Growing Tomato’s: Is Upside Down Better?

topsy turvy

topsy turvy

I was thinking of buying one of those upside down tomato systems that I see all over the place. So I looked up the reviews and I am not sure if that is the way to go right now. The reviews were mixed and a lot of people had trouble keeping water in the dirt, or the container was wearing out. There was a lot of problems with these systems. Others raved about the product and the system as being free of weeds and insects with good production as well. I can’t help thinking the latter was a situation of “Justification of Effort”. If you don’t know what that means, it is a psychological effect that when we spend a lot of money on something or put a lot time into it, we tend to enjoy it more. It takes our objectivity away when our effort is higher. It’s not Quantum Physics, but it is a little complicated.

So I am reading about the good things and the bad things and I am thinking, the only consistent thing people did was to plant in the dirt along side of the hanging plants to gauge the progress. If we are basing everything on the plants in the dirt, why not just plant them in the dirt? Anyway, I did find some interesting information for growing tomato’s that can be very useful:

Epsom Salts – “…add about two tablespoons of Epsom salts every other week and water it in. It will make your crop stay beautifully green and grow like a weed! There is no best way to apply as long as it is watered in. You can dissolve it in water, sprinkle it on, bury it, whatever—just get it to the roots. The advantage of Epsom salts over other soil enhancing chemicals, such as dolomite lime is that is has high solubility. Epsom salts are not salt, but Magnesium sulfate, Magnesium is a secondary macro-nutrient. Magnesium is the central atom of the chlorophyll molecule and is important in photosynthesis. Magnesium is also important in protein synthesis and enzyme processes, and it helps plants to absorb and use phosphorous and nitrogen. Epsom salts basically contain the essential growth minerals of Magnesium, Sulphur and Oxygen. Epsom salts are used to correct Magnesium deficiency in

home made hanging tomato system

home made hanging tomato system

potted plants, but it’s almost always useful—especially in tomatoes (and peppers) as they are considered a “magnesium hungry” crop…”

Less Water? – If your tomato’s are cracking, it may be that you are watering them too much. Having blossom end rot? “This generally stems from watering, and either too much or too little can cause it. Either too little or too much water and the plant is not able to draw the right quantities to compensate for what is list through the leaves to the atmosphere, or transpiration. As a result, the plant will draw moisture from the fruit, causing the bottom of the fruit to desiccate (dry out) and turn dark. That is blossom end rot. In an upside down plant, if the soil is too sandy, it will not hold moisture. If too much like clay, it will hold too much, the soil should be loamy and friable. Additionally, it is bad practice to water mid day. If you must, be very careful not to wet the foliage. If you do, you can damage the plant. Blossom end rot or fruit cracking is almost caused by poor watering techniques or soil moisture, but it is also attributable to calcium.” John Cook in Texas

Sunlight – If there is any three things that tomatoes need, it is sunlight, more sunlight, and still much more sunlight. It’s difficult to get a bumper crop with less than six hours a day.

I hope these tips help this year!