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Beecmcneil
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Questions about the Topsy Turvy.

What kind of plants can grow in a Topsy Turvy?
Are they any good?
Have any of you used one?
Bee

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Happy Days
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Besides tomatoes? I've had wonderful success with tomatoes. I've also grown bell peppers in them but wasn't as happy with the results. I may experiment with pole beans and maybe even bush beans this year.

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Beecmcneil
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I read somewhere that its made for vining plants.

cynthia_h
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Beecmcneil wrote:I read somewhere that its made for vining plants.
And that's what tomatoes are if they aren't supported. They'll crawl along the ground, splotting tomatoes everywhere in their path. One reason why "methods for supporting tomato plants" is such a hot topic in the Gardening World. :)

Here's our 6-plus-page Sticky on that topic.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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Beecmcneil
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The technique I wanna try Is the one where you have a tall stake in the ground and you tie the tomato plant to it as it grows. Is this a good technique?

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Happy Days
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That works okay for me. I even stake some that are in large containers.

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rainbowgardener
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Beecmcneil wrote:The technique I wanna try Is the one where you have a tall stake in the ground and you tie the tomato plant to it as it grows. Is this a good technique?
Read the sticky cynthia linked!

No, I don't think one stake for one tomato plant is going to work, unless you are going to prune your plant down to almost nothing. Remember, tomato plants get HUGE. Not just tall, but very bushy, with big heavy stems and tons of branches. If you try to tie all those branches to one stake, the inner ones will get smothered by the outer ones and you will be making great conditions for diseases to grow and spread (not enough light, not enough air circulation, lots of leaves touching each other). And then eventually, unless it is very well braced, your stake will fall over and probably break your plant.

You can put your tomato plant in the middle between three or four stakes. Tie branches to the stakes and/or tie heavy twine in circles around them and tie branches to the twine. (This makes sort of a homemade tomato cage.)

You started this as a thread on topsy turvy growing. Did you give up on that idea already? If you are going to grow topsy turvy tomatoes, I really recommend you use dwarf, patio variety, or cherry tomatoes. Anything else is too big and heavy and causes problems.
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applestar
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@hppy days, what variety tomatoes did you have success with?

I recently posted in the winter tomato thread that a tomato growing expert told me cherries and saladettes won't change fruit size, but larger fruited varieties typically will not grow full sized fruits in containers that are too small.

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Happy Days
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applestar wrote:@hppy days, what variety tomatoes did you have success with?

I recently posted in the winter tomato thread that a tomato growing expert told me cherries and saladettes won't change fruit size, but larger fruited varieties typically will not grow full sized fruits in containers that are too small.

Heirloom Yellow Pear, Early Girl, Celebrity, Better Bush, and one or two others. I've grown mainly tomatoes with small to medium size fruits in the TopsyTurvy bags. I even tried Park's Whopper and got good sized fruit but fewer of them. I do sometimes prune them in the TopsyTurvy bags.

I'm not sure if we are talking about bags or containers now. I grow the larger tomatoes in larger containers. Sometimes I stake or cage and sometimes I just let them sprawl. As long as I pay attention to soil nutrition and ample watering during the hot months, they do fine. Maybe fewer fruits but they seem to be the size fruit they are supposed to be. But perhaps not. :)

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19ashe86
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tomatoes

ive tried tomatoes in it and i thought it didnt workt hat awesome and made the plant grow weird.. like it stuck out the bottom then curved up the side...

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Happy Days
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In my experience peppers want to do that more than tomatoes but conditions and experiences differ. My tomatoes start out wanting to grow more upright but as they grow and get heavier, they grow downward just fine. The picture shows 'Heirloom Yellow Pear' almost to the ground. The other one is 'Celebrity' which is a determinate or bush variety but still growing downward with lots of tomatoes.

purpleinopp
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Gave up on tomatoes years ago. It's wired to this metal thing (since 2008 I think) that's in a lot more shade now anyway as a nearby oak gets bigger. Never did use the cover piece for the top, doesn't make sense to me.

So out of the top, there's Gibasis geniculata (Tahitian bridal veil) which blooms tiny white flowers all summer, some chartreuse sweet potato vine, and Tradescantia zebrina which was so happy hanging here last summer it made some flowers. That's kind of unusual. I didn't plant a thing in there last summer, it all came back from the previous year, from cuttings.

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I'd say it's a sturdy enough thing to be hanging outside all of that time. Changing the "dirt" would probably be good, but I'm way too lazy for that. Whatever I put in there, it's HEAVY. Needs a serious support. Hang before watering.

If I was going to try tomatoes again, I'd put one in the top and one in the bottom. And btw, trying to put a tomato in after the first time was not something I could do w/o losing my patience, but admit I tried to do it while it was hanging in place. Nobody here strong enough at the time to get it down. In retrospect, I bet I looked hilarious out there. At the time, I was just really irritated.

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Happy Days
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:lol: They are heavy ... especially when newly watered.

Mine have lasted for several years growing tomatoes in them. At least 4 now. The sun has taken its took its toll on them and I've replaced them with new ones for this year.

gummystar2
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I know they sell Topsy Turvy brand for strawberries now as well? But I don't know how successful that would be as I've never tried.


If you have a local Big Lots, check them for the planters. My nearest store (Arden, NC) is offering Topsy Turvy kits for $1.50 a piece. That is not a typo. One dollar and fifty cents!

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