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April 24, 2009

Upside Down Tomato

Today I have a gardening post about how to plant an upside down tomato, courtesy of Mr. Munro.


What to do with that old paint pot or unwanted container.

It may seem strange to plant a tomato in an UPSIDE-DOWN container, but there are benefits. Very little soil related disease as the plant and its leaves have minimal contact with the soil. Roots easily absorb the nutrients as gravity provides a constant flow. Regular watering is crucial as gravity not only feeds but drains – there are larger than normal holes at the bottom of the container.


To make an UPSIDE-DOWN PLANTER procure a suitable vessel. A 10 liter (2.5 gallon) pail is ideal. Whether it is a new or old paint container, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that it has a lid and a handle. The lid can be adapted from anything but it must be able to retain the soil / potting mix once the container has been inverted. You are now wondering why we are turning the container upside-down. Think about it, it is an UPSIDE-DOWN PLANTER!


We are getting ahead of ourselves. Before inverting the container we have to fill it with suitable material, potting mix would be preferable with a slow release fertilizer. Put the lid on and turn the container upside-down. Cut 3 x 30mm (1&1/4inch) holes in the bottom, which is now the top!! A 10 liter container should be able to cope with 3 plants, smaller containers perhaps only one plant. Now plant your seedlings in the small holes.


After a week or two the plants should be established and able to cope with the next procedure. This entails the container to be raised up, turned over and held by the handle, discard the lid and hang by the handle. The plants are now hanging from the bottom of the container but will soon head outward and upward.



Enjoy your UPSIDE-DOWN PLANTER suitable for any sized garden or apartment.

I know some of you are gardeners. Do you grow your own vegetables? Do you prefer to grow flowers? What do you enjoy most about gardening?


  1. Roberta Harwell

    Hello Shelley,

    I love all things to do with gardening. Right now we can’t do any gardening due to our horse. We have a lot for him but he doesn’t like to be in it. So, he will go under or through the fence to get out. The problem is he is just to smart for his own good that and the fact he thinks he’s a dog. Long story to explain this. My hubby is supposed to be getting us some electrical fence that will keep the horse in his lot. I can’t wait. Maybe then, I will be able to start my flowers and veggies. Have a great day.

  2. J.K. Coi

    That’s a very ingenious idea. Love it!

  3. Julia Smith

    Very cool idea – perhaps we’ll give that a go this year. I do love gardening, but I’m an ornamental gardener, not a farmer! Actually, our yard is very shady and doesn’t get enough sun for vegetables.

  4. Maria

    My husband told me about this. But I keep wondering what kind of post and line we’d need to hold it up. :eek:

    Right now I have 36 tomato plants in the ground. There are several varieties including some heirlooms.

    Oh gosh, don’t get me talking about gardening. I am obsessed with vegetables.

    I plan to start a new blog on homesteading/frugal living in late May, so I can indulge my passions. :grin:

  5. mel

    Ok that’s a very cool idea. I need to show my mom that.

  6. Amy Ruttan

    That’s so cool. I’ll have to try it. Thanks Mr. Munro!! :mrgreen:

  7. Mel K.

    I love planting flowers. I want color! Lots of color! :grin:

  8. Jane

    My dad has the green thumb in our family. We don’t grow vegetables, but we have an assortment of plants.

  9. Suzanne

    Wow, love the idea. I might try it with sometype of flowering plant. I garden once or twice a year.

    Having a very low maintenance garden consisting of Palms, hibiscus, dracenas, agaes, yuccas, basically tropical ones and one’s that don’t need much upkeep. That’s out front. Out back, more palms, vines and two huge pawpaw trees. I’ts like a tropical oasis.

    I use to like gardening lots. Now I find I get so dirty I hate it. Thank heavens for maintenance free. :)

  10. Shelley Munro


    I’m sorry. I couldn’t help laughing about your horse problem. It brings back memories of animals and gardens from my childhood. They’re not a good combination, are they?

  11. Shelley Munro

    Maria – I think the heirloom varieties taste so much better! The pole my hubby used wasn’t particularly sturdy. You could always try the tiny cherry tomatoes. They would work well.

    Suzanne – a flowering plant would work well. Now I think about it, there are lots of plants you could try.

  12. Wylie

    We’re having a go at a veggie garden this summer. Starting small, with a few square feet, to keep the kids interested. If we do well with our carrots and peas this year, who knows? It may be the beginnings of a new family hobby!


  1. Can’t I use household products to get rid of hornworms on my strawberry’s & greens? Help? | Gardening Container Strawberries - [...] Shelley Munro Blog » Blog Archive » Upside Down Tomato [...]

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