Upside Down Tomato Planter Gardening Hack

Short on space? Tomatoes don’t care if they’re growing up or down, they taste delicious either way. If you have a small growing space, try this!

Shopping List

What you need to do

  1. Cut a 5cm diameter hole in the bottom of the bucket using a hole saw or craft knife (watch your fingers!).
  2. Line the base with Tui Pea Straw Mulch. This will keep the mix in the bucket.
  3. Next fill the bucket with Tui Tomato Mix, filling to about 10-15cm from the top of the bucket.
  4. Put the lid on the bucket. It’s a good idea to also cut a hole in the lid too, for easier watering. Lie the bucket on its side.
  5. Place two capfuls of Seaweed Plant Tonic into another bucket of water and soak the tomato seedling in the bucket before planting.
  6. Gently push the tomato seedling through the hole in the bottom of the bucket, up to the first set of true leaves.
  7. Slowly turn the bucket over and lift it up by the handle. Choose a sunny position in your garden and hang from a super sturdy hook as the bucket will be heavier once watered.
  8. Water through the hole in the top of the bucket or remove the lid.
  9. All done! Now you have an upside down tomato plant. Make sure you water and feed your tomato plant regularly because tomatoes get very thirsty and hungry.

Follow our Tomato Growing Guide here >

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Upside Down Tomato Planter Gardening Hack Comments

  • Fabulous information on this site . I love the upside down tomato planter idea lots of handy ideas many thanks

    Isabella Davis

    • Thanks Isabella, that's fantastic to hear. We appreciate your feedback. Happy spring gardening from the Tui Team!

      Tui Team

  • I know this idea has been floating around for the last few years, but has anyone actually tired it or had success??

    Mari Hewson

    • Hi Mari, yes we have seen this hack recreated both last year and this year with tomatoes growing from it. 

      Tui Team

    • I successfully grew a sweet-100 tomato using this method last season


  • Would this work for a strawberry plant as well? they like to hang

    Brian Purdie

    • Hi Brian, great idea! We haven't tried it with strawberries but it could work for them too. Let us know if you try it.

      Tui Team

  • I see the bucket looks like a paint bucket, I have many around but I would not use it for growing food in because of the paint that had been in it.

    marilyn Kendall

    • Hi Marilyn, thanks for getting in touch. These buckets are a pail type bucket which you can purchase new from DIY stores such as Mitre 10 and Bunnings. 

      Tui Team

  • Hi, Can you use the bigger tomato plants or is it best for the cherry tomatoes

    Adrienne Murray

    • Hi Adrienne, cherry tomatoes work best as they produce smaller tomatoes so are less heavy.

      Tui Team

  • Is there others verges this would work with, and would it serve to save water since we are on tank supply

    Jo Bock

  • Do you think this would work for cucumbers and courgettes too?

    Sarah Ray

    • Hi Sarah, we haven't tried it ourselves but we know others have experimented with other vegetables. Let us know if you give it a go :)

      Tui Team

  • I like the idea of growing them above ground will try it out.