Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Planting Upside Down

My neighbor's daughter apparently brings guests out in the summer time to look over the fence at the crazy upside down plants. The plants belong to me. I don't know for sure where this idea came from - I have a vague recollection of seeing Jamie Oliver do it on TV, but my husband swears we saw it done when we were in Denmark. Either way, the result is a bit strange looking, but it is a great space saver, and we found that it increases our yield from pepper and cherry tomato plants. Start hanging your own upside down plants, and you too can be a neighborhood oddity and enjoy lovely produce come mid summer. This is also a great option for balcony gardeners.

It is actually very simple, and also very inexpensive. You do need to start with a plant though, so you will have to either buy a small plant, or start the seeds inside and grow them until they are about the size shown.

The first step is to go out and purchase some inexpensive hanging baskets (from Canadian Tire or Walmart), and cut a small hole in the bottom. You want it small enough that your dirt won't all fall through, but big enough that you can slip a plant through it gently.

Be very careful in feeding the plant leaves through. Try to keep the root ball intact or you will get it crumbling through the opening (Note, don't be too afraid of this happening, it hasn't happened to me yet).

Top up the basket with soil, and water so that it drips through the bottom. You will get a lot of dripping through the first few times you water, but as the plant gets larger and more established, less will drip through. In the mean time, water pretty regularly. You won't over water seeing as excess does drip through.

Having the plant up in the air means that you don't have to deal with tomatoes rotting on the ground by accident if your plant cage isn't holding it all up. Also, it is fun to see how the plant adjusts in the first few days to reorient itself to the sun.

In addition, here are some gratuitous pictures of my chives and the one onion that somehow didn't come up last year, and this year survived our late spring snowfall. Yay! My asparagus did not fare so well as I will elaborate soon.


  1. There's some infomercial that sells an upside down tomato planting kit, so you're not so crazy after all. ;)

  2. Can you put some plants on top too? Looks like a big enough planter?

  3. I bet you totally could plant on the top as well. I never thought to do it since I can't see the top :-) but weeds grow, so clearly chives or dill could too!