Topsy Turvy™ Upside-down Tomato Planter

  • #26
turbo
Gold Member
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I really like the concept of this product because I am a renter and the little bit of soil I have sucks! This seems like a portable way to grow a few tomatoes and herbs-there is also one for strawberries! Any more input on this product I would love to know, we are considering getting a couple of them with stands.
Do you have enough patio or yard-space to do container-growing? If so, you can probably go to a restaurant or deli and pick up 5-gallon pails for free, and grow your plants in those. My wife and I have a nice garden, but we also like to do container-growing on our back deck. It's great to be able to go just a few feet to pick basil, sage, cilantro, etc, and cherry tomatoes seem to do really well in containers, too. Your largest expense in getting started would be buying bags of topsoil and composted manure.

You should also get some mulch to place on top of the soil/manure mix to minimize the splashing of mud during rains/watering. That will help prevent collar-rot in tomatoes, a real weakness of the Tospy Turvy system. Plus, you will save the $10+ per planter and the cost of the stands.

BTW, if you don't like the color of your free 5-gallon pails or there are logos on them, just buy a can of spray paint and make them any color you want.
 
  • #27
Kerrie
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
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Do you have enough patio or yard-space to do container-growing? If so, you can probably go to a restaurant or deli and pick up 5-gallon pails for free, and grow your plants in those. My wife and I have a nice garden, but we also like to do container-growing on our back deck. It's great to be able to go just a few feet to pick basil, sage, cilantro, etc, and cherry tomatoes seem to do really well in containers, too. Your largest expense in getting started would be buying bags of topsoil and composted manure.

You should also get some mulch to place on top of the soil/manure mix to minimize the splashing of mud during rains/watering. That will help prevent collar-rot in tomatoes, a real weakness of the Tospy Turvy system. Plus, you will save the $10+ per planter and the cost of the stands.

BTW, if you don't like the color of your free 5-gallon pails or there are logos on them, just buy a can of spray paint and make them any color you want.
Thank you for the simple advice! Might have to try that, I am all about finding the most resourceful methods and least expensive way to carry them out!
 
  • #28
Home gardening is a pleasure, and well worth it, even if you can only grow fresh herbs. A piece of chicken is MASSIVELY improved with: dredge of egg, lemon, salt, pepper, FRESH thyme, FRESH chives, and a dash of FRESH sage, pan fry in some browned butter with capers. Finish with a touch of cream.

Tomatoes are only tough because you MUST water them all of the damned time. Dry your own basil (hang upside down from a string on a cabinet) then crush as needed. IF you have the space, then definitely go for some heirloom tomatoes, followed by courgettes and some lettuce. Mmmmm.... :smile:
 
  • #29
Evo
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Home gardening is a pleasure, and well worth it, even if you can only grow fresh herbs. A piece of chicken is MASSIVELY improved with: dredge of egg, lemon, salt, pepper, FRESH thyme, FRESH chives, and a dash of FRESH sage, pan fry in some browned butter with capers. Finish with a touch of cream.

Tomatoes are only tough because you MUST water them all of the damned time. Dry your own basil (hang upside down from a string on a cabinet) then crush as needed. IF you have the space, then definitely go for some heirloom tomatoes, followed by courgettes and some lettuce. Mmmmm.... :smile:
You should post in the food and gardening threads.
 
  • #30
Argentum Vulpes
Do you have enough patio or yard-space to do container-growing? If so, you can probably go to a restaurant or deli and pick up 5-gallon pails for free, and grow your plants in those. My wife and I have a nice garden, but we also like to do container-growing on our back deck. It's great to be able to go just a few feet to pick basil, sage, cilantro, etc, and cherry tomatoes seem to do really well in containers, too. Your largest expense in getting started would be buying bags of topsoil and composted manure.

You should also get some mulch to place on top of the soil/manure mix to minimize the splashing of mud during rains/watering. That will help prevent collar-rot in tomatoes, a real weakness of the Tospy Turvy system. Plus, you will save the $10+ per planter and the cost of the stands.

BTW, if you don't like the color of your free 5-gallon pails or there are logos on them, just buy a can of spray paint and make them any color you want.
Good suggestion on the used food stuff containers. However from personal experience of container gardening (10 years, 160 tomatoes, 150 peppers containers, and 10 eggplant containers each year). The bare minimum for tomatoes is 7 gal, 5 gal for peppers and eggplants. Any smaller on those containers and having the plants out in the full sun where they want to be and there water requirements become too demanding. Take these container sizes as a rule of thumb as I'm in Montana, July and August of 90+ days and 60s at night Also if the container is any form of translucent get a coat of spray paint on it, roots don't like light.

The container size is the big reason I don't like the topsy turvy planter. It is something like 3 gal of soil. Might as well tie a hose to your hand and hand cuff your self to the plant.
 
  • #31
You should post in the food and gardening threads.
Oooh, I didn't know they existed yet! Talk about a diverse forum: I'm in!

P.S. Ahhh threads, not a sub forum. How about "cooking and gardening" under Chemistry? :smile:

Argentum Vulpes: HA! So true about the watering. 3 gallons, maybe it comes with 20 of those of "watering bulbs"? :biggrin:
 
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  • #32
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
46
We have a hose on our back deck. It only takes a few minutes a day to give the tomatoes and herbs and flowers a drink.
 
