This article shows the original method we used to grow upside down tomatoes. It works great and you may use it. However, another method which offers some advantages has recently become popular. See the link to the "update" at the end of this article.
One of the latest crazes in home gardening is growing upside down Tomatoes. Does this really work? Why upside down? Here is all you need to know to grow upside down tomatoes.
There does appear to be some advantages to growing the suspended tomatoes. However, there are also some drawbacks.
First, being away from the ground, there is less chance of pests invading your tomatoes. Unless they can fly, they can not reach the tomatoes. And most tomato pest are ground crawlers.
Second, being suspended, the tomatoes are easier to find in the foliage and to pick.
As mentioned above, there are also disadvantages but, first, let's see how to do it.
You can buy a complete, ready-to-go kit with all you need for about $15-$29. If you want to buy, just search the web for "upside down tomatoes". If you want to make your own, here's how.
You'll need some containers. You can use almost any type container but the best is any used 5 gallon plastic buckets with a handle. Five gallon plastic kitty litter buckets work great.
Turn your bucket (or other container) upside down and cut out a 2-3 inch circular hole in the center of the bottom of the bucket. If you use plastic, this can be done with a sharp kitchen knife. Use a drill to start the hole if necessary.
Holding the bucket right side up, thread the tomato plant leaves and steam through the hole you made in the bottom of the bucket, leaving the root ball inside the bucket. Wrap several layers of newspaper around the stem and root ball inside the bucket to prevent the entire plant from falling through the hole. Then fill the bucket with soil up to within 1 inch of top.
Hang the bucket at eye level with it's handle on a nail in a sunny location. Water and fertilize as needed. Check the soil level, periodically, to make sure it does not settle down more than 2 inches from the top of the bucket. Add soil as needed.
Suspended tomatoes will tend to grow upwards toward the sun, until they begin developing fruit, so check daily to make sure the stem is growing out of the bucket and not back into it.
This whole process can be done in about 15 minutes and cost nothing if you have access to some used buckets.
We found that the upside down tomatoes dry out very fast. They must be watered every day...sometimes twice a day. Second, we did not get the quantity or size tomatoes as in-ground tomatoes. Perhaps you will have better luck but our opinion is that upside down tomatoes should be grown as a novelty and to see the look on your neighbor's face, but not as a substitute for in-ground plants intended to put a wealth of tomatoes on your table. This is not to discourage you, they are a lot of fun. So, give it a try.
Update - Method #2
A different method that eliminates some disadvantages listed in the article above may be tried