Thursday, July 9, 2009

My love is like a red, red tomato

I love tomatoes. I love tomatoes so much that I try not to eat fresh ones out of season because the ones that are picked green for shipping don't taste much like tomatoes even when they do turn red.

Most years I grow a variety of tomatoes, with varying degrees of success.

I hesitated to plant tomatoes this year for two reasons: deer around our new home, and multiple summer vacations. But next year, I plan to try a tomato or two using the upside down method, maybe even making the hangers myself. I found this "how-to" on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's site,

Make your own upside-down tomato system


A bucket with a securely fitting lid and handle, at least 5 gallons;

metal chain, 4 to 5 feet long

2 coffee filters or two 5-inch-square fabric swatches

Metal loop or strong wire

Potting soil

Slow-release fertilizer

Hybrid tomato seedlings, preferably a cherry or other small variety


1. Cut or drill 2-inch holes in the center of the lid and bucket bottom.

2. Cover the hole in the bucket bottom with a coffee filter or fabric swatch.

3. Fill bucket with lightweight potting soil.

4. Lay coffee filter or fabric swatch over the soil, aligning its placement with the hole in the lid.

5. Secure the lid and turn the bucket upside down.

6. Cut a slit through the coffee filter or fabric

7. Remove lower leaves from seedling and plant deeply.

8. Place the bucket in a sunny location, keeping it well watered and fed with slow-release fertilizer.

9. When the plant is 1 foot tall, run a chain through the bucket handle.

10. Hook both ends of the chain to a metal loop or heavy wire.

11. Suspend upside down from a well-anchored plant stand.


  1. I know I'm commenting almost a month later, but it's so easy to get behind on blogs where people post regularly. :-)

    I have been trying to grow an heirloom variety of tomato that I bought as a seedling from a small farmer's market back in April. I've almost killed it twice--first when I planted it in a soil-amender instead of potting soil, and second when I didn't ask the neighbors sitting our cats to water the plant while we were on vacation. It's 3 1/2 months later, and I have four or five tomatoes getting large but not turning red. Still, I'm hopeful!! Perhaps I'll share one with you if any of them turn out.

  2. What's the name of it, Janice, if you recall? It may be one of those heirlooms that stay green when ripe. Always love fresh tomatoes, whenever and wherever I find them. I hope I can plant a garden next year!