  • #33
We have a hose on our back deck. It only takes a few minutes a day to give the tomatoes and herbs and flowers a drink.
You lucky devil. That's a great system... any pics?
 
  • #34
2
0
I have limited full-sun planting space at my home so bought one of these monstrosities. Total failure. Bought all the suggested nutrients and followed all the tips and directions. But, as previously noted by someone else who was taken in by these seat-holes, the water/mud drains out the bottom, full of the proscribed soil and nutrients, drools down the stem of the poor struggling upside-down plant and rots all the leaves and stalks. We tried to salvage the project after giving it a good 2 weeks to revert to some sort of success - we poked some additional holes in the sides of the bag in hopes the muddy water would drain somewhere other than all over the plant, but no luck. What a maddening waste of time, money, and plant life. Sheesh. Sorry to anyone else who tried this but glad to know I'm not the only one to get suckered in.
 
  • #35
Integral
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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Just found this thread. Wife found these at Bed Bath & B. We have never had much luck with tomatoes. We get lots of cherry tomatoes but have never had any luck with a slicing tomato. We just can't do any worse. Here are some pics of what we have now:

Jun10038-1.jpg


Jun10043.jpg


Jun10041.jpg


Jun10040.jpg


I am on the opposite end of tomato growing scale from the other posters in this thread, a complete incompetent. If these things can put some tomatoes on my table I will be as happy a lark.
 
  • #36
2
0
WOW. How did you DO that? Our tomato plant just rotted away in the topsy-turvy! I am very interested in more details. How big were the plants when you planted them and are they still doing this splendidly?! More details; please!
 
  • #37
Integral
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We used a commercial potting soil, the plants were in 3" pots and about 4-6in tall when planted. We killed a plant when I shoved the roots through the hole. My wife tried again by threading the plant through the hole.

Why we aren't rotting off stems?? I don't know, we had some water dripping through initially, which seems to have stopped now. It has been cool and rainy since we planted them. For the most part we have let the rain water them, but now the weatherman tells me we have some sun ahead of us. Today was the first full sun since I don't know when. Now we need to figure out how much water they will need. Seems that too much water would lead to what you describe, I will keep a close eye on these and post more pics.

My wife bought a pack of 6 plants, I killed one stuffing it into the TT, the other 3 have been stuck into the ground, they are doing ok, but not nearly as well as the 2 in the TT.

It's too late to get any pics tonight, I will get some tomorrow. The last pics were taken on 5 Jun. I have pic from the day we planted, 5 May, but Photobucket doesn't want me on tonight, so will try again tomorrow.
 
  • #38
3
0
P7301613_resize.jpg


P7301614_resize.jpg


Both started as 2 inch seedlings, we'll be getting our second harvest. Standard potting soil.
 
  • #39
Evo
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Either of you gotten any tomatoes? If so, how many? I've already gotten a few pounds off of a tomato planted in a pot on my patio and my neighbor has gotten zero off of their TT plant. My plant is at least 5 times the size of hers.
 
  • #40
dlgoff
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I HAD eleven plants. I got maybe a bushel of fruit before they died from some sort of fungus. Actually, I'm having a bacon and tomato sandwich right now. hmmmm.
 
  • #41
Evo
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I HAD eleven plants. I got maybe a bushel of fruit before they died from some sort of fungus. Actually, I'm having a bacon and tomato sandwich right now. hmmmm.
Sorry to hear that dl.
 
  • #42
3
0
I've gotten nearly 10 pounds off of the Early girls and I'm thinking we're going to at least triple that going out, still waiting on the Champions (we planted quite late).
 
  • #43
Evo
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I've gotten nearly 10 pounds off of the Early girls and I'm thinking we're going to at least triple that going out, still waiting on the Champions (we planted quite late).
How many plants do you have? A plant as small as the ones you posted couldn't produce much. ? I've been picking the cherry tomatoes for about a month (greenhouse plants) and they're about 6' tall! The larger tomatoes are just starting to ripen. I've only been doing container planting for 3 years since I moved out of my house, but the yield is definitely limited by the container size.
 
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  • #44
3
0
How many plants do you have? A plant as small as the ones you posted couldn't produce much. ? I've been picking the cherry tomatoes for about a month (greenhouse plants) but the larger tomatoes are just starting to ripen.
We have four plants - two Early Girls and two Champions. One of each at our apartment, and one of each at my parents' house (where the rest of our garden resides). We didn't have any more room on our balcony.

The Early girls have been quite prolific so far, but the fruit has been somewhat undersized.

As to the size, well, they aren't small. We've been constantly pruning back non-fruit bearing branches over the last month or so as to not overload the main stems (we don't have supports for them).
 
  • #45
Evo
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We have four plants - two Early Girls and two Champions. One of each at our apartment, and one of each at my parents' house (where the rest of our garden resides). We didn't have any more room on our balcony.

The Early girls have been quite prolific so far, but the fruit has been somewhat undersized.

As to the size, well, they aren't small. We've been constantly pruning back non-fruit bearing branches over the last month or so as to not overload the main stems (we don't have supports for them).
I'm finding that my tomatoes are undersized also, i read that they shouldn't be planted an anything less than a 5 gallon container, which is pretty big.

These is one of the cherry tomato plants a week ago, after being picked, they're tasty, but small and the skins are tough.

017ln.jpg


You should join our gardening thread https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=74652&page=151

I am the lone container gardener there, I could use some moral support.
 

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