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Hanging Tomato Planters

Updated on July 2, 2017
JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

To garden is to lose one's self in the earth while gifting yourself and your family with wholesome goodness from your own backyard.

Upside Down Tomatoes with Hanging Tomato Planters

Growing tomatoes and other vegetables using upside down planters is one of the popular ways to garden, especially if you have limited space in your growing area. The first time we tried the Topsy Turvey Upside Down planter we had great results just outside our back door. Beautiful green vines with medium sized tomatoes that tasted very good!

There are options you can try for hanging planters, and of course, advantages and disadvantages to growing tomatoes upside down or in hanging planters. Some "hanging" tomato planters even have their feet firmly on the ground!

So get ready to bite into a home-grown tomato of your very own. And at the very end of this lens is my recipe for Caprese Salad - yum! yum!

Why You Should Use a Hanging Tomato Planter

Is upside down good for your tomatoes? Here are five good reasons to use an upside down tomato planter.


You can put them almost anywhere. Try growing tomatoes on a balcony, the patio, or even your front porch. With a hanging planter, you have much more flexibility. There is even a trellis version that leans against a wall.

Air Circulation

By hanging in the air, the improved air circulation not only avoids problems with many diseases, but crop yields are improved with better pollination.


In a word, none. You don't need to use tomato supports like cages or stakes, at most you may need to prune occasionally.


Since you are filling a container, you can make the soil as good as you want. Add lots of organic compost or other amendments, and fertilize appropriately. Since you can replace the soil annually, there are fewer diseases to deal with as well.

Early Tomatoes

If you really want to get a jump on the neighbors and get some early tomatoes, a hanging planter is a great choice. You can set them out early and move them indoors if there is a frost. Plus, the soil warms more quickly and the plants set fruit earlier.

The photo shown is of our Topsy Turvy planter outside our bedroom door. I love the high location and have not seen one bird bothering it even when we had some ripe tomatoes on it.

On Tomatoes:

"It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato." - Lewis Grizzard

Plant the Proper Tomato Variety

Use a Variety Specifically Made for a Hanging Planter

Plant Varieties for Hanging Tomatoes - Since a planter has less room for a root system than something planted in the ground, your tomato size will not be as large as the larger varieties that you can plant in the ground. Part of the success of using the hanging planter system is to make sure you use a smaller determinant variety like the Tumbling Tom or one of the other tomato plants specifically for hanging planters. This year I found one labeled specifically for TopsyTurvy planters.

Do some research before purchasing your plants and check with your local grower for tips on the best varieties for your growing zone.

Growing Tomatoes Upside Down

And Other Vegetables Too

So what's the story with upside down tomato planters. What's the best way grow hanging tomatoes?

It turns out there are a couple of commercially available planters to do this. One very popular planter is the Topsy Turvy planter. This is designed to hold a single plant. If you are interested in more than one tomato plant, you might consider either the Topsy Turvy Tomato Tree, or an even more capable version is the Upside Down Tomato Garden, which holds more than one tomato plant and other herbs and vegetables as well.

Topsy Turvy Planter

It was once featured in Time magazine. It basically holds one plant, although some people will try 2 plants (one in the hole on the top, another in the normal hole on the bottom). You get the plant started by growing it right side up, and then mount it upside down.

Why do this? With upside down tomatoes you have no problems with slugs. It's well covered and won't need to water very often. Usually you don't stake the plants, as the branches will fall on their own.

You can also use one to grow other small bush type plants like peppers and eggplants. You can use several for more than one type of vegetable or herb.

Mounting it is the biggest problem. It can get quite heavy, especially after you've watered. If you are trying to move a fully loaded plant it can be difficult.

Overall this novel approach can work well for your tomato growing needs

Upside Down Tomato Garden by Hammacher Schlemmer

A heavy duty version of the upside down planter. It has a platform that can handle many more plants. In addition to 4 tomato plants, it will hold smaller flowers and herbs in the top platform of the planter. Or you may use the multiple slots to grow peppers and eggplant instead of only tomatoes. The supporting stand is part for the unit and it holds the garden at the right height.

This unit can be placed in many more locations, and you don't have to craft a support unit or hang it from some other structure. It's attractive enough that you can put it on the deck or patio, or a location that's convenient from your kitchen.

