Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:09 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Topsey Turvey issues

Hey guys. So my wife and I got a Topsey Turvey for our apartment (we have almost no balcony space, and a cat that loves to chomp on plants) and planted a seedling in it. We watered it about 1.5L per day at night. I noticed a lot of the water ran out, but it did great for about a month. Then the leaves and branches started to wither and turn yellow. The leaves got hard and crunchy. It went one branch at a time. So I started looking for the cause.

First of all I noticed the main stem was covered in dirt. So I put a drip waterer in it, covered the bottom with plastic, and started putting 1.5L twice a day in and washed off all the dirt from the plant.

When I was putting in the dripper, I noticed that the soil level had gone from totally full, to about 3/4 full. So I filled it up. We used Miracle GRO potting soil that protects the plant from over and under watering (I was terrible about over or under watering plants).

Still nothing. Now 4 branches are fully yellow and another one is turning.

But through all this, new branches are growing, and new buds are growing too.

The fruit has spots on it, but is still ripening. It is the only one we got.

The stems are still turning brown (like rust almost) and there are little black bits all around the plant (I can't tell if they are critters or not).

What can I do??? I don't want to kill this plant, and I would love to be able to keep the TT, but if I can't then I can't.

If I can't, what size pot should I use? How would I go about keeping the cat from getting at it?

Thank you guys so much!


Full Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:00 pm
Location: Putnam County, N.Y.

Maybe a culprit of overwatering. I think ive got one tomatoe plant that might be dying from this. The thing came with a tag on it that said "water every day" So thats what I did, I watered it til I seen dripping coming out the bottom drain holes. The unit is filled with 100 percent peat moss and it feels pretty heavy. So I think it must be overwatering. I hung the unit so darn high that I cant reach up to pop the lid to view the soil and stick my finger in there to detect moisture. I'm gonna slacken off on the watering and see if it comes back, and try to get a good mental note of how heavy the unit is to determine water content. I don't think its a nutrient deficieny since ive been adding some miracle grow liquid solution once a week.

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7491
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

We ran some trials on upside down growing last year and the results were not great; our final take was that because they are upside down keeping soil and water borne diseases off of an upside down tomato is impossible without copious quantities of fungicides and the like. Not how we like to roll around here at all...

Sounds like early blight is hitting your mater; we have found that to be a calcium issue and spraying with milk can be preventitive, but not curative.

Using a soil already juiced with chemical fertilizer does not allow healthy biologies to develop and the bad guys are usually the first ones to show up. We like compost with a straight up, no-fertilizer potting mix for containers...

Sounds as if you watered kind of heavy as well; the combination of all the above is not conducive to good growth...

Next time try a regular container and some good organic growing mix and ferts and we think you will be happier with the result...


Cool Member
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:16 pm
Location: Los Angeles

I have a Topsy Turvy (actually I have two.) I am trying to grow a cherry tomato and a sweet 100. The cherry tom is doing OK it was plenty of fruit and some are starting to blush. BUT it has plenty of brown and dying leaves the main stem is whitish and rough I assume because of all the water running down it. But it continues to produce so I will let it do what it does. The other with the Sweet 100 is a total mess it's barely alive with all of two tomatoes on it.

I have about seven other tomato plants in the ground and containers all are doing better than the Topsy.

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7491
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

Lun's results are typical of those reported last year... :(


Return to “TOMATO FORUM”