Tomatoes are traditionally grown in an upright position, trailing up beanpoles, but a novel way of growing tomatoes is to do so with them hanging upside down. We take a look at the art of growing upside down tomatoes in a greenhouse.
Growing tomatoes upside down has grown hugely in popularity over the last few years. As well as being called the upside down method, it’s often also referred to as topsy turvy tomato growing. The name describes the method perfectly, as you essentially plant tomatoes in a special customised container and hang them upside down to grow. Contrary to some views, the soil and plants don’t fall straight back out – instead they continue to happily grow and, in time, the fruit will cascade down, ready to be picked.
Greenhouse Grown Upside Down Tomatoes
Upside down tomatoes can be grown anywhere where you have the space to hang the container. Whilst many people grow them outside, it’s also an ideal method to use within your greenhouse. In fact, if you find a warm and sunny spot within your greenhouse, where there’s plenty of light and heat, then you should end up with a very tasty crop of tomatoes.
There is a huge variety of tomatoes available and many work well with the topsy turvy planting method. To start off with, you could try the small and tasty fruit, Gardener’s Delight, which is renowned for producing a bumper crop of juicy cherry tomatoes.
Upside Down Tomato Planters
Garden centres and various DIY stores sell containers that are specially designed for topsy turvy tomato growing, but if you’re creative, you can have a go at making one yourself. The containers are planted up in a similar way to how you would plant a conventional garden container, but you need to follow the instructions carefully to ensure you properly secure the seedlings and compost inside, so that they won’t accidentally dislodge and come loose.
Planting the topsy turvy tomato containers can take a bit of practice, but it’s well worth persevering with, as the results of your hard work should come within a few months. Like any tomato plants, they will need to be regularly watered and may well benefit from a weekly feed using a specialist tomato feed.
Upside Down Tomato Growing Tips
In the same way that you prick out the extra stalks that grow on standard tomato plants, with the aim of getting the plants to grow more fruit and less leaves, you’ll need to this regularly in the early stages of growing upside down tomatoes too.
You may find that the plants grow towards the light and appear to be growing upwards, rather than downwards, but as they grow bigger and the fruit starts growing, then they should begin to fall downwards too.
If you’re growing topsy turvy tomatoes in your greenhouse, then do try and choose a spot that is suitable for a hanging container – ideally away from anywhere that you could accidentally hit it or walk in to it – but somewhere that is also easy to reach to water.