Now that we are nearing the end of summer, I thought it was time for an update on the Topsy Turvy Planter article I published earlier this year.
The tomato plant continues to produce fruit and has stayed healthy throughout the summer.
Topsy Turvy Observations
#1 - If you leave your house for even a few days, you will need to have a reliable friend or neighbor keep an eye on your Topsy Turvy planter. You can never know when this thing will need to be watered. We left for 4 days and returned to one seriously wilted tomato plant. A tomato plant grown in soil in the ground would send its roots deeper in search of water. Obviously in the Topsy Turvy, it cannot.
#2 – Even after adding more soil to the growing bag, after repeated watering, the soil compacted again. This simply means there is less space for the roots to grow and will, by seasons end, result in a nearly root bound plant (at least I think this will happen). See point #1.
#3 – If hung correctly, the Topsy Turvy can withstand some fierce winds. We experienced a micro-burst wind shear during a wicked storm and although the planter was almost horizontal, it stayed attached to the hook. I was amazed.
#4 – Using an indeterminate variety of tomato plant was the correct choice. You will need to take care to prune wayward vine shoots to focus the plant energy into producing and ripening fruit. We also had to prune vines that had grown and were laying on the deck.
#5 – As I had hoped, the dreaded deer did not come up on the porch to eat my tomatoes. I knew they had been in that area because they ate all my hosta to the ground.
#6 – Aside from a few horn worms we plucked from the vines, we saw no pest or diseases that can normally develop with plants grown in the ground. Having said that, I remind you again about not watering the plant in the evening. The water goes all over the vines, leaves and fruit. You need to do it early enough in the day to allow the sun to dry the leaves. Otherwise you will risk leaf damage.
#7 – It seems to my wife and I that it has taken longer for the fruit to ripen than it did in the past when we planted tomatoes in the ground. I have fertilized it using Miracle Grow because potted plants lose minerals after repeated watering. So I don’t think it is lack of nutrients. It will be interesting to see if the same thing happens next season.
Here are the latest photos showing the latest batch of tomatoes:
In the end I have been very pleased with the Topsy Turvy planter and look forward to using it again next year. As with any new product it takes time to learn how best utilize it. The things I have learned this year will help me be a better Topsy Turvy farmer next year.
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