Upside Down Tomato Planter

I’ve been curious about growing tomatoes upside-down since I first heard of the idea. At first glance it seems like a kind of plant torture but for those living in apartments it could be a clever way of maximising space for a productive balcony garden.

Putting together an upside-down planter is relatively simple and fun craft activity and with a little decoration the planter could make a great Christmas gift idea for your urban farmer!

Step 1: Materials

For my upside-down planter I used;

  1. An old 2lt bucket
  2. A piece of hessian cloth
  3. Heirloom tomato seedling from Zanthorrea Nursery
  4. Potting mix

You will also need some scissors and/or a box cutter.

Kids! Make sure you have an adult around when you are using a box cutter.

Parents! Make sure you have a child around if you are using a box cutter after a few Christmas drinks.

Step 2: Hessian Poncho

Cut a small opening in the hessian cloth, you could also use old fly-screen or something similar. The cloth will keep the soil from falling out of the bucket but also allow the tomato to grow.

Carefully thread the seedling through the hessian cloth. Now you have a tomato wearing a hessian poncho 🙂

Step 3: Tomato in a Bucket

Cut a round hole in the bottom of your bucket, also make some additional cuts in a star shape around the hole so you can expand the hole if necessary. A smaller seedling will make this step easier, you will notice I lost one tomato when dressing my tomato 🙁

Step 3: Soil and Water

Remove the seedling pot, break up the root ball and add the potting mix.

Note! Make sure you have a solid frame to hang the tomato from before you start filling the bucket with soil, you will not be able to place the bucket on the ground again.

Step 4: Decorate!

Now, the most important step: Decorate your upside-down planter! I just wrapped my in Christmas paper but the more artistically inclined could paint the bucket with a festive design.

Have you had experience growing tomatoes in an upside-down planter? We’d love to hear your opinion in the comments below!

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  • Jacqui

    that looks great!! no need for stakes or anything! Will def give it a try 🙂

    • No stakes .. and I thought it may reduce problems with pests, but I came out this morning and found a huge caterpillar chomping through the leaves :/

      Apart from that, it seems really healthy and is producing some nice little tomatoes 🙂