Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Something new: Topsy Turvy

I'm trying something new this year: The Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter. It's one of those "As Seen on TV" things, but Cam and I thought it was very cool, so we decided to give it a try.

For Easter, we set one up for my 94 year old American Grandmother. She used to love to garden, but now because of her age, it's not something she can safely do. We put the topsy turvy on her porch, planted two cherry tomato plants in it, and hung it low enough so that she can water it without any discomfort. So far, her tomato plants seems to be growing fine in it.

At Cam's house, we "planted" two Mr. Stripey tomatoes in the Topsy Turvy. We hung it on one of the satellite dishes in the backyard.


It was very easy to set up. All you do is slip your plants through the hole at the bottom and fill it with potting soil (with time-release vegetable fertilizer). It did become very heavy, though, once the soil was added. It's a two-person job!

I am very interested in seeing how this works. If it works.

According to the company's Website (http://www.topsygardening.com), you can use the topsy turvy to grow fresh herbs, zucchini, eggplant, and even peppers. It apparently also minimizes pests and diseases because your plant is above ground. Hmmm.... We''ll see.

We paid about $10 for this at Wal-Mart, so it won't be a total loss if this fails.

At least I won't have any problems with cutworms with the topsy turvy! I'm excited about the Mr. Stripey tomatoes too! But more about that once it begins to fruit! I can't wait!

23 comments:

marmee said...

dp, so glad you are back blogging again...you were missed. here's hoping all that you planted will bring a huge harvest.
ps. i saw you on a commercial several months ago...i can't remember what is was though.

Robj98168 said...

Hope you had a nice hibernation. I bought a topsy turvey last year and it worked allright. This year I made my own thanks to Cheap Vegetable Gardener. I have pop bottles all over the place! I also got a new puppy (Romeo) to help take the place of spike and binky while you were hibernating!Tough year pet wise, but I still have sammy cat and now romeo.

mothernaturesgarden said...

Welcome back, DP. I am eager to see how the topsy turvy works out. Love those fresh tomatoes.
Donna

tina said...

I have one similar to it. Hubby bought it from a coworker's child as part of a fund raiser. I am not happy but will plant it. I should get the cherry tomatoes in today. My biggest concern is going to be how will I water it? Welcome back.

Susie said...

It will be interesting to see how the tomatoes grow. I hope they do well.

ami said...

I was *just* looking at these for our strawberry plants! There are special bags with more holes for the strawberries to vine out, and I'm thinking it might be smart to use one of these instead of letting strawberries take up a whole bed, especially when we only have 4. Let us know how the Topsy Turvy progresses!

ps--Good to see you at my blog. You're my first blogosphere friend! Yay!

perennialgardener said...

That Topsy Turvy planter is cool DP, I've seen this in some of my neighbor's gardens too. :)

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi DP, this is a very interesting post. Two of my coworkers are planning on trying them. It's an interesting idea--gravity helping pull the water into the stems and leaves. I'm all about trying new things. If I can figure out where to hang the thing I believe I may try one too. The wind is so fierce here I can see it being whipped around, tangling branches and maybe even falling. Keep us posted.
Marnie

Dawn said...

I'm looking forward to this, it's all over tv and I wondered about them.

Frances said...

Hi DP, what a nice thing for your grandmother, just right to be able to still have the thrill of gardening. Hope it works. I am skeptical, but might even try one here. The price is right! :-)
Frances

DP Nguyen said...

Hi Marmee- I was in a Nossi commercial in January! :-) Thanks for the harvest wishes! I hope so too.

Hey Rob- I am sorry to hear about your hard pet year. I hope it works better for you this year. The pop bottles idea seems very interesting. I might have to try it next year!

Hi Donna- I'll be posting pictures of the topsy turvy tomatoes. I am interested in seeing how they do.

Hi Tina- The topsy turvy has a hole at the top where you can water, but if you hang it up high, I can see that it might be a problem. I hope it works out for you!

Hi Susie- I hope they do well. I am hungry for fresh tomatoes.

Hi Ami- The strawberry idea sounds fabulous. The strawberries completely overtook one of our beds. I was very surprised, but delighted that they came back.

Hi Racquel- Thanks. I think lots of new gardeners are trying them out. They are much easier for those who don't have a lot of space to garden.

Hi Marnie, Finding out where to hang these things was definitely a struggle for me. Cam rigged some very strong metal string things so hopefully the wind damage will be minimal!

Hi Dawn- I first saw these things on TV, and decided to try it out!

Hi Frances, Give it a try. I'm excited. I might even try squash or zucchini in one of them.

Frances said...

Hi again, I wanted to suggest that you plant more flowers and herbs that are attractive to bees, like the salvias, thyme and lavender among others. That will help get them to visit your blueberries.
Frances

DP Nguyen said...

Hi Frances! Thanks so much for your suggestion. I did buy some lavender recently, and I didn't know where to plant it. Thanks!

lola said...

Hi DP, Welcome back. You've been missed.
I have several of the Topsy Turvy planters. I think they work great. Main thing to remember is to fertilize & water. But don't water to the point that it runs out on the leaves. I have Sweet 100's & a grape tomato in 2 of mine. I had Young'un put the screws in the arbor that he built for me. It is secure. I also have hanging flower pots on the arbor too.

DP Nguyen said...

Hi Lola, Great to hear from you! I hope my topsy turvy works as well as yours. How often do you fertilize?

Dave said...

DP,

I've wondered how those things work. I have a neighbor who is doing the same thing. Her erected a pair of posts with a cross brace to suspend the tomatoes. I can't wait for the tomatoes to come!

Gail said...

I read in a mystery novel of all places that you can take tomatoes from the garden before a frost and hang them upside down and they will continue to ripen~~so why not growing from a container like this one! gail

Mick said...

Hello dp, good to see you around again. :-)
You mentioned on my blog that your onions were "top setting" like mine. If yours are doing this and are regular onions it could be because of temperature fluctuations.
An onion is classed as a biennial which means it normally takes 2 years to go from seed to seed.
Onion plants exposed to alternating cold and warm temperatures think they've gone through "2 seasons" and then prematurely flower or bolt.
The onions that do this wont be spoiled, probably just end up smaller.
The onions you spotted in my post are called "Winter", "Egyptian" or "Walking" onions and the top setting is part of the natural process.

DP Nguyen said...

Hi Gail- That is very interesting. I might take the Topsy Turvy in the winter and place it in the sun room and heat it and see if they continue to ripen!

Hi Mick! I don't know what kind of onions mine are, but when I dug up, the onion was so tiny. It possibly doubled the size of when I bought it in the store, but still so small that I don't know when to eat it. I need to do more research on this... but we have been having crazy weather fluctuations in Nashville so I wouldn't be surprised if that's what it was.

Dan said...

I am trying three of these this year. I hope they do well too.

lola said...

Hi DP, I fertilize every 6 weeks with tomato fertilizer. Just follow directions & you will do fine.
Keep us posted.

Railing System said...

Goodluck on the hibernation!

employment screening said...

I just love your blog..I found cool techniques here.