Introduction: Easy Topsy Turvy Tomatoes for Cheap
Welcome, here's how to make your own Topsy Turvy's for the price of a five gallon bucket, a .99 cent hook, and a tomato plant (if you didn't grow it yourself.) Indeterminate tomatoes don't stop at a certain height, so planting them upside down should give them a nice, easy way to grow as big as they like.
1) The dirt. Have it ready to use.
2) The hooks. Find the spot you will hang the tomato plant. The south side of your house is probably the best, as it will get the most sun if it isn't shaded. I drilled out the holes first.
3) Cardboard holders. These will keep your tomato plant in the bucket. I cut a couple of squares, approximately 4" x 4" or 10 cm x 10 cm. Then cut into the middle and make a hole that's big enough that your full grown tomato plant won't be squeezed.
4) The 5 gallon bucket. Cut a hole in the middle of the bottom, approximately 2" x 2", or 5 cm x 5cm. My technique was to drill a hole with my largest drill bit, and then get in there with some tin snips to do the cutting.
5) The tomato plant. Carefully remove from it's previous pot. Loosen up it's roots, removing all the extra dirt into your dirt supply. Gently work the roots in from the bottom, supporting the stem while you do. Now slip a piece of cardboard over the stem, on the inside of the bucket. Repeat with the second piece turned 90 degrees from the first. Many times they will wind up interlocking, which is cool but unnecessary.
6) The dirt part 2. FIRST CHECK THAT THE STEM IS CENTERED IN THE HOLE. Now for the hardest part, you will need to hold the plant with one hand (or find an assistant) and fill dirt in with the other.
7) Hang it up. Pat yourself on the back. Water, and enjoy tomatoes in a few months!
Two notes: I would rather do this with clay containers, but was in a hurry. Clay is better than plastic for plants, and because I did this in plastic it can't be called biodynamic.
If you want to know when to transplant, and discover all sorts of secret powers, check out the Stella Natura biodynamics calendar. I'm not associated with them, but think they are awesome.