Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Plantoid' s going into hospital ....
by floyd1440 Today at 7:36 pm

» Hello from San Antonio, Tx.
by AtlantaMarie Today at 5:16 pm

» In between
by newbeone Today at 4:45 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in September 2016
by Kelejan Today at 2:57 pm

» Senseless Banter...
by Kelejan Today at 2:52 pm

» What's a good type of lettuce to try for some one who doesn't like lettuce?
by landarch Today at 2:30 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by CapeCoddess Today at 1:40 pm

» Tomato Mystery Mix
by sanderson Today at 11:26 am

» Easy and Fabulous Crockpot Marinara
by trolleydriver Today at 11:03 am

» newbeone
by Cajun Cappy Today at 8:59 am

» The Research Journey:free-The Gardener’s Guide TO PERFECT GARDEN SOIL
by has55 Today at 6:40 am

» parsnips in square foot garden?
by sanderson Today at 2:57 am

» The SFG Journey-Cover crops
by jimmy cee Yesterday at 9:45 pm

» Oh no! My hibiscus moscheutos plant has some roots exposed!
by RJARPCGP Yesterday at 9:37 pm

» Tryst with my first DIY SFG
by Mimi2 Yesterday at 8:12 pm

» New England September 2016
by sanderson Yesterday at 7:50 pm

» Soil Blocks: Tutorial In Photos
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:57 pm

» Compost
by camprn Yesterday at 8:13 am

» Hand Pollination ?
by camprn Yesterday at 8:11 am

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by Scorpio Rising 9/26/2016, 8:33 pm

» The Research Journey:SELF-WATERING SALAD GARDEN COURSE
by has55 9/26/2016, 6:58 pm

» Admin back! Classic cars
by AtlantaMarie 9/26/2016, 5:38 pm

» Kale & Parsnip Question
by countrynaturals 9/26/2016, 3:09 pm

» compost thermometer
by sanderson 9/26/2016, 1:58 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by sanderson 9/26/2016, 12:37 pm

» EXPERIMENT: Tomatoes to Powder
by trolleydriver 9/26/2016, 11:00 am

» N&C Midwest: September 2016
by Scorpio Rising 9/26/2016, 9:29 am

» The Research Journey:what to plant now, fall gardening in Dallas-Ft worth
by sanderson 9/25/2016, 9:55 pm

» Medical Topic...may be helpful to some folk....
by sanderson 9/25/2016, 9:50 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by Scorpio Rising 9/25/2016, 9:04 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  Dadoo on 4/27/2011, 12:26 am

Last year I planted tomatoes, spinach, Romain lettuce, lemon balm and asparagus in hanging containers with good success. However, the plastic bags that hold the growing medium have broken down, ripping and in general became a mess.

As it happens, Menard's offers ninety-eight cent reusable cloth bags with a ninety-eight cent rebate so I've purchased a dozen of the bags- (a lovely green by the way...). These bags are going to replace last years hanging Topsy Turveys. To that end I'll be experimenting with self fabricated 1/4" soaker hose rings around the root balls to deliver moisture to the plants. Intermittently, I'll supplement the plants with worm and or compost tea.

If I can get 2-4 years from the cloth bags I'll consider it a grand success.

Dadoo

Male Posts : 34
Join date : 2010-10-13
Age : 63
Location : Rolling Meadows, Illinois, USA

View user profile http://www.slugahypnosis.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  boffer on 4/27/2011, 12:31 am

And I'm sure they're prettier than small five gallon buckets.

Irrigating Topsy Turveys can be a booger for sure; best of luck on your endeavor.

____________________________

Last frost date (50%): April 15     First frost date (50%): Oct 15    
Zone: Irrelevant

boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 63
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  Miss M on 4/27/2011, 1:12 am

Sounds like a great plan! I'd love to see how you retrofit the bags. Hope you do a picture-laden how-to! What a Face

Miss M

Posts : 343
Join date : 2011-03-08
Location : Zone 8b, Coastal & Tropical South

View user profile http://sithrahfarm.com

Back to top Go down

Bags vs. buckets

Post  Dadoo on 4/27/2011, 1:24 am

@boffer wrote:And I'm sure they're prettier than small five gallon buckets.

