1. The Topic of the Month for October is "Make this the Perfect Bugout Location". Please join the discussion in the TOTM forum.

Hanging Tomato Plants

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by RightHand, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Last year, one of my clients got a couple of those "Topsy Turvy" tomato plant hangers. The were +/- $20 each. The plants did okay but no where near as well as the advertisement showed.

    I decided to try them this year but, not wanting to spend the $$$, I decided to make my own. I bought a couple of those "green" shopping sacks, put a disk of iron on "Stitch Witchery" in the bottom to act as binding, then cut an "X" in the bottom for the stem. We're still getting snow flurries here so I can't plant yet but I'll give them a try in about a month. The bag has loop handles which I can use for hanging and the material is black which should help absorb the heat.

    I'll let you know how they work out.
  2. RaymondPeter

    RaymondPeter Simple Man

    Good luck with your experiment!

    I know some people that have had luck with those bought hanging bags, and some who didn't. They do seem to work well for many "hanging basket" type flowers though. The main thing is to keep them watered. Tomatoes are notorious for being finicky about water. If they get too much they can split, especially if they were dry before. If they don't have enough your plants will not produce the quality and quantity that you desire.

    Because of their ease of growing and the fact that they can even be easily grown indoors I would suggest trying at least one type of cherry or grape tomato in a hanging bag.
  3. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    I don't care too much for cherry or grapes so I stick usually stick with larger beefsteaks and roma. I use a lot of romas for sauces. I've had good luck with tomatoes for years. I do a wick watering system that works well.
  4. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    [pop]I look forward to hearing about your experiment! :)
  5. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    I look forward to hearing the results as well.

    As far as tomato plants go, I've been trying to learn from my father-in-law. He plants about 10 tomato plants (beefsteak variety) every year - and he is always giving away tomatoes because he gets too many.

    I plant 4-6 plants and end up getting tomatoes from him. One of these years, I'll have a good crop!!
  6. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    Hmm, RH, how did your hanging tomato plants work out?
  7. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    So-So. They got pretty stringy and took more than average amount of water but on the positive side, I avoided cages and I didn't have any rot on the ground
  8. pcc

    pcc Monkey+

    I made some redneck hanging tomato plants last year using old 5 gal paint buckets. I cut a hole in the bottom for the plants. Used a 50/50 mix of ga red clay and horse poop. Planted a cherry tomato and 2 medium size producing plants, forget the names of them.

    Watering was no problem for me, had them hanging under my deck by the horses water trough. The plants grew like crazy and produced a lot of tomatoes. But IMO it was more trouble than it was worth.

    The plants all grew back up the side of the buckets, they didn't hang down like I thought they would. I tried leaving one alone to see if gravity would train it down but it broke under its own weight. I put a stem back in the bucket and started all over with that one.

    I ended up having to put stakes in the tops of the buckets and tie them all up. They ended up growing a couple of feet above the tops of the buckets.

    Not sure if I did anything wrong or just used the wrong varieties, from now on I'll just stick to planting them in the ground.
  9. ppbenn

    ppbenn Monkey++

    So did the plants bear decent fruit? Or Just get leggy. I wonder if pruning is in order for the upside down
  10. pcc

    pcc Monkey+

    The ones I planted made a ton of fruit, that was one of the problems. I had to tie up individual limbs/branches to keep them from breaking off from the weight of the fruit.
  11. RM44

    RM44 Monkey+

    The upside down tomato plants looked like a good idea. I made several hangers out of 5 gallon buckets, planted tomatoes out the bottom and marigolds on top. It didn't work out too well for me because I didn't tend them properly.

    The 5 gallon buckets were very unforgiving on the water supply. They need to be tended everyday because there is very little reserve water for the plant to pull from.

    On the plus side, it was hard for the dog to wallow around on the plants, hanging up as they were. Last year I tried to let them run on a heavy mulch of straw and the dog went to digging. This year, it is back to the cages.
  12. BAT1

    BAT1 Cowboys know no fear

    Tomatoes are a fruit, so keep them vined like grapes. Trim them like grapes.
  13. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I have had no luck with any types of plants that are "potted" in containers...with the exception of large barrels cut into halves, and the plants loved those! The only "wicking" I have used was to feed large pumpkins, which was extensive and expensive, as I fed them a gallon of milk a day! I have heard but not seen about wicking for tomatoes....Tomato cages were a lost cause for me as the plants just swallowed them up. I ended up using wood stakes, then switching to plastic trellis'. Those things went over the roof, and even broke out a kitchen window! I have what was supposed to be cherry and grape tomatoes that are quite large now, as they over-wintered and just the past couple of days started to change from green to red.
    RightHand, how does one wick tomato plants?
  14. RM44

    RM44 Monkey+

    My best maters have been grown inside cages made from concrete reinforcing wire; the stuff with about 6" x 6" openings. I cut the panels about 10 feet long; the diameter of the cage is about 30" and they stand 5 feet tall.

    The only problem is that the wire rusts easily and can stain your shirt when reaching in to pick tomatoes. I may look for some galvanized wire of similar dimensions and try that.
  15. SemperDoc

    SemperDoc Monkey+

    A neighbor gave me a "Topsy Turvy" tomato planter last year. Damned thang did not work even anywhere as close as regular cherry tomatoes planted in the ground. Have sent the planter back to neighbor with wishes not to see it again.
  16. Srbenda

    Srbenda Monkey++

    I made two homemade versions last year using Home Depot buckets, and bamboo frame to hang them from.

    Not great.

    This year, using regular plants, I had much higher yield until the heat and drought killed them.
  17. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I had terrible luck with them too. Container planted tomatoes consistently outproduced the hangers. By outproduced, I mean barely any production in the hangers.

    I think a large pot is a better deal if you are limited on space.
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary