, or place a container under the plant to catch the water and use it to water your other hanging tomato plants. Another option is to hang the plant where it doesn't matter as much where the water drips, such as on your balcony.
  6. Grow Tomatoes Upside Down Step 7.jpg

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