Irrigating Topsy Turveys can be a booger for sure; best of luck on your endeavor.

Er, ahem, yes they're prettier than the buckets... Plus my lovely wife would plant me in the garden if I hung those Lowe's silver buckets on the shepherd's poles.

Dadoo

Male Posts : 34
Join date : 2010-10-13
Age : 63
Location : Rolling Meadows, Illinois, USA

View user profile http://www.slugahypnosis.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/27/2011, 9:12 am

@Dadoo wrote:
@boffer wrote:And I'm sure they're prettier than small five gallon buckets.

Irrigating Topsy Turveys can be a booger for sure; best of luck on your endeavor.

Er, ahem, yes they're prettier than the buckets... Plus my lovely wife would plant me in the garden if I hung those Lowe's silver buckets on the shepherd's poles.

Now I'd like to see a picture of the hanging buckets!

BackyardBirdGardner

Male Posts : 2727
Join date : 2010-12-25
Age : 42
Location : St. Louis, MO

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  boffer on 4/27/2011, 9:27 am


boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 63
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  muffinator on 4/27/2011, 9:33 am

Boffer, do the vines on your plants break when they bear fruit? I tried an upsidedown planter I got at the Christmas Tree Shops last year and they did wonderfully- until the tomatoes got so heavy the vines broke. I was able to duct tape them back together and tie them up, but do others have this issue?

muffinator

Female Posts : 38
Join date : 2011-03-10
Location : New Hampshire

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  boffer on 4/27/2011, 9:47 am

@muffinator wrote:Boffer, do the vines on your plants break when they bear fruit? ...

LOL I should be so lucky! I'm the wrong person to ask about how to deal with an abundance of big fat maters. When it comes to growing tomatoes, my climate is not kind.

But now that you mention it, I could see how the vine could need support. Maybe just a few strings at the right places?

boffer

Male Posts : 7392
Join date : 2010-02-26
Age : 63
Location : yelm, wa, usa

View user profile http://boffer.us/

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  Miss M on 4/27/2011, 11:03 am

Maybe it has something to do with the kind of tomato. I had a Creole tomato in one last year, and had no trouble with the vines breaking. But they don't get bigger than medium-size, so maybe that's it.

Miss M

Posts : 343
Join date : 2011-03-08
Location : Zone 8b, Coastal & Tropical South

View user profile http://sithrahfarm.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  acara on 4/27/2011, 12:55 pm

Originally "topsy turveys" were the family-sized coffee cans hung from the roof eaves/gutters with wire .... and that was 50+ years ago.

As far as tomatoes went, it's my understanding that it was used primarily for bush varieties (determinates).

In the warmer climates with long growing seasons for toms'; I suspect a vining tomato would simply laugh at you & change directions back upwards, within a couple of days.

It's hard enough to keep vining toms' going straight up a stake or trellis if your mounting point isn't on a East/West axis. Another problem down here is the mildew/fungus-factor. I'd probably wager money against anyone trying to grow a indeterminate heirloom down here in zones 8-10 in one of those topsy-turvey set-ups. My guts tell me you'd either have a tangled broken mess (growing in the wrong direction), or be battling massive fungus attacks.

However, I have used the newer incarnations of the product for hybrid cherry varieties like Juliet and Sprite before.


Last edited by acara on 4/27/2011, 1:07 pm; edited 1 time in total

acara

Male Posts : 1012
Join date : 2010-08-27
Age : 47
Location : Wesley Chapel, Florida (Zone 9)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  walshevak on 4/27/2011, 1:03 pm

I sent my friends in PI a topsy turvy and they say the tomatos are growing in a U shape. Probably indeterminate because the seeds that came with the kit croked after 2 weeks.

