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View Full Version : Anyone tried the Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter??


sydneysmom
04-08-2010, 11:25 AM
:confused3 I keep seeing the ad for the Topsy Turvy Tomato planter and our Home Depot has a huge display.... I'm kind of skeptical if this thing works or not. I really didn't want to make a vegetable garden again this year, but I LOVE homegrown tomatoes.... Has anyone tried it ??

DaniB
04-08-2010, 11:29 AM
Yes! We did last summer. And it really does work! We would have had a whole lot more tomatoes I believe if the plant had gone in it sooner (had grown quite a bit in a month). AND if the topsy turvey planter had not fallen on the ground and broke the tomato plant's stem... :rolleyes:

Although we purchased two, we only tried one last summer. This year we will put both up.

Only make sure you secure the planter into something that can really support a HEAVY weight! The first time my husband put it up, we didn't realize how heavy it would become and that's how it fell down and almost snapped the stem.

Purseval
04-08-2010, 11:34 AM
Waste of money, it was a gimmick. Look around yard sales, you can get them for $1 or so and try them out on the cheap. If you live near me I'll give you one, we aren't going to use them this season because they don't do as well as pots. If you are really tight on space and have no other choice they are better than nothing but that's about all the good I can say for them.

Tinkerbell58
04-08-2010, 11:35 AM
We're going to try it this year. We bought a few at Bed, Bath & Beyond and used a 20% off coupon. :thumbsup2

eatatmidnight
04-08-2010, 11:41 AM
We had one last year. We were hoping it would be a great way to get tomatoes to grow without the deer eating them. It did grow very well until it got long enough for the taller deer to stand beneath and eat the leaves from the bottom.

If you don't have trouble with deer, I'd give it a shot.

wdwfan16
04-08-2010, 11:50 AM
Somebody who had one told me it worked but you needed to water it twice or day or the thing would dry out. His did. I would not get one.

mickeytattoo95
04-08-2010, 11:50 AM
I didn't have luck with it. It was a hassle to water and the kids weren't nearly as involved as they were with the plants that grew in the ground. At least they could reach those to plants to tend them.

I know people who like them, but if space is the issues, you'll be fine with a few pots and tying them to a pole as they grow.

mickeymaker2003
04-08-2010, 11:53 AM
I thought this looked cool http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=486267 . We have a dog who will dig it up if I put pots where he can reach them (and he is tall with a long reach).

Justsyd2
04-08-2010, 12:06 PM
Yes! We used it last year, and will use it again this year. We had no problems with it.

Mickey527
04-08-2010, 12:11 PM
I have problems with the soil in my yard where I can't get normal loking plants to grow. I had my soil tested and they said it is fine but my tomatoes always seem to grow misshappened, not nice and round. I also had stunted broccoli and pumpkins, they just don't look like what you find in stores.
I tried Topsy Turvy last year and hung it on my back porch. I had alot of trouble with watering it, all the water I gave it ran out the bottom and all over my porch. My plants were always too dry.
I did get 2 tomatoes from it and they were so much nicer than the ones I had grown in the ground.
This year I am planning on buying a stake to put in my yard and will try the Topsy Turvy in that. Then I can overwater and if it runs out it won't be all over my porch. I only hope I can find something strong enough because I did get lots of green, just not too many tomatoes.

Colleen27
04-08-2010, 12:19 PM
It is higher maintanence than growing tomatoes the old fashioned way. I personally wouldn't bother unless I was living somewhere that traditional gardening was impossible for some reason (poor/contaminated soil, wildlife, space). They take a LOT of watering and very good, rich soil or regular feeding. If you're going to try it, I'd recommend using a determinant (bush) tomato rather than a vining type, because they stay smaller and thus have lower water & nutrient requirements.

benolathe
04-08-2010, 01:04 PM
Warning - requires a LOT of water as it dries out very quickly in the hot summer sun.