The Tomato Garden is a sturdier solution than a simple hanging tomato planter. It will be more productive overall, and your choice in placement if very flexible. The Topsy Turvy is a nice starter unit, and may work better in smaller settings like an apartment patio. Either one can be a good choice to start your tomato growing needs.

My Favorite Tomato Recipe

Caprese Salad

This is a great salad to take to summer potlocks. It also happens to be a great way to use tomatoes when you have too many (is that possible?) and also some fresh basil from your herb garden.

Slice tomatoes thinly. Slice some fresh mozzarella cheese about 1/4 inch thick. Arrange on a pretty plate or platter in this pattern: 2-3 tomato slices, 1 slice of cheese. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Tear or cut a half cup of fresh basil into thin strips and sprinkle on top of salad. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on the top. Delicious!

Have You Tried Hanging Tomatoes?

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    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      I have. Mixed results but they do a great job with cherry tomatoes.

    • ghoststorylover profile image

      ghoststorylover 4 years ago

      I used to have a topsy turvy and loved it. I guess I lost it in my move, but my tomato plant grew wonderfully and the tomatoes were excellent! The only problem was the birds eating my tomatoes!

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 4 years ago from Keller, Texas

      @anonymous: This is a wonderful testimony! Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but I'm happy it worked for you. We have had great luck this summer and now I am nursing our plant through the heat of the Texas summer to hopefully get some fall tomatoes.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I was in the Dollar Tree a few month back, and they had the exact same Upside Down Planters that you saw on TV .... Buy one, get one free. Well I bought two to hang on our deck, where it was just much too sunny and hot for flowers. I would forget to water the flowers, and they would dry up. Well we planted our cherry tomatoes, and don't ask me why, but we have not missed one day of watering. Both my husband and I are faithful to the task. Well they are absolutely beautiful and loaded with tomatoes and just as many new ones on the way. I would suggest upside planting in a heartbeat for anyone that does not have the space or sun elsewhere.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 4 years ago from Ljubljana

      No, but I might. It is very clever use of space, just great for people without gardens. Lovely idea, thanks!

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      No I haven't tried it yet, but I 'm intrigued and would like to. Interesting lens!

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      I have been wanting to try this for a longtime now. Maybe this summer

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 4 years ago from Keller, Texas

      @Klaartje Loose: I just bought a new Topsy Turvey yesterday and am going to plant it today! Good luck!

    • Klaartje Loose profile image

      Klaartje Loose 4 years ago

      I'm gonna try this immediately on my balcony, thanks for the tip. Love tomatoes!

    • Klaartje Loose profile image

      Klaartje Loose 4 years ago

      I'm gonna try this immediately on my balcony, thanks for the tip. Love tomatoes!

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 4 years ago from Keller, Texas

      @athomemomblog: Awesome, I have seen that. I think it would be so cool to be able to see the roots growing at the same time as the plant. Good luck, I would love to know how it turns out.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 4 years ago from Guatemala

      I'm actually trying this this year, but I saw an idea on Pinterest to make your own upside down planter from a soda bottle. I might go with that since I can't get a lot of stuff down here in Guatemala.

    • dawnsnewbeginning profile image

      dawnsnewbeginning 5 years ago

      Just this past summer but I have an alpaca and didn't get it up high enough!!

    • GardenIdeasHub LM profile image

      GardenIdeasHub LM 5 years ago

      I would like to try. Thanks for your advice about hanging tomato planter and I did pick up some good tips.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      No, I hadn't, but I think they could be the solution to many gardener's needs.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      I would like to.

    • msnz profile image

      msnz 5 years ago

      I am a keen but a novice gardner. Normally I spend more money in setting up the veggie garden than get the produce... I will try the tips from this lens for my next veggie garden adventure

    • SailingPassion LM profile image

      SailingPassion LM 5 years ago

      Always wanted to try one of these

    • profile image

      maraga 5 years ago

      good information

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 5 years ago from Keller, Texas

      @anonymous: Thanks for the tip - I'm going to try it because it is definitely hot where we live!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I've found the only real problem is heat. If you have a hot summer the roots get overly hot and the plant wilts. I wrapped the bucket in foil to reflect the light and keep them cooler. It works just fine. I've grown them this way for the last to seasons.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      I haven't yet tried growing upside down tomatoes, but you have convinced me that I should give it a go. The benefits you listed are excellent reasons to use this method of a hanging garden. I will soon be growing tomatoes using aquaponic gardening techniques. I'm told the tomatoes thrive beyond belief in this system of using fish to feed the best natural nutrients into the systems of my plants. As in a hanging garden, with aquaponics I won't have slugs or the typical problems with the things that regularly plague tomato plants. Thanks for an excellent review. Very much appreciated your presentation.

