John K
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Location: Central Florida

Topsey Turvey tomato planters?

Anyone actually try those things? Just wondering. Thanks

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Location: Houston Area

My grandmother wanted one, so I'll be trying one out this year. As soon as the tomato seedlings grow, and grow big enough to put in the thing, I'll be doing so. More than likely though, I'll be placing it outside... I don't have much sun that gets inside the house.

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Location: Virginia

I have, and into the garbage can it went.

In short - soil dries out too quickly, just too small to hold sufficient amount of growing media in the summer, hence smaller varieties only, production compare to the main garden settings is reduced dramatically.

You can search the forum for more topics on "Upside Down" or "Topsey Turvey", and see the results for yourself.

Here is one

Good luck!


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Yes, agree if you type Topsy Turvey tomatoes or upside down tomatoes in to the Search the Forum keyword box, you will find quite a bit written about them. It seemed to range from ok for dwarf/ patio/ cherry varieties to strongly negative. No one seemed to have the experience that growing in a T-T was actually better than growing in the ground, especially for full sized tomatoes.

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I have used them. They are okay with tumbling toms, and cherry types only.

Like DV said, they do require some work as they will get dry very quickly. I finally put some clay and wood chips in it to keep some moisture in it.

If you use them don't let them sit out in the sun for a full day as it just bakes the soil to dry dust. If it just gets morning/afternoon or afteroon/evening sun will be fine. Be careful that you don't overwater... it won't rot the roots but it can rot the stem of the tom.

good luck!

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I have a bridge I would like to sell you!

Seriously, they seem to be okay for small plants that but it is basically like trying a grow a tom in a 2-gallon (or less) bucket, but one made of metal. The commercials make them look great, complete with fake vines full of fake fruit. Think of taking two 5-gallon coffee cans, sitting one on top the other and then trying to grow a tomato in them.



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Get a 5 gal bucket and make your own if your heart is set on it. Try growing dwarfs otherwise. Would a 2 liter bottle full of water with a pin prick of a hole water the plant for a full day in full sun?

Sounds like it needs a few mods to work correctly.

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I tried them, but only for cherry tomatoes. I got a lot of cherry's from the one I had, I tried medium toms and failed.

After I put all the toms I can fit into the backyard, I may try the overflow in a couple of topsy turvey's I already have but not expecting much from them.

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I grow lots of tomato plants each year and two years ago a friend gave me one. Of course, I had to try it out. Yikes, it sure didn't work for me so I hope the Garden Gods and the Force are kinder to you. I put it in the same category as my useless Mantis tiller.

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Tomato plants want to grow up and I've seen porch after porch with these upside down tomato pouches with the branches growing upward. I didn't notice any tomatoes growing on them.

I'd spend $10 on a pot and put it out on the deck, patio or in the backyard. You'll get more for your bucks.

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I did not have good results either. Plants were stunted and produced very few small tomatoes. Even though I had them on automatic irrigation, they were always too dry.

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Location: Minnesota, USA Zone 4

I have also used them ~ no more!
I did a different twist on the idea - used a 10" plastic pot, punched a hole in the bottom, inserted a tomato plant up through the hole into the soil and hung the pot from it's attached hanger.
That worked better for keeping water and temperature more normal, but if hung in a windy place the plant will swing and the stem could 'wear' against the plastic hole. If you put duct tape on the edges of the hole or can make some kind of a soft grommet type thing to insert, that would help lots.
This idea works much better!

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I have had great success with the topsy turveys. It is true that they must be watered daily but that's not a problem for me. I hang them from my kids old swing set and they do great. last year I started getting blight and my topsy tomatoes survived longer than the ones in the ground.

One thing I do is to fill them only with the amount of soil they need to get started. As they grow, I continue to add soil until they are finally filled. Maybe that spreads out some of the nutrients they get.

I guess one person's trash is another person's topsy turvey!

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Location: Texas

I made one from a 2 gallon bucket and a regular type Tomato seedling, can't remember what type of Tomato it was but it was supposed to have three to four inch or so fruit. Plant grew and looked fantastic but the root system was very crowded in the 2 gallon bucket and the fruit only got the size of a tennis ball and had about 50% less than they usually do. As mentioned above the branches tended to grow upwards. I can see where it would work great for the Tommys.

Steve E......

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