Hung one from our deck last year - the plant got very large, but only had three tomatoes develop on it. Just about the time they were getting red, the squirrel thought they looked really good. So, he jumped from the deck ledge and clung to the vine, picked the tomato off, and sit it on the ledge for his own personal little buffet! Found the tomato on the ledge with a portion of it eaten out. Left it there for my daughter to see, and later the squirrel came back to eat some more of it. Threw that tomato away - so he picked himself another one! BTW, I know it was a squirrel because I saw him jump onto the plant at one time. Of course, I chased him away. But obviously, he came back later when there was no one around to bother him.

After that, I gave up watering the thing and threw it away.

sydneysmom
04-08-2010, 01:07 PM
I thought this looked cool http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=486267 . We have a dog who will dig it up if I put pots where he can reach them (an he is tall with a long reach).

that's fantastic !! that's another reason why I was thinking about going this route... I did a veggie garden last year and everyday I was pulling our 2 basset hounds out of it. :scared1: they're nuts. for some reason, they LOVED being in the garden. UGH. I might try this though.... thanks for posting that !!!:goodvibes

surfergirl602
04-08-2010, 01:11 PM
we just got some at big lots for five bucks. So far, working great! We're going to get another and put cukes in it.

nilseks
04-08-2010, 01:16 PM
In my experience, not worth it. Used *SO* much water, way more than traditional tomato plants...I watered and watered and yet it always seemed dry. We only got one tomato out of it, whereas my plants in the ground that were bought from the same place produced 20-25 tomatoes each.

Kewz1
04-08-2010, 01:18 PM
I got mine for free from my mom. I just put the plant in two days ago but it has grown already.

I hope it works -- Looking forward to homegrown tomatoes!

Oh, and thanks for the heads up about watering.

Kristen

MammaNicholas
04-08-2010, 02:58 PM
Last year I got one, and I think my tomatoe plant didn't make it to the end of the 1st week.

After doing more research and watching you tube videos, I've decided to try again. I set mine up on March 27th, and a few days ago, I noticed over a 2 dozen buds on it. So, so far so good here. Right now I give it 2 gallons of water a day, as recommended. But as it gets hotter, I'm sure it will need to be doubled. Oh, and I also used Miracle Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix this time.

On you tube, they also show you how to make one out of a bucket.

DaniB
04-08-2010, 03:18 PM
Wow, we easily got a couple dozen tomatoes out of ours, and that with a half-broken stem that never healed properly.

Ahh, now I should mention we used a "cherry tomato" plant! Sorry I forgot about that before. Ohh, and we added tomoto plant fertilizer.

I don't know how it would work with a regular sized tomato plant... We prefer the little tiny tomatos as they are perfect for lots of salads and bite-size snacking!

We found it had to be watered every day.

And to the PP who mentioned they had it hanging off their porch - that could be why it didn't work for you. Tomato plants need lots of sunlight.

n2mm
04-08-2010, 03:38 PM
BIL tried last year....too much watering. It drys out and needs water all of the time. We do it the old fashion way and it works great. Sorry, a waste of $$.

puffkin
04-08-2010, 03:41 PM
We used cherry tomatoes in ours and got tons off of the plant. We probably would have gotten more, but we put it in really late.

We hung ours off the end of our wooden playset.

ShannonMB
04-08-2010, 03:46 PM
Thanks for this thread OP! I've been intrigued by this thing for awhile and wondered how it would work. Sounds like maybe just putting a plant in the ground is the way to go. I'd love to have a wonderful vegetable garden like my dear stepmom always has, but it's so much work!!

waughzee
04-08-2010, 05:25 PM
I thought this looked cool http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=486267 . We have a dog who will dig it up if I put pots where he can reach them (and he is tall with a long reach).

I just bought this at Walmart! It's only $39.99 there.

Pastamom
04-08-2010, 05:33 PM
We've had one for a few years now. It has yet to produce more than a handful of tomatoes except for last year because DH put some foam on the top to help it from drying out. - Still didn't do all that great, but none of our tomato plants did well because it was so cold last summer...

