Short on space, but love the idea (and the flavor) of homegrown tomatoes? You can turn your assumptions about tomatoes growing on its head with an upside-down tomato planter! These planters are taking home gardening to a new, accessible level.
Read on to learn about the best upside-down tomato planter on the market to help you grow a gorgeous crop on your patio, deck, or balcony.
Our Top Picks
Pri Gardens Upside Down Tomato Planter
Hanging Grow Bag Tomato and Herb Planter
Topsy Turvy Deluxe Upside Down Tomato & Herb Planter
This upside-down tomato planter is easy to assemble and use and works great in small spaces.
The Topsy Turvey upside-down planter has been around for years, and the design has steadily improved. The newer models have a water filter liner at the top, which helps control the flow of water into the soil for maximum absorption.
This planter also features a swivel top so you can turn the bag easily as needed (especially helpful if you need to turn it to ensure even sunlight on any of your plantings).
Gardners can grow up to 30 pounds of tomatoes with this planter. It can also be used to grow other fruits and vegetables, like eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, and cucumbers, when your not using it for tomatoes.
Small pocket openings along the side of the bag allow for airflow and are great places to plant some herbs. You could grow your own pizza sauce ingredients–tomatoes, basil, and some oregano–all in one bag!
If you don’t take advantage of the herb pockets and leave them empty, you might get some soil washout through the holes, which is no good for your patio or your tomatoes (more reason to stuff some herbs in there!).
This planter requires diligent watering, too. You will have to water at least every day. Although you’ll get the best crop if you can hang the bag in direct sunlight for a good portion of the day, remember to keep an even closer eye on soil moisture and ensure you’re giving your plant all the water it needs.
The Topsy Turvey Deluxe can vary widely in price, so depending on when you’re looking to buy, the price point might drive you to a different upside-down planter.
Pri Gardens Upside Down Tomato Planter
You will be pleasantly surprised by how easily you’re able to grow beautiful tomatoes quickly and easily, even on a city apartment balcony.
There’s plenty of room at the top opening in this upside-down tomato planter to grow herbs or, smarter yet, marigolds that will deter pests. The fabric is durable enough to support multiple plants and lasts several seasons.
Thanks to its breathable fabric, your plant’s roots will get all the oxygen they need with this planter. The typical molds and mildew that plague tomato roots, especially in damper climates, won’t be an issue with this planter.
This upside-down tomato planter is made of dark green fabric that also attracts the sun and helps the soil retain heat, which is especially important in cooler climates.
Some users find the Pri Gardens Upside-Down tomato planter a bit more cumbersome due to the planter’s material (fabric), lack of a support ring to keep the top open for easy watering, and bottom zipper design.
The fabric cylinder of this planter may be great for aeration, but that means that evaporation is a real threat. Users of this planter will need to water daily (sometimes more than once a day) or risk their plants dehydrating.
Unlike other upside-down tomato planters, this one doesn’t have a metal ring at the top to provide structure, which makes watering more difficult, especially if your planter is up high and already hard to reach. The soft opening for water tends to collapse on itself and leave you with a watery mess outside the planter.
The zipper opening at the bottom of this planter is on the small side, and it can be tricky to get the plant through without snapping any stems.
Hanging Grow Bag Tomato and Herb Planter
This upside-down planter is made of a quality PE material, so heat and moisture are kept in the soil where they’re needed.
Their practical design means it allows air and water to flow optimally throughout the planter. Also, this planter doubles as a strawberry planter as well! This is truly a versatile choice
Fixed straps hang these upside-down planters, so turning them isn’t as easy as it is with other planters. This means you may have trouble getting adequate sunlight on all sides.
The holes along the sides of these bags can be relatively small; however, if you don’t plant something in them, you will get some soil washout and unwanted water drainage, at least until a strong root system forms.
Galvanized Heavy Gauge Steel Hanging Tomato Herb Planter
If you aren’t crazy about some strange green bag hanging from the ceiling of your apartment balcony, this may be the model for you.
Made of rust-proof, galvanized steel and painted in a variety of colors with lead-free paint, this steel planter holds its shape and looks great doing it.
As this upside-down tomato planter is made of nonporous steel, you’ll have a hard time keeping soil appropriately moist.
You might also find the hole at the bottom is far too large for a young seedling. Be prepared to add a coconut husk to prevent soil loss.
Finally, this planter doesn’t come with the necessary hardware to hang it, so you’ll also have to purchase a chain and s-hook or similar mechanism.
Why Garden Upside Down?
You already know that upside-down gardening is a wonderful space-saving innovation, but why else should you consider doing it? Here are just a few more benefits:
- Save wear and tear on your back and knees (no more crawling around in the dirt to maintain your crop).
- No stakes needed.
- Fewer weeds and pests.
- Better aeration.
- Easy to plant.
- Less disease.
- Easy to move.
What to Look for in a Planter
The best upside-down tomato planter for you should be purchased based on functionality, rather than on appearance (though no one will judge you if you choose aesthetics over performance; when it comes to your upside-down garden, you do you!).
Whichever style you choose, make sure you pick a planter that will perform well in your climate and environment. For instance, if you live in an arid climate, you might want to select an upside-down planter that’s slightly less permeable than its counterparts so as to lock in moisture after watering.
Ease of Use
Depending on your set-up, you’ll also want to look for a planter that’s easy to adjust to wherever the sun is at any given time in case you need to rotate the bag.
This is where the Topsy-Turvy Upside-Down Tomato Planter really beats out the competition! Turning the planter as needed is way more convenient than unhooking it from its tether point and manually rehanging the whole thing.
Price and Longevity
Most of these planters seem to work really well for several years, but not all. Look for a brand that is durable but that’s sold at a price you’re comfortable paying for its projected lifespan.
For a Better Crop, Think Outside the (Garden) Box
Planting tomatoes upside down may sound whacky at first, but as you can see, there are some real benefits to embracing this easy, portable method.
Regardless of the direction you choose to grow, read more great tomato-growing tips on our dedicated Tomato page.
- About the Author
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Ronda Lindsay is a writer and editor who loves getting outside in her garden, whether that’s in the temperate climates of the Pacific Northwest or Mid-Atlantic or in the sweltering heat of south-central Texas.
Growing up, she was a regular at pick-your-own farms, where she and her siblings gathered anything that wasn’t already growing in her family’s backyard to eat, freeze, or can. As an adult, Ronda has taken the vast gardening knowledge bestowed upon her by her mother and used it to grow everything from strawberries to jalapeños, arrange beautiful container gardens, and nurse sick plants back to health.
With a bachelor’s in English and a master’s in professional writing, Ronda enjoys using her skills to share information and advice with Minneopa Orchards readers!