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How To Make A Homemade Upside Down Tomato Planter

Updated on December 6, 2013

Most of you have seen these either on television or in the store. You grow tomato plants upside down from hanging devices. Whether you live in the country with plenty of land or in the big city with a small terrace you can have homegrown tomatoes. They grow really well and the ones you grow yourself will taste so much better than those at the grocery store and save you money.

Recently I saw one that looked like a bucket and I thought to myself, “I can make that,” so I did.

You will need:

A clean ice cream bucket: some craft stores carry buckets about this size if you don’t eat ice cream. I used what I had on hand making it even less expensive and recycling is always a good thing. They are about 4 quarts, if it’s a little bigger or smaller it will still work.

Potting soil or dirt from your yard.

Peat moss

Landscape fabric or used dryer sheets

Tomato plants or seeds

I first hung this one from a tree but then realized it didn't get enough sun and moved it.
I first hung this one from a tree but then realized it didn't get enough sun and moved it. | Source


Cut holes like in the picture using a vitamin or spice bottle, about an inch and a half across in the bottom of your bucket and also in the lid. They don't have to be perfect, just be careful and don't cut yourself.

Put a piece of landscape fabric or a used dryer sheet in the bottom of the bucket. Fill halfway with potting soil or dirt from your yard.

Fill the rest of the bucket with peat moss. Put another piece of landscape fabric or used dryer sheet and put the lid on. Turn upside down. The fabric will keep the dirt from falling out of the holes.


Cut slits or holes in the fabric to put in your tomato plants or seeds. If you use plants you can turn it over right away. If using seeds wait until you have plants growing before hanging otherwise your seeds will just wash away when you water and you won’t have any plants.

Hang in a sunny location. Hanging plants require more water than those in the ground so check often. I have to water everyday during the warm summer months here in Oklahoma.


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    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma

      The roots should stay in the dirt. I live in Oklahoma and it gets pretty hot here. The wind is a bigger problem for me. I try to hang it in a location that is protected from the high winds and water it often.

      Hanging it in a tree would keep some of the sun's rays off. That might help.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I live in Louisiana and I am afraid if I do this the roots of the plants will get too hot. What do you think?

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, kashmir56. I have tomatoes hanging all over my backyard.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Pamela, great idea and nice way to save money has well !

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Solar Awareness, I'll try it with strawberries. Thanks for the tip.

      Prasetio30, thanks for reading.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Nice information. I love your description and all stunning pictures to represent all your tips here. Well done, my friend. You got my vote. Cheers.....

    • profile image

      Solar Awareness 

      7 years ago


      After doing a google search, I didn't see anything beyond tomatoes and strawberries. I think it would work for other "staked" vegetables.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, Eiddwen.

      Solar, I wondered if it would work for some other plants. I was thinking about beans or other vegetables we have to stake.

      RealHousewife, quicksand and marellen thanks for reading.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You're always thinking....great hub and a good way to recycle....

    • quicksand profile image


      7 years ago

      Brilliant idea indeed! Gives me the impetus to buy an ice cream bucket too. I know what to do with the contents. Thanks n cheers!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Thanks! This is a great idea! I often have animals that eat my tomatoes!

    • profile image

      Solar Awareness 

      7 years ago

      Pamela N Red,

      You can use this method for growing strawberries, however there would have to be holes made on the sides as well.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      Thjis is so useful and I am voting up plus bookmarking.

      Thank you so much for sharing Pamela.

      Take care


    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      mckbirdbks, they do grow to great lengths and it can be tricky to keep the fruit off the ground. Hanging them eliminates that problem.

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      7 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Very interesting Hub. My tomato plants get four to five feet high, so it become architecture to keep them standing.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      I like projects that use items we already have around the house and doesn't cost much. Thanks for reading, randomcreative.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great hub! So easy and inexpensive!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      It is easy to make, Cogerson. Thanks for reading.

    • Cogerson profile image


      7 years ago from Virginia

      Awesome idea that looks pretty issue to accomplish...thanks for sharing this hub...voted up and uesful

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Fay, you don't have to buy those tomato cages, animals can't get to them and pests seem to stay off them more. I think most tomato bugs are ground critters.

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      7 years ago

      I have seen these on television. Sounds like a great idea, but other than not needing ground space, I wonder if there is any other benefit to growing them this way.


    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Will, I'm sure your detergent bucket would work perfect.

      Pamela, dahoglund, daisyjae, I saw one at Lowe's for ten dollars and I was too cheap to pay that for a bucket with holes in both ends when I could make my own.

    • daisyjae profile image


      7 years ago from Canada

      This is a good idea, those planters are so expensive to buy.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Great idea.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This is a great idea as I paid $20 for a planter 2 years ago. Thanks.

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      What a great idea! We buy laundry soap in similar buckets, which would also work. Just rinse them well to get rid of any residual detergent.


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