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Gardening Ideas

Novel Gardening Ideas – the Upside Down Garden

So you have a problem with your garden pests and you’ve tried everything you can think of; but have you tried turning your garden upside down? No this is not a joke. They’re actually selling upside down planters now to help you grow your garden in pots turned over and most recent converts are so crazy over this that they refuse to ever grow a normal garden ever again.


As gardening ideas go, this one is terribly popular now, as a gardening enthusiast friend (a tattoo artist in Montréal) tells me. His problem was that he would try to grow tomatoes in the kitchen garden patch he had in the normal way.

However, cutworms were eating his patch inside out and he tried every normal kind of pesticide without success. Rather than go industrial-strength with the poison, he began to look around for other gardening ideas.

Being good with his hands and all (you have to be, to be a tattoo artist), he decided to get his tomatoes off the ground and away from the worms.

He got a few 4 gallon plastic buckets, packed them with dirt and compost to make the planters, cut a hole at the bottom of each to insert a tomato seedling through, put in a little bit of wet newspaper as packing around to anchor it and then hung them upside down on steel hooks and chains strung around his backyard. It was about the best crop he had had in a long time.

The preserves and sauces he made, (I got a bottle of it) were pretty good. I’d always encourage him to try newfangled gardening ideas like this if it could net me a great bottle of its yield.

Reverse gardening like this works great with certain kinds of plants – cucumbers, peppers and of course tomatoes. The popularity of upside down gardening could perhaps partly been attributed to the availability of topsy-turvy planters at Wal-Mart and every other big box retailer.

Upside down planters are really catching on at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Gardener’s Supply and other gardening providers.

Upside Tomato Plant

It’s a concept that’s totally of its time. So what exactly is it that inspires people to accept gardening ideas like this? To begin with, it does fine for a small home. It needs almost no space, cages or stakes.

Weeds don’t like it up there and garden pests seem to not tolerate the novel position. It gets better water and air and it cannot be over-watered.

It’s almost impossible to go wrong with upside-down gardening. You’ll find that tomatoes and jalapenos, two garden plants that are difficult to get to thrive in a regular garden, are effortless to grow upside down.

They even seem to grow bigger and more robust this way. When I tried topsy-turvy planters myself, I didn’t seem to get anywhere. They are made of plastic bags and somehow my tomatoes never seem to prefer them.

My friend however, used plastic buckets nailed to posts around his backyard – planted herbs at the top for moisture record retention and his tomatoes did very well. Perhaps the reason for that is that Topsy-Turvy uses perforated plastic bags and they can dry the soil out quickly.

He also found that large-yield tomatoes don’t really work well hanging upside down. They’re just too heavy for the little vines to support.

If you get creative with your gardening ideas, you can use just about any kind of container, or an unperforated plastic bag. Look up upside down gardening ideas on Youtube for more ideas.

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