Yes, that’s right.  It is June 25 and I am just now getting my fake-tomato-topsy-turvey-thing-a-ma-jig done.  I would recommend you do it earlier than this. 

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I bought a new 5-gallon paint bucket, some potting soil, and a Mountain Pride Tomato.  I don’t even know if it is determinate or indeterminate.  Guess I should read the little marker.

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We drilled a hole in the bottom of the bucket (about 2″).  We drilled a series of holes in the lid (I will water and feed through these holes).

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I removed almost all of the branches so the tomato plant could be “planted deeply” (is it still “deep” if it is upside down?).  Dave held the bucket and the suspended tomato root ball while I filled in with soil and vermiculite.  I sprinkled some granular fertilizer on top, which will work its’ way down through as I water.

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If I’d started with a smaller plant or not worried about going “deep,” I could have used less soil.  It is pretty heavy, so a strong hanger is in order. 

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Popped the lid on (it will even recieve rain!), and hung it about 6 1/2 feet up on the southeast corner of the house where it will get lots of hot sun.  It is almost directly above the tomatillo in the straw bale.  I surrounded it with some leftover bamboo shade I had hanging around for aesthetics.

I am truly afraid to face my neighbors. ;]

I would not expect to be eating fruit from this plant until mid-September at this late date.  But that is OK.  All the tomatoes in the straw bales are producing already and may need a break by then!

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Cost: bucket, $3.50; bracket for hanging, $6.99; tomato, $3.50 (could have gotten that cheaper at a local center); 3 gallons of potting soil (practically free from a Lowe’s clearance), $1.00…so since you can buy an “authentic” topsy-turvey for about $10, no $$ savings, BUT mine will withstand micro-bursts and looks better.  And that makes me happy enough.

I’ll try to give you updates.  We’ll see…

6 thoughts on “Tomato-Topsy

  1. Hey, it look great! Now I want to do one. :( (no, no,the three plant are enough pearl!)I believe the diet pepsi is for the man with the drill. You never see him without one. ehehehhe

    I truely love it! Next year for sure!

  2. I did one with the children in school… we used an empty gallon of milk and it worked just fine!
    you cut the bottom, use a coffee filter to hold the soil around the plant inside…
    we started from seeds, so we left on the up position until the plant was a little bit smaller than yours, than we hang through the handle upside down :)

  3. Yes, the Diet Pepsi is a must, you receive strength and sustenance from the nectar of the gods! I told Jeanie to be sure and get my massive forearms in the pics…
    But where did the mass go?????

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