Kay

____________________________

A WEED IS A FLOWER GROWING IN THE WRONG PLACE
Elizabeth City, NC
Find more about Weather in Elizabeth City, NC
Click for weather forecast

walshevak

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4301
Join date : 2010-10-17
Age : 73
Location : wilmington, nc zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  CindiLou on 4/27/2011, 1:24 pm

I tried one in a bucket last year. Had some cherry tomatoes but it is not easy to water. This year I was going to try a pvc pipe with holes and sand like I use in my strawberry pots. Thanks for the determinate idea Acara. I had an indeterminate last year and the vines would twist and grow back up after a few inches.
I had geraniums and thyme on the top of it.


CindiLou

Posts : 999
Join date : 2010-08-30
Age : 56
Location : South Central Iowa, Zone 5a (20mi dia area in 5b zone)rofl...

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  acara on 4/27/2011, 2:01 pm

For watering, I just run a 1/2" header out to the area, then run a 1/8" feeder line off that, up the pole or wall, down the wire and into the opening. I usually install a cut-off valve and dripper or mister head and tuck it into the top cover.

You can see the set-up in the top of this picture (coming down to the baskets);


acara

Male Posts : 1012
Join date : 2010-08-27
Age : 47
Location : Wesley Chapel, Florida (Zone 9)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  Aub on 4/27/2011, 10:30 pm

My sister had a Topsy Turvey but it didn't go so well. We have since started calling them Topsy Turvey Tomato Killers. Laughing
I think I would rather have mine growing up a trellis.

Aub

Female Posts : 283
Join date : 2010-08-07
Age : 36
Location : Central Illinois (near Peoria) 5a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  Miss M on 4/27/2011, 10:55 pm

I did have a couple of problems with that Creole tomato I mentioned in mine, though I don't know if it had anything to do with the Topsy-Turvey. It had a spider infestation (never seen that before), and the tomatoes below the center would get splits around the stem. I think this was due to the excess water draining out of the hole and all over the tomatoes.

Miss M

Posts : 343
Join date : 2011-03-08
Location : Zone 8b, Coastal & Tropical South

View user profile http://sithrahfarm.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  priehl on 5/11/2011, 1:25 pm

I tried this in Mexico without much success. But I didn't have much success with anything in Mexico. When we left, I spread my lovely fish-carcass-and-market-veggy-scrap compost and planted beans for the house sitters. They told me they had more than they knew what to do with.

So it goes back to this story I read somewhere ;-) about moving just as you get the soil right ....

priehl

Posts : 10
Join date : 2011-05-11
Location : Uruguay

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  quiltbea on 5/11/2011, 4:59 pm

Is there room for another Topsy Turvy story?
I planted one a few years ago and the tomato twisted upwards and took so much energy trying to straighten up, I only got a couple tomatoes on it.
That was the end of that experiment for me.


quiltbea

Female Posts : 4610
Join date : 2010-03-21
Age : 74
Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  priehl on 5/11/2011, 5:31 pm

Hey, I just realized that since I'm in the southern hemisphere my tomatoes already are topsy-turvy by y'alls's standards.

priehl

Posts : 10
Join date : 2011-05-11
Location : Uruguay

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  CindiLou on 5/11/2011, 9:28 pm

@priehl wrote:Hey, I just realized that since I'm in the southern hemisphere my tomatoes already are topsy-turvy by y'alls's standards.


CindiLou

Posts : 999
Join date : 2010-08-30
Age : 56
Location : South Central Iowa, Zone 5a (20mi dia area in 5b zone)rofl...

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  middlemamma on 5/12/2011, 3:39 am

I will be honest...I have never used one...

but I look at them and I just wonder who ever thought a plant would grow DOWN?

I don't get it...plants grow UP...why are we hanging them upside down again? Growing against gravity? Roots growing opposite gravity, plant trying to grow against gravity, watering against gravity? I mean I get that the OBJECT is space saving...but it baffles me.

