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Make Your Own - DYI Upside Down Tomato Planter

You can make your own upside down tomato hanger, there are a few things you need to consider before your project.


*Ensure where you plan to hang it gets at least 6 hours of full sun per day

*Ensure where you plant to hang it can support the weight.  Your finished project may weight up to 50 pounds


**We also recommend you go with a cherry variety tomato as mostly likely the larger fruit varieties are too heavy when ripe, and the weight of the fruit can break the upside down tomato plant. 



What you need for upside down tomato planter

  • One tomato seedling 

  • 5 gallon bucket with lid 

  • Potting soil

  • Fertilizer

  • Utility knife

  • Plastic window screening

  • Scissors

  • Hanging apparatus (see first page)

  • A second set of hands


What you need to cover upside down tomato bucket

  • Oilcloth or other waterproof material (see note below)

  • Measuring tape

  • Waterproof tape

  • Plastic ribbon, twine or plastic raffia


Now that you have your project supplies, lets get started.


With your utility knife, carefully cut a draingage hole in your upside down tomato planter, that is around 2 inches in diameter. It doesn’t have to be neat or exact. I used the circle on the bottom of my bucket as a guide and it made cutting very easy. I also cut four small holes in the bottom of the bucket for extra drainage.

We recommend you cut some small holes in the bucket top to help with air circulation.


If you are going to make a decorative cover for your upside down tomato bucket, measure it now. Measure from the top of the bucket to bottom. Start from under the lip of the bucket and measure to the bottom edge. Also measure around the circumference of your bucket.


How To Make the Decorative Cover for Your Upside Down Tomato Planter


Cut your fabric to fit the bucket, but make sure to leave at least a two-inch overlap in width. Depending on the type of fabric you are using you may have to fold down the edges to get a clean look that won't fray, but with oil cloth you can leave the edge raw and it looks fine. Using a utility with a metal straight edge ruler is a good way to get a crisp edge, though you can also use a scissor.


Tape the short edge of your fabric to the side of the bucket using a waterproof tape. Electrical tape works well.


Then wrap fabric around the bucket tightly. The top of my bucket was slightly larger than the bottom, so I had to fool with it a bit to get the wrinkles spread out.

Make a tape circle - sticky side facing out - to fasten the flap of the oilcloth down onto the piece that you previously taped.


To further secure the cover onto the bucket, wrap plastic ribbon tightly around upside down tomato planter. You can tie or tape the ends of the ribbon.


To help keep your upside down tomato and soil in the bucket, but let water out, cut a piece of plastic window screening to fit bottom of the upside down tomato bucket. Then cut the center of the screen like a pie – so that there are six small flaps. It helps to fold the screen in half, to make the first cut. Make this opening at least as big as your hole so it will be big enough for the roots of your tomato plant to fit through.



Then add potting soil. We recommend BACCTO Veggie Mix.  The soil level can be 3 to five inches from the top of the bucket.


To get your tomato seedling ready for planting, remove it from its pot or cel. If the plant is root bound separate roots. Then take off any excess soil and remove the bottom few leaves. Moisten the root ball and then squeeze it firmly, which will help it slide into the bottom of your tomato bucket.


Put the top of the bucket on securely, and tip bucket onto its side. This is really a two-person job. Stuff the tomato seedling deeply into the hole, up to its first set of sturdy leaves. You are pushing it through the screening flaps, which will bend back. Once the tomato is in, you’ll want to pull the flaps out so that they lay flat on the soil.



Hang your tomato securely from its handle. If at all possible have two people available to do this. Your upside down tomato planter is not only heavy, it's rather unwieldy at this point. Also, because the tomato is growing through the bottom of the bucket, you can't put it down on a flat surface.



Water your tomato generously. One of the fastest ways to kill a tomato plant is not to give it enough water. You want to keep the soil consistently damp, but not wet. If you let your soil dry out, you may get blossom end rot which is not pretty.


Feed your tomatoes every week with a diluted liquid fertilizer.


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