Project upside-down tomato plants: FAIL


I set out with good intentions: a new fangled way to maximize on space and grow tomatoes sans stakes. What I ended up with, now that tomato season is winding down, is a crop of sorry looking stems hanging out of some white plastic buckets.

Don’t they look lush?

In recent months, my interest had been piqued by reading about these Topsy Turvy numbers (a friend even added one to her bridal registry). So, naturally, I figured that I could fabricate one that looked better than a bag on a stick (fail number one: my "planters" are uh-gly. But recycled!).
After asking around (and driving slowly past the back doors of bakeries and the like) I landed several five gallon plastic buckets. 

First, I cut out a hole in the bottom of the bucket (about 2 1/2’ in diameter).Then I laid strips of newspaper cris-crossing close to the hole.

Bucket supported underneath by bamboo poles- ready for plant insertion!

Carefully, I placed the little tomato plant (started from seed back in March), leaves first into the hole. I supported the root ball with one hand while I put more newspaper strips next to the stem inside the bucket so that the bitty plant wouldn’t fall out of the hole. I filled the bucket three-quarters of the way full with organic potting soil. Once the plant was stable and soil added I planted a few seeds of flowers and herbs on top to act as a green mulch, of a sort. I hung the buckets, using screw hooks and salvaged clips, in sunny locations and gave everything a thorough dousing of diluted fish emulsion (from Fifth Season).
To look at those “plants” now you would think that first watering was also their last. The tomatoes (and lone eggplant) shriveled in this summer’s blazing heat. Daily soakings might have helped but, really, who has the time? I did manage to coax a handful of cherry tomatoes from one plant but everything else went crispy.
Ah well, there’s always next year.

This gives ‘sun-dried’ tomatoes a whole new meaning

Anyone have success with upside-down veggies this year?