upside-down-tomatoA good option for gardening in a small space that requires no weeding, bending, or stooping, is upside down gardening. Several vegetables can be grown using this method. They are tomatoes, cucumbers, egglplants, beans, and peppers.

The tops of your upside down garden can also grow such things as radishes, herbs, lettuce, and spinach. Just make sure that the plants on top and the plants on the bottom have the same sunlight and water requirements.

Here are some simple instructions from Nikki Phipps for making your upside down garden, as well as a video from basicgardeningtips.com. The instructions vary a bit concerning the size of the hole and the newspaper at the bottom of the bucket, but these are personal preferences. So give it a try, and determine the best method for you.

Upside-down gardening is easy. All you need to get started are some large hanging containers, potting soil (amended with compost), and plants. Of course, with any type of gardening, it doesn’t hurt to have a plan beforehand. For instance, know what you want to plant, how much you want to plant, and where you want to hang it.

For larger plants and crops, such as your tomatoes and cucumbers for example, most people prefer using an ordinary 5-gallon bucket. Buckets are not only easy to come by, as most of us more than likely have one or two already on hand, but they are also sturdy and great for hanging. Alternatively, you can use large, plastic hanging baskets as well as smaller versions for smaller plants.

Once you have chosen suitable containers, you’ll have to drill a hole into the bottom. Typically, the hole needs to be about 2 inches for large containers and buckets and slightly smaller for others, depending on their size. It often helps to have a place to hang these containers while preparing your upside-down garden, as you’ll need to flip the container back over (right side up) for plant placement.

Before placing your plant into the container, locate something to place into its bottom, such as a small piece of newspaper, landscaping fabric, or a coffee filter. This will be used for anchoring the plant in place until it’s strong enough to hold its own. It will also prevent the soil from washing out through the hole during watering. Place a slit in the material for the seedling (or small plant) to maneuver through and then carefully guide the plant down into and through the hole, upside down.

As you hold the plant’s root ball in place, begin filling in around it with the soil/compost mix, taking care to tamp the soil as you go. Continue filling the container with soil just until you reach about an inch or so from its rim.

For additional interest and space, add some low-growing plants in the top portion of the container. This can range from small crops, such as lettuce, to a handful of herbs, like basil and parsley. You could also choose to place an attractive flowering plant, such as petunia, into the top as well.

Hang your upside-down garden in a sunny location and water it thoroughly, making sure it reaches the bottom. In fact, the water should run out of the bottom hole. Watering requirements for your upside-down garden will usually vary according to the types of plants used and your particular climate. Typically, in most places, especially during periods of hot, dry weather, your upside-garden will require watering daily, if not every other day.

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