I like the idea of fresh vegetables - particularly tomatoes - but don't like the idea of spending lots of time tending to a traditional garden, so the idea of growing tomatoes upside down appealed to me. Spending $10 apiece for commercial upside down planters did NOT appeal to me. Besides, I knew I could create a better product myself.
I used and combined several ideas I saw on Instructables.com as well as other websites. I acquired a number of 5 gallon "pickle" buckets with the lids to use for this project. Being lazy, I combined the upside down planters I created with a drip irrigation system with a timer that COULD be the subject of another Instructable, except there are plenty of commercial websites that explain adequately how to create such a drip irrigation system. I combined that drip irrigation system with a "funnel" made of a one liter pop (soda) bottle with the bottom cut out "funnel style" to collect water from the drip irrigation system and channel it into each 5 gallon bucket planter.
Step 1: Preparing the 5 Gallon Bucket
Again, you need a 5 gallon "pickle" bucket WITH the lid. Lids for these buckets fit tightly and will hold well.
Use a 2" hole saw, drill a hole centered on the BOTTOM of the bucket.
Now take a double layer of paper towel and place it FLAT inside the bucket, covering the 2" hole you just drilled.
Fill the bucket all the way to the top with your planting soil.
Snap the lid on the bucket tightly.
Now invert the bucket with the dirt inside, the lid snapped on tight, so that the bottom with the 2" hole you drilled in the bottom is facing up.
Using a sharp knife, cut an "X" into the paper towel so that you can access the dirt underneath.
I used tomato seedlings purchased from the hardware store, and planted them into the dirt in the bucket, pushing the seedling through the hole in the bottom of the bucket and paper towel "liner", then arranged the paper towel back around the tomato seedling. Leave the planter on its lid for the next 10-14 days, giving the tomato seedling a chance to grow and develop so that its roots expand in the planter/bucket and "lock" the plant into place so that it can be inverted.