Upside down tomato?

Discussion in 'Garden Tips And Talk' started by dademoss, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. dademoss

    dademoss Member

    Messages:
    524
    State:
    Ohio
    Has anybody tried those systems where you grow your tomatoes upside down?

    Every year I wait too long to buy cages and have to try to hold everything up with stakes and strings:eek:oooh:

    Is upside down the path to tomato happiness?
     
  2. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    I was lookin at those in a seed catalog this afternoon and I'm going to try and make a couple of my own this spring. Just to see what all the fuss is about. I'm pretty sure I can make them and save myself the money from having to order them on-line and pay rediculous prices.
     

  3. msucatfish

    msucatfish New Member

    Messages:
    52
    State:
    mississippi
    me nextdoor neighbor tried it one time with 5 gallon buckets hung on a metal frame with a hole in the bottom for the tomatoes to grow through. All that happens is the tomato will grow down for a 5-6 inches and then start back upwards like it would in the ground. PLants aren't designed to grow upside down, so they will grow upwards anyhow
     
  4. catin38

    catin38 New Member

    Messages:
    272
    State:
    alabama
    hi,
    i have got a few. They work really well . you dont have to worry about rot and stuff like that. Also the watering is less frequent.
     
  5. craddock1

    craddock1 Active Member

    Messages:
    957
    State:
    TENNESSEE
    My wife tried them two years ago. they were growing fine and tomatos were coming on when we had to leave town for a week when we got back home they were dead. In hot weather you have to water them every night. I had several a couple weeks ago sold them on ebay 20 bucks each. At harvest time do you know how many tomatos you can grow for 20 bucks.
     
  6. ozzy

    ozzy New Member

    Messages:
    3,936
    State:
    Lost Wages
    I kept getting water up my nose trying to water upsidedown so i gave it up.
     
  7. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    Dave get plastic buckets. I have done it for years now. I don't do any thing but cherry tomatoes. It is perfect for them. Like has been mentioned you have to water frequently if you leave the lid off. I cut a hole in the lid on mine however and don't water so often. The one thin I learned the hard way is not to over fertilize And let your plants get well established before turning upside down, The lids help with this also! lol What ever you do make your own out of buckets, don't buy the bags.:wink:
     
  8. Catpaw

    Catpaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,215
    State:
    Central Cail
    Name:
    James
    Jack is right about the cherry tomatoe's and another great tomatoes to grow is a mantina tomateo it's a early season vareity about 2~3 times bigger than the cherry but packed with flavor, I still have one mantina with fruit still on it:eek:oooh:
     
  9. dademoss

    dademoss Member

    Messages:
    524
    State:
    Ohio
    Thanks for the info! I have a few cat litter buckets and a hole saw , I will give it a try this year.:smile2:
     
  10. wylie catter

    wylie catter Member

    Messages:
    675
    State:
    South Carolina
    I used pots last year about 1.5 gallons in size. They were to small. They sucked the water out of the dirt in one day. The bigger buckets are a must. Lids would probably help to like jack said.
     
  11. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I plant tomatoes in bales of hay.
    Around the bales I cover the ground with pinestraw or hay and let the plants go where they want for the most part.
    I've planted peppers this way too.
    Take a butcher knife and cut a small hole and use the ability of prying the bale to drop your seedling root ball in.

    You dont have the soil issues and alot less pest issues.
    Just get your bales of hale early enough to pour fertilizer on them and throughly soak them so they'll go ahead and go through a heat. Dry hay will go through a heat when it gets wet and molds inside. Stick your hand in it and it will burn you. This has burned down many a tobacco warehouse over the years. A sheet of moldy tobacco gets hot enough to combust.
    This heat will kill your plants or stunt their growth.
    Best way to do it is get the bales late fall, liberally fertilize and wet them.
    Let them go through their heat and you are good to go.

    It takes a little more fertilizer to grow this way because the hay washes out quicker then soil but there is an advantage to that too.
    If you get a little too much nitrogen going to the maters or get a little nuts with the Bull Dog sody you can take the waterhose and literally wash much of it out of the hay and the plants.

    I first learned of planting like this from a fella that loves tomatoes. He plants 200 tomato plants every year. All in hay bales.

    If you insist on wire cages I find the cone shaped cages cheesy.
    I make them out of welded wire. Like the wire used in concrete slabs or even some type of fence wires. Got to have openings large enough to pull tomatoes through.
    Once you make them they'll last for years. Use them over and over.
    Dad made his before my time and he was still using them after I left home.
    The only care they got was throwing them in the woods after the end of the season. Fish them out next season.

    Always wanted to try some hydroponics but never have.
     
  12. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    I just heard about the hay bales this winter Mark. I'm glad you mentioned the burning out deal I didn't see that in the information. They just said it was better to set them out for a while. No till tomatoes, I like it! lol :cool2:
     
  13. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    My first time with hay bales I didnt let them go through a heat.
    Everyday I would get home from work and my plants would be layed completely over on the hay. I would jam the hose into the bales and let the water run to cool the inside of the bale and the plants would stand back up in a matter of an hour or so.
    Had to do this daily for a couple of weeks.
    Big problem with this is you are continuously flushing your fertilizer out too.
    You wind up falling behind through the recovery process.
    Think of a tomato plant ICU ward.

    I forgot to mention a big plus of bale planting.
    Less watering. The bale holds moisture alot better then soil.
    No weeding.
    Can be setup to be moveable.

    Been wanting to try using bales for watermellons and canteloupes.
     
  14. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    How many plants per bale?
     
  15. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    Never tried the hay bales, Mark, but I did build my cages out of hog panels. If I recall, I was able to get 3 cages for each panel. Makes those tomato plants grow tall off the ground and still easy to pull the tomatoes out through them.
     

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  16. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I lay my bales down fat side up. 2 plants per bale is what I do.
     
  17. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    Jerry get a round bale and plant a dozen! Heck you could fill the sides with cucumbers and squash lol I'm not joking well just a little, but there are possibilities.:smile2:
     
  18. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Nah, I got to watch this here gettin excited about growing tomater plants. I just don't ever do any good with them any more. Last summer, I had 8 nice big plants growing in wooden half barrels, and I barely got enough maters off them to put on a mess of hamburgers. Time before, when I tried to grow some, I had 3 or 4 dozen plants out, and they all died on me. Anybody want to buy a rear tine tiller real cheap? It needs a new engine, cuz I got mad at it and let it set out in the weather. Well, actually, I wasn't so mad at the tiller as I was just mad at my garden.
     
  19. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Jack, we do the big round bales on the farm.
    I've thought about dropping 3 or 4 on their sides and planting my whole garden in hay bales.:wink: Yes you could plant in the sides and top.
    Big hanging basket that is sitting on the ground.

    Jerry, it's time to change up.
    I got pissed off at my maters one year so the next year I dug a 2 foot deep trench 8 feet long and filled it with cow manure. HA ,take that you suckers!
    They took it alright. Tomatoes everywhere.
    I figured the manure would burn them up.

    Biggest problem I have with tomatoes , watermellons, and canteloupes comes from the soil. Either pests or nutrient problems. The other big problem is knowing what to put on them and what not to put on them. Knowing how much water is enough and how to recognize different deficiencies in the plant.

    Those gardens need to be turned under at the end of the year to prevent problems. Especially with nematodes.