The biggest problem we've found is that it needs a lot of water (ours is in full sun) and we are not too dilligent about watering. I'm sure we'll try it again this year, because DH has a new plan:rotfl2:

tuckerkeys
04-08-2010, 07:27 PM
you can MAKE YOUR OWN! We did last summer and it was awesome!

Get a 5 gallon bucket. One with a handle. We used an old 5 gallon spackle bucket. drill a hole on the bottom, about 2" across. fill with a good soil/compost/peat moss mixture about half way. hang it up to get your tomato plant in the hole ( we put 2 next to each other ) Fill the rest of the way with your soil to the top. A small amt. of dirt may fall out of the hole but as the water compacts down the soil it will stop. Place a time release fertilizer on top of the soil or miracle grow weekly. We also planted flowers on the top of the bucket so it won't dry out fast. The plastic sides are what kept the water in. We used a white bucket, I think one that was black would draw too much heat to the roots and kill the plant. this year we're going to try one of the orange home depo buckets as well.

We hung our "un-topsy turvy" as we called it from my son's swingset. The vines reached the grass by the end of summer, which was about 5'. The tomatoes were perfectly round and we had a ton of them from the 2 tomato plants

sasywtch
04-08-2010, 09:30 PM
Just a hint on the plastic buckets; I've been using them for the last 3 years.Instead of using the plastic handles to hang it up, take handle off, use the holes where the handle was and run a wire or rope through there to hang up. One day we heard this crash and it was the plastic handle breaking and my plant crashing down. I amtrying something new this year and put a pole into the ground under the bucket and will tie (with the soft green tie ribbon) the plants as they are growing down. I did get alot of cherry tomatoes off both of them last year. I fill it about 3/4 full and use Miracle Grow mixture with water once every two weeks. The dirt also doesn't seem to dry out as much in the buckets.

Kellydelly
04-08-2010, 10:17 PM
I thought this looked cool http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=486267 . We have a dog who will dig it up if I put pots where he can reach them (and he is tall with a long reach).

This link doesn't take me to a specific item, what is it I cannot see :)?

Purseval
04-09-2010, 07:21 PM
Just a hint on the plastic buckets; I've been using them for the last 3 years..

From the website of Walter Reeves, Georgia Master Gardener, radio host and someone not impressed with upside-down planting techniques:

Tomato - Planting Upside-Down

Q: A lot of my gardening friends think I'm crazy but I have planted a tomato so that it hangs from the bottom of a five gallon bucket of dirt. My plant is doing fine and already turning up toward the sky. What can I expect?


A: I won’t comment on your mental state but you shouldn’t expect lots of tomatoes. The hormones that control bloom and fruit formation rely on gravity to move them from branch tips downward. By hanging the plant upside down, you interfere with hormone transportation. That's partially why the tips are already turning upwards. They’re looking for sunlight and trying to position themselves so gravity can do its work.

If you want tomatoes from your contraption, support the vines as they turn up, allowing them to climb toward the sky.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to plant them in the ground or right-side-up in a hanging bucket?

surfergirl602
04-09-2010, 07:38 PM
I don't get all the bad reviews. We have two hanging with cherry tomatoes for a few weeks now, and they are covered in little tomatoes so far. They are growing well and we don't have to water them like others are saying. They are growing really fast and doing well.

mousebymarriage
04-10-2010, 06:26 PM
I don't personally have but, there is a house around the corner from where DS8 plays soccer and they have one in the front yard and it is hanging from a tree branch. I have to say I was really shocked when I saw that it actually had a bunch of tomatoes on it. My first thought was "Holy Cr*p, that thing really does work", LOL!

pilesoflaundry
04-10-2010, 06:34 PM
They are very heavy once it's full of soil. I have one and it's growing well but the whole gravity thing is not working so well. It's growing down and then curling back up towards the sun. I don't know if it's my freaky plant or just the nature of where I hung it and the plant going towards the light.

