Hanging Tomato Plants - Pros and Cons of Hanging Tomatoes

Topsy Turvy Tomato
Topsy Turvy Tomato | Source

Many people want to be a gardener but live in a place where they can't have a garden. Hanging tomato plants are a popular way for many people to have a tomato garden even in an apartment on a patio, or in a townhouse. Here's a look at the pros and cons of hanging tomato plants.

One of the biggest advantages of hanging tomatoes is the small amount of space needed. There's no real floor space taken up, so a balcony or patio works fine for these. But there are even advantages from the tomatoes point of view as well. Most of these advantages apply to both upside down tomatoes and traditional hanging tomato planters or even a freestanding planter like the upsidedown tomato garden.

Pros of Hanging Tomato Plants

Early Tomatoes - Because the soil system is open on the sides on a hanging planter, it can warm much quicker than tomatoes planted in the ground. Depending on the area of the country, you can get tomatoes 2-4 weeks earlier than those put in the soil.

Very Few Weeds - Since the tomato's soil is in a hanger, the surface area is easy to weed and mulch. In fact, more than likely, by using a potting soil or a soilless mix there will be few native weed seeds to suppress.

Soil Borne Diseases - Once again, because of the soil choices, you can significantly cut down on the incidence of soil borne diseases on your plants. In addition, one way these infect the tomatoes is by the soil splashing up on the plants when they are watered. This is less likely with the plant hanging below the soil in the planter. Finally, the plants don't sprawl on the ground, but are hanging in the air, so there is better air circulation around the tomatoes as well.

No Tomato Cages or Stakes - Goes without saying, the plants simply hang down, and you don't have to wrestle with the whole support system of a cage or staking and tying.

Ease of Pruning - Much simpler tomato pruning with the tomato hanging down, especially when you don't have to tie the plants off.

Cons of Hanging Tomato Plants

Heavy to Hang - There is a lot of dirt in one of these planters. And after you add water they can get too heavy to carry or put up on a hanger. The best advice is to put just some of the soil in the bottom, hang the planter, and then add the remaining soil and then water thoroughly. If that's still too much weight, a great alternative is the upside down tomato garden, which is free standing and sits on the ground but still lets the tomatoes hang in the air, it's just not as high.

Watering - The size of the container has to be relatively small in order to be light enough to carry and hang. This means the root system is going to be smaller than a tomato plant that is in the ground. Add in the fact that the root system is exposed to evaporation on several sides, and the end result that in the warmer summer months there are times you may need to water daily to keep a hanging tomato plant going. A watering wand makes this process much easier.

Size of plants - One of the most common complaints is that the hanging tomatoes won't make it through the summer. The reality is that the smaller root system won't support a sprawling large tomato plant when it's really warm. In my experience, the best solution is to choose smaller determinant varieties that won't grow to be huge or that are made for hanging tomato planters. When you are trying to grow tomatoes on a balcony or patio, that's probably what you need anyhow.

Overall, we think that many gardeners will find that hanging tomato planters make a great addition to the tools they have to producing the best tomato crop they've had in years.

More by this Author


Comments 13 comments

johnr54 profile image

johnr54 3 years ago from Texas Author

Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. I say do what works for you! Thanks for your input.


louisxfourie profile image

louisxfourie 3 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

I Tried the upside down plastic containers. Tomatoes did not have a great crop and it is not worth the effort, I rather plant them in containers with more soil in them.


johnr54 profile image

johnr54 3 years ago from Texas Author

I just potted a Topsy Turvy plant two days ago! Good luck to your first try!


gkerosi profile image

gkerosi 3 years ago from Nairobi

This is a very important hub on tomatoes.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

I have seen these but have never given it a try. From your article this seems like something I may just give a try. I am a huge fan of tomatoes and always have tomato plants each year so will add these I think.

Thanks for sharing.

Sending Angels your way Pinned. :) ps


manthy profile image

manthy 5 years ago from Alabama,USA

I gave you a link from my hub

http://hubpages.com/living/My-secret-to-growing-gr...

Maybe you could return the favor & we could help each other out.

I look forward to being a gr8 follower


Errese Atwell 6 years ago

I Tried the upside down plastic containers. The crop was poor and the plastic rotted. Not worth the expense of paying for 3 containers plus the hooks to place on the fence


David Schulze profile image

David Schulze 6 years ago from San Antonio, Texas

I have tried this concept and it does not work. The proof. You can see this on my website at www.vegetable-gardening-made-easier.com. Plants have to grow up. This is how nature designed them. They upper portion of the leaf has to have sunlight hit it in order to work properly--not the underside. My plants continue to try to grow up not down. This growing up out of the bottom of a hanging container puts a strain on them so they eventually die. So far no one has been able to provide me with pictures to prove otherwise. The only pictures I have seen are the created ones to sell the product. I wonder if you are even willing to post an adverse comment.


west40 profile image

west40 6 years ago from Canandaigua, NY

Great advice - the warmer weather we are having has started up the gardening hormones! I hang tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers every year to save room in my garden for beans, peas, carrots and corn - it works very well. I have had the best luck with green peppers - I definitely get a better pepper yield from hanging the plants.


myawn profile image

myawn 7 years ago from Florida

I love tomatoes and sauce made from them for cooking.Thanks nice hub.


fortunerep profile image

fortunerep 7 years ago from North Carolina

Thanks but I made my own!! check out my step by step hub

dori


Jerry Watson 7 years ago

Very interesting, John. I really enjoy tomatoes and love growing them, as well. Unfortunately, I am not supposed to eat tomatoes anymore, (But I still do sometimes and put up with the suffering!) Darn tomatoes didn't do well at all last year so I'm taking a break from gardening this year. Gonna work on flowers instead. Keep up the good work, John.


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

Good suggestion, but I like mine planted deep in the ground increasing the root structure. I suppose a way could be developed for a hanging plan, maybe I'll try one. thanks, great hub. love my tomato samiches

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working