Sunday, July 20, 2008

A failed experiment

The upside-down tomato experiment on the patio has failed. It was looking good for awhile (the above photo was taken several days after planting it), but it looks like the patio simply does not get enough sunlight for tomatoes and other shade intolerant plants to do well. The two huge shade trees give it privacy and make it comfortable even when the Atlanta heat is at its worst, but it's definitely not a tomato environment. The plant struggled for awhile, got leggier and stranger looking, and finally quietly died. The tomato and pepper plants in pots are still green, still trying to grow, but it's pretty clear if we had to subsist off what they might produce we'd starve in short order.

On the other hand, the upside-down tomatoes up at the retirement bunker are reportedly doing well. We tried a low-budget suggestion Tracy had posted a couple months ago on Possum Living, and the last I heard the tomatoes in the milk cartons were doing better than the tomatoes in the garden. Most of the upside-down tomatoes I'd seen before used 5-gallon buckets, but the one-gallon milk jugs seem to work, and for sure are a lot lighter to hang.


  1. my boss tom had one and it made more tomatoes than he could eat..was giving them away to tomatoes are looking really scraggly...if i get one tomato off of them i'll be squash, pepers, cantalopes, okra, and japaese egg plants are all doing great..wonder if i can do the upside down thing?...will check it out..maybe next year..

  2. I'm sorry about those tomatoes. Ours in the garden are a little slow to ripen this year. And when I talked to my dad in Indiana, he was beside himself about his poor crop this year. He's usually giving them away.

    I'll keep a good thought for those tomatoes and peppers in the pots.

  3. I too have the shady yard, so no tomatoes for me, but my neighbors have great gardens, and I have a standing invite to help myself. Ahh, the kindness of neighbors. We have the most liberal bunch of neighbors in town--everyone has an Obama Lawn Sign on our block--much more attractive than pink flamingos.

  4. I have never heard of growing them upside down, doesn't seem like it would work being as it's not natures way.

    Not that nature always gets it right.

  5. You've been watching "Gardening in Georgia", eh? I saw the "upside down tomato pot" episode as well...

    I planted tomatoes and peppers this year, most were eaten by hungry rabbits right after sprouting, but a couple of the tomatoes survived. They are not doing well this year.


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