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 5 years ago from Keller, Texas

      @piarejuden: I would say you will have better luck with tomatoes. What part of the country do you live in? Happy to help along the way.

    • piarejuden profile image

      piarejuden 5 years ago

      I guess growing tomatoes are easier than strawberries when you are trying out gardening for the first time, right? I am glad that I will have you to ask my doubts and queries regarding this.. :)

    • tricomanagement profile image

      tricomanagement 5 years ago

      love this - off to see where I have set one up

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 5 years ago from Keller, Texas

      @ResearchAddict: Thanks for your like and good luck with the process. I am not having good luck this year but a lot depends on the weather and location so I just keep plugging along.

    • ResearchAddict profile image

      ResearchAddict 5 years ago

      Some really good ideas on this lens. Looking forward to trying.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 5 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I love these planters - we started using them last year and had a wonderful harvest! :>)

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      No, I've never tried these, but always found this method very interesting. I've seen them on TV commercials during the spring and summer. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on the subject here.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      I have one I have never tried but this helps. Angel blessed.

    • TacTac profile image

      TacTac 7 years ago

      I have been wondering about the effectiveness of these for awhile. Thanks for shedding some light on the subject.

    • AppalachianCoun profile image

      AppalachianCoun 8 years ago

      Great lens. Our neighbor uses them and we have tomatoes early. Thank-you for all the info and tips.

    • Cop-Speak profile image

      Smitty 8 years ago from Arizona

      Wow, what a great lens. I like the idea of growing tomatoes on a balcony. Think I'll give it a try!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I did my tomato's upside down this year. 5 gal. bucket plenty of soil. lots of drain holes drilled in bottom. but still very wet, plant looks yellow like its drowning. any insight out there. fingers crossed that its just the cool weather at night still and when the heat really starts so will my plants. thanks kc

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      I just bought 4 Topsy Turvy planters, and can't wait to see what happens. Last year was an off year for tomatoes in my neighborhood.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I had the Upside Down Tomato Garden by Hammacher Schlemmer - Did not work well at all. A large pot would have worked better and taken up less room.

    • profile image

      rose08 9 years ago

      I once planted tomatoes in my house, it's very lovely:) see how the flower become the small and red fruit ....

    • Fox Music profile image

      Fox Music 9 years ago

      I have seen these planters before but have never tried them they certainly are a unique approach to container gardening.

    • Sniff It Out profile image

      Sniff It Out 9 years ago

      Nice lens with some great ideas, I have never tried this before and have planted tumbling tomatoes in a hanging basket this year but I think I will give this a go next time.

    • profile image

      beachbum_gabby 9 years ago

      great lens and very helpful gardening tips!

    • daoine lm profile image

      daoine lm 9 years ago

      Sounds like a great idea. My tomato plant is sprawling out all over my vege patch tied to make-shift stakes with ribbons and elastic bands - it's quite a sight! ;-)

    • beeobrien lm profile image

      beeobrien lm 9 years ago

      I tried this once, but didn't give it enough water. Maybe it's time to try it again.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I've seen some pictures of these! Going to try them once my indoor greenhouse is finished. :)

    • Gatsby LM profile image

      Gatsby LM 9 years ago

      I love tomatoes. Granny grew all kinds of vegtables when we were growing up.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      I'm thinking of doing one of these this summer. Thanks for the pointers!

    • teamlane profile image

      teamlane 9 years ago

      Nice primer on tomato gardening! 5*

    • profile image

      ArrowSheds 9 years ago

      I have a problem with my dog eating my tomatoes. This may be the way to keep her out of them.

      Murryhill Sheds

    • profile image

      ank 10 years ago

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    • profile image

      ank 10 years ago

      Hi jsr54 , great lens . I really enjoyed articles on it. I'd love it if you would take a look at my lens on Container Gardening Tips!check out t

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