I have no idea if I will get any tomatoes because if it doesn't spread out soon the flowers will be buried and won't get enough sun.

pilesoflaundry
04-10-2010, 06:39 PM
We've had one for a few years now. It has yet to produce more than a handful of tomatoes except for last year because DH put some foam on the top to help it from drying out. - Still didn't do all that great, but none of our tomato plants did well because it was so cold last summer...

The biggest problem we've found is that it needs a lot of water (ours is in full sun) and we are not too dilligent about watering. I'm sure we'll try it again this year, because DH has a new plan:rotfl2:

Actually all tomatoes need a lot of water and a lot of sun. They do well with deep watering. It doesn't matter what container you put them in, they need a lot.

You can use 2 liter soda bottles with tiny holes drilled in the cap and put the bottles upside down in the tomato bucket so you can slowly water them all the time so you don't forget. Just remember to refill the bottles every few days.

amshowers
04-11-2010, 02:17 PM
Ace hardware has these planters.http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3887813&ab=1214
There's also $10/50 on their website exp.4/12 or you could $5/25 entertainment book coupon.

MammaNicholas
04-12-2010, 03:40 PM
Wow, we easily got a couple dozen tomatoes out of ours, and that with a half-broken stem that never healed properly.

Ahh, now I should mention we used a "cherry tomato" plant! Sorry I forgot about that before. Ohh, and we added tomoto plant fertilizer.

I have three varities in mine, it the topsy turvey tree one. The first is Creole, second is Better Boy and third is Lemon Boy.

I now have over 30 buds, and I counted 6 yesterday starting to bloom.

elliemae1192
04-12-2010, 04:26 PM
You don't actually need a topsy turvy. Last year I bought regular plastic hanging pots. Cut a hole in the bottom (usually already has a hole there for drainage, just have to cut out the cross pieces) and feed your plant through. Fill with soil and hang it in the sun.

I also took an empty water bottle and cut the top off and poked 4 TINY holes in the bottom (used a thumbtack). Stuck it down in the soil and poured the water into that. That way it waters slowly instead of soaking through too quickly.

I planted three plants and staggered them by a couple of weeks so I wouldn't have more tomatoes than I could use at one time.

Here's a pic of the first plant before they ripened. I ended up getting ALOT of tomatoes off this one.

http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss207/disneyellie/DSC04118.jpg

amshowers
04-12-2010, 07:44 PM
Good idea,thanks. I have a few empty hanging pots from last year, so I'm going to give it a try.

Alice1386
04-12-2010, 09:29 PM
Yeah mine didn't work so well. Sure does make a nifty bird nest for a brown thrasher though ;-). Best of luck with everyones tomatoes this year- no matter which way you decide to grow them!

Evi
04-12-2010, 10:54 PM
my experience and my neighbors were both negative though I will admit to seeing them with tomatoes on other peoples porches and so I'm not really sure it may depend on how much sun you get or something I didn't do lol but good luck. My tomatoes grow great in the ground.

Indiana Rose Lee
04-13-2010, 07:47 AM
Somebody who had one told me it worked but you needed to water it twice or day or the thing would dry out. His did. I would not get one.

About 5 years ago we had read about this concept, and my husband made me 4 of them. They took far too much water and attention. They were beautiful, and we gave them away!

3redhedgirls
04-14-2010, 08:42 PM
Big thumbs down!

3boymthr
04-14-2010, 08:47 PM
Our soil is really really lousy so we can't even get weeds to grow, never mind vegetables. But DH loves fresh tomatoes so we grow them every year. We just use 5 gallon buckets with a few holes drilled in them and put them on our deck. No hanging. DH gets the buckets for free - he picks them up on the side of the road and brings them home and cleans them out. :thumbsup2 We did buy a few tomato cages for about $3/ea and they work great. They DO require a lot of water.