Topsy-Turvy tomatoes

Photo of Topsy Turvy tomatoes

Topsy-Turvy tomato planters were the fad some years back, and you can still find them on the shelves of Rite-Aid and other retailers.

I have used them on and off over the years and will take a moment to give you a few pointers if you choose to use them.

Pros:
They are very convenient. Just start a tomato in a planter. When the tomato plant is several inches tall, transplant it to the Topsy-Turvy planter. Add potting soil, hang and water. Easy peasy.

They produce very well and grow just as fast and robust as similar tomatoes in large pots.

Cons:
They dry out very quickly and need constant watering. Here in the Pacific Northwest, I water mine every couple of days, by which time the plant is already starting to wither.

Shrinkage. Potting soil, even the good ones, tend to clump together as it dries, shrinking and condensing to a point where it's hard to get water to penetrate. When this happens with the Topsy-Turvy planter, the water tends to just run down the inside of the planter and out the bottom; very little penetrates into the soil. To combat this, you might think watering it very day is the answer, but that's equally bad.

Granted, the same thing can happen with potted plants.

If you are going to use a Topsy-Turvy planter, my advise would be to mix a lot of organic material into the planter as you add the soil. Use organics from your compost pile, and be liberal with them. Add in only the best quality potting soil you can buy.

That combination, good organics and good potting soil, should give you great success with your Topsy-Turvy.

Monday, August 7, 2017 - 10:00

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