The Black Thumb
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Upside Down Tomatoes-- UPDATE PLEASE!!

I have 4 tomato plants growing upside down. We had some pretty bad weather last night and 2 of the plants that had started to grow up towards the sun, now have snapped stems (not completely broken but snapped) at the base. Do you think they will/can survive?

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rainbowgardener
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snapped tomato stems

I'm really sorry to hear that-- it's a very disappointing loss. If they are really broken, even if not completely through, I think you there's nothing you can do but finish snapping them off. If the roots were well established, they will likely send up a new shoot, but of course then you will have a little baby tomato plant instead of a nice big one. If it's just a little bit broken, you could try leaving it to see if it can heal.

I've been letting folks at this forum do the experimenting for me, to see if I want to try the topsy-turvy method. So far, reading all the different results, I'm not really persuaded. I think this would not have happened to a properly staked/caged tomato in the ground. Last year my caged tomatoes went through hurricane Ike. The winds were so strong the tomato cages bent at ground level, but nothing happened to my plants.

The Black Thumb
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I agree that a staked tomato plant wouldn't have had the same issues. The stem almost seems as if it was twisted but not broken. I am going to see how they do over the next couple of days before making any decisions. They were coming along nicely with a few tomatos until yesterday :( Everything still looks ok today but its too early to tell.

The Black Thumb
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The maters are still hanging in there and no sign for any problems as of yet. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

The Black Thumb
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They are still going and I have 2 maters growing per plant at the present time. I don't think they are doing as well as they should but that may be due to the stems being twisted or broken by the storm.

Question, I have to water them almost every day or the leaves will being to shrivel and wilt a bit. Give em the water and they perk right back up to normal. I have to add about a 1/2 gallon of water to each upside down 5 gal bucket and each bucket contains 2 plants. Does this seem excessive as far as water goes? I suspect I drilled too many drainage holes in the bottom of the buckets.

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rainbowgardener
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watering hanging plants

You can hardly have too many drainage holes, because you don't want water to stay in there, you just want the soil to stay a bit damp. You will have to water hanging plants a lot--one reason I've been a little skeptical of the topsy turvy thing. I haven't tried it, but I have a bunch of hanging baskets of flowers. I know they dry out fast, much more so than other containers their size on the ground. The soil and roots have sun beating on them, breezes. And there's just a limit to how much soil you can really hang. Tomatoes in containers on the ground sometimes have to be watered twice a day in the heat of the summer, so I'm sure hanging ones will need that.

Depends on your weather too. Tomatoes like warm and sunny; they don't really like hot. They start getting heat stressed once the temps get to 85 degrees or above. So if you are having temps like that now, that's another reason to be watering a lot. Carry on!

The Black Thumb
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Carrying on! Temps here in TN have been 95 for the past 10 days or better, looks like we are in for another fun summer :D

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dannah19
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I have 2 of the topsy turvy tomato & herb planters (they have planting ports all along the sides, not just on the bottom). One has cherry tomatoes and basil, the other has bell peppers and dill. The pepper plants are much smaller than the tomatoes, and require about 1 L of water each day. The tomatoes, however, take almost a gallon per day (3 tomato plants and several basil). I can hardly keep up on the watering of them. I made a drip-system with a 2L bottle - it has a few pin-pricks in the top (near the screw-cap) and a hole in the bottom. I put it in the planter upside-down and the water drips into the planter, instead of watering all at once. I think this helps to saturate the soil instead of the water just running right out when I try to water it more quickly. This is my first time with the TT planters and my first time trying to grow upside down plants ...

Wildzephyr
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worth a try

Before thowing away try to put root tone in the split and then dcuk tapeing together it it takes your plant should look good in a couple days

The Black Thumb
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Sounds like a good idea dannah! I notice that I lose quite a bit of water due to drainage when watering, the drip system would be the ticket!
Zone 8

bubbles80
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Topsy Turvey

I also have the topsy turvey... I have beautiful plants with lots of leaves and lots of blossoms. However, one plant has just a couple of tomatoes starting and the other one (in a separate TT) has no tomatoes. I am watering every other day, which perks up the leaves but still no tomatoes... What am I doing wrong? This is my first time to ever try to grow anything. It's a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. But I'm not giving up...(yet).

I would appreciate any help I can get. Thanks.

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rainbowgardener
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topsy turvy blossom drop?

So your tomato plants have lots of blossoms, but they drop off with out setting fruit, is that what you are describing? Try typing blossom drop in the search box in upper left of most pages, there's been a lot written here already about it. Basically it's a stress reaction in the plant. It sheds the flowers to focus on plant survival.

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rainbowgardener
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how are the topsy turvy tomatoes doing?

We had several people in the spring posting about topsy turvy tomatoes. Now that it's summer, I haven't heard any more about it. Since I'm letting you all do the experimenting for me :) , I'm curious how they are turning out? Keep us posted!

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Mine have not done well. However, I will have to say that I feel it was the storms fault and not so much the tomatoes. They never seemed to recover from the stems being snapped. They are still going and produce the occasional golfball sized tomoto but thats about it. I did have an over night attack from some catapilars too that damaged many leaves. Got them eradicated and things got better but they did some serious damage in a 24 hour period. Again, I think the storm issues sealed my fate early on....... :( On a positive note, I have more squash and okra than one family can eat and beans and corn are coming along nicely after a late planting.
Zone 8

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rainbowgardener
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update - how are the topsy turvy tomatoes doing

Now that it is the end of the season, anyone want to let us know how the topsy turvy/ upside down thing worked out for growing tomatoes? Anyone out there really sold on them and want to do more that way next year? I have a great place I could hang one or two, if anyone convinces me it is really a better way to grow tomatoes... and it would free up a raised bed for growing other stuff.

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The Black Thumb wrote: Question, I have to water them almost every day or the leaves will being to shrivel and wilt a bit. Give em the water and they perk right back up to normal. I have to add about a 1/2 gallon of water to each upside down 5 gal bucket and each bucket contains 2 plants. Does this seem excessive as far as water goes? I suspect I drilled too many drainage holes in the bottom of the buckets.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18558
I >>used to<< grow vegetables in containers on my balcony and this >>was<< my Blog:
VEGGIE-MIGHT

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kimbledawn
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We didn't use a topsy turvy, but we did grow tomatoes upside down in 5 gallon buckets. We left the top of the buckets open ( which caused some distortion) and planted basil and marigolds in the soil on top. Things that I would do differently:

1. I would make a good potting mix with lots of compost. our soil was too heavy and compact which slowed the growth of the plants.

2. plant dwarf varieties or determinant tomatoes only. Once the season was going good the plants were touching the ground.

The basil and marigolds in these pots were the best in our garden. We will grow some of our tomatoes upside down next season.
"Organic gardeners always know the best DIRT!"

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