The main benefit of the Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter is the avoidance of staking and caging. Once you get your tomatoes planted all you have to do is water them and add some tomato fertilizer once in a while. That's a real effort saver! And if you don't have garden space you can grow delicious, juicy tomatoes on a deck, balcony, or patio without having to rig up tomato supports. You can grow any tomato type including cherry, plum, and beefsteak.
The planter uses gravity as a vertical growing advantage. Gravity pulls water and nutrients efficiently through the plant. The grow bag offers two advantages over traditional planting methods. First, tomato plants are tropical plants and love heat; the grow bag keeps the soil warm because it is exposed to the sun. Second, compared to traditional hanging baskets, the planter doesn't dry out nearly as fast, and keeping soil moisture constant is one of the secrets to growing great tomatoes.
Where and how to hang the planter is extremely important.
If your zone gets very hot, choose a location that is shaded from the hot sun at least part of the day. On the other hand, if you live in a cooler zone like mine (Seattle), choose your sunniest location, preferably a spot that gets 8 hours of daily sun.
Indeterminate tomato plants (most common) can easily grow over 8 feet tall, so ensure you have enough space under the planter to allow for growth. If they still reach the ground you can pinch off the excess growth with no harm done.
Most importantly--be safe and choose a strong solid wood or metal mounting surface that can support the heavy grow bag. Never hang the planter from a hook inserted in drywall or vinyl siding overhangs. Pre-drill a hole and, using the provided screw hook, twist in the hook until the threads are completely embedded in the wood.
The most important aspect of caring for tomato plants is watering. And with a Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter you can't overwater! The conventional wisdom is to water after the tomato leaves wilt, but it's actually better to keep the moisture level more constant. The easiest way to tell if your planter needs water is to lift the bag slightly to test its weight--you'll know that you need to water more frequently if it's very light.
One of the great things about growing tomatoes upside down is that pruning isn't necessary. Pruning tomato plants serves two purposes--ease of staking, and for growing fewer, but larger tomatoes.
With a Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter you can grow a nice crop of tomatoes with minimal effort. Once you get some experience growing tomatoes upside down you can try growing bell peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, or eggplant as well!