A Comparison of Upside Down Tomato Planters

There are two kinds of upside down tomato planters and systems:

  • the planter
  • the garden

Each has strengths and weaknesses for the home gardener.

The upside down tomato planter

Design: a hanging container
Positioning: requires a bracket or hook for hanging
Cost: inexpensive per planter (about $10-15 each), but can only accommodate 1-2 tomato plants

Portability: easy to move planters from one hook to another, as in moving indoors from outside
Space: does not require floor, patio, or garden space for set up; can be suspended from balcony, terrace, car port ceiling or even indoors
Variations: some hanging planters are simply bags; others are plastic containers.

The Topsy Turvy®, for instance, is a fabric bag that may need to be replaced after one season because of exposure to UV rays and the elements.
The Upsy Downsy™ is a basic plastic planter with a small sheet of strong interfacing screen material placed over the bottom hole, and can last for several seasons.

Special notes

  • Bags or planters can get very heavy when filled with soil, water, and as plants mature and need a very secure hook for hanging.
  • Products differ on contents. The Topsy Turvy® does not include potting mix and seeds. The Upsy Downsy™ includes coconut fiber planting medium and seeds.

The upside down tomato garden

Design: self-contained, free-standing units
Positioning: stands upright; does not require overhead hook or bracket for hanging
Cost: about $75-100 each; more expensive than hanging planters but can accommodate several plants
Portability: gardens are fairly large and cannot be moved easily
Space: requires floor, patio, or garden space for erecting

Special notes

  • Newer models of the upside down tomato garden are plastic and not quite as strong as the older models, which have metal legs.
  • The upside down tomato garden can be a top-heavy and prone to tipping over, especially on a windy day. When setting up the tomato garden, secure and anchor its base.

Growing tomatoes upside down: does it work?

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By Kathy Widenhouse, award-winning writer and owner of Tomato Dirt, a leading online source for growing tomatoes and using them.

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