But then again I AM the Village Idiot for a reason.

middlemamma
 
 

Female Posts : 2260
Join date : 2010-04-25
Age : 38
Location : Post Falls Idaho and LOVING it

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  walshevak on 5/12/2011, 6:19 am

I caught a sale last fall on a different brand. (at Lowes - $2.50) and sent 2 to my Philippine family. The first try was a complete failure, but the second try with compost instead of the prepackaged stuff if doing better.

cherry tomatos blossoming


trying cukes


Kay

____________________________

A WEED IS A FLOWER GROWING IN THE WRONG PLACE
Elizabeth City, NC
Find more about Weather in Elizabeth City, NC
Click for weather forecast

walshevak

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4301
Join date : 2010-10-17
Age : 73
Location : wilmington, nc zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  priehl on 5/12/2011, 6:39 am

@middlemamma wrote:I will be honest...I have never used one...

but I look at them and I just wonder who ever thought a plant would grow DOWN?

I don't get it...plants grow UP...why are we hanging them upside down again? Growing against gravity? Roots growing opposite gravity, plant trying to grow against gravity, watering against gravity? I mean I get that the OBJECT is space saving...but it baffles me.

But then again I AM the Village Idiot for a reason.

I think it has to do with the economy of tensile versus compressive strength as well. Consider all the effort that goes into supporting a large tomato plant from the bottom, whereas in a (the one and only I've seen) indoor commercial tomato growing operation plants are supported from the top with string. Doesn't seem like a big deal until you consider 4-5,000 plants in one place - the amount of material required to support them from below is vastly more than from above, given the structure to hang strings from.

Likewise, a tomato plant hanging upside down not only needs no external support, but doesn't need to put energy into growing a 'trunk' to support the weight of the fruit from below.

Regardless, mine didn't work. But then, I didn't have Mel's Mix. Sad

priehl

Posts : 10
Join date : 2011-05-11
Location : Uruguay

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  Tril on 5/12/2011, 6:51 am

We have a company here in Maine that grows tomatoes in water (no soil)... year round in greenhouses. I honestly don't know why I'm bothering to grow my own since these are TRULY vine ripened and taste like "summer".

Check it out! http://www.backyardfarms.com/growing/index.aspx

I'm waiting for them to grow cucumbers....

Tril

Female Posts : 198
Join date : 2011-04-30
Location : Gardiner, Maine, 5a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Epic Failure

Post  Dadoo on 9/19/2011, 6:07 pm

Well, I wanted to find a cheaper way of growing things in hanging containers after using the TopsyTurvys last year.
This past April I set up 15 hanging bag planters complete with irrigation and a solar light in each bag.
The plan was to grow tomatoes, cukes, blueberries, and eggplant out of the tops and or bottoms of each bag.
Since the cloth bags are organic, (you know... like leaves, grass and other compostables) the addition of water and microbes broke down the bags to the consistency of paper mache'. The entire bag (including its handles) broke down and my plants found their way down the the ground. All the bags were installed the same weekend so I was able to rescue a few of the tomatilloes and a lemon cucumber plant. before those bags also let loose.
Lesson learned but not deterred.

Dadoo

Male Posts : 34
Join date : 2010-10-13
Age : 63
Location : Rolling Meadows, Illinois, USA

View user profile http://www.slugahypnosis.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  FamilyGardening on 9/19/2011, 7:48 pm

last year was the first time to use a topsey....we planted tomatoes in them....i think we only got like two very small tomatoes from three topsey that we hung up....this year i planted sweet banana peppers and ....well.... see for you self Very Happy they loved being in the bags!....they do hang down and do grow up....the vines are heavy...but they are thick and seem to hold them up well.....being in the PNW i have found it harder to grow peppers....i have baby them with compost tea and kept a close eye on them to see when they needed water....it has payed off though Very Happy

here is pic's i took today.....i will be harvesting them soon to pickle....this will be my second batch to harvest from these plants! cheers





hugs

rose

FamilyGardening

Female Posts : 2424
Join date : 2011-05-10
Location : Western WA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Success of the Topsy Turvey hanging planters.

Post  Sponsored content Today at 8:10 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum