Tomatoes: Upside down, Ground, and Self Watering Container

On of a common questions I still get is, do you still grow tomatoes upside down?  Does that really work better than just planting in the ground?

Well I decided to do a little experiment and start several tomato plants from seeds and grow two in an official Topsy Turvy planter, two in the ground with fertile soil, and one in a homemade self watering container

Each plant was placed in the same area in my yard and was watered the same amount at the same time.  About every 10 days I would also water with a diluted solution of water with fish emulsion.  You can see some results in the pictures below.

Upside Down Planter

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Self Watering Planter

WP_20140728_002WP_20140728_004

Ground

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Overall the upside down planters by far are having the best yields getting fruit 3 weeks before other plants.  The self watering planters had the healthiest looking plants though yields were decent though taking their time.  The plants in the ground are having some serious issues though still producing some tomatoes though doubt the plant will survive to have red fruit.

After this and previous years results I really don’t think I will be planting tomatoes in the ground in the near future…

3 Responses to “Tomatoes: Upside down, Ground, and Self Watering Container”

  1. Abby Stein Says:

    I first thought the one in the ground is not getting enough water (not contained so water pulled away by rest of soil), but the squash is doing well and squash can be water hogs. My second thought is soil borne disease, which can be caused by spores splashing up from the soil, which I notice is not mulched. A better comparison would have fresh soil with a mulch and water as needed.


  2. Mike Says:

    I really like this. I have one question. Will large tomatoes do just as well ? I notice many bloggers post pics only of small tomatoes grown this way.


  3. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Mike, The larger containers (5 gallon) can handle most larger tomatoes the smaller ones (2 liter/1 gallon) I would go with smaller tomatos


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