Wednesday, July 8, 2009

DIY Tomatoes, Topsy Turvy, Part 1

This summer we're trying that "as seen on TV" Topsy Turvy Tomato grower because our growing season is ridiculously short and we needed to be able to bring them back inside in September easily. Right now ours isn't very heavy, and we only put in 1/3 of the dirt to keep it light as well. We'll see how heavy it gets in late August!

But it brought me to wonder, can't you build one of these on your own? It's essentially a plastic container with a hole. The topsy turvy is a round cylinder, hole at the bottom, wires at the top holding it up. It drains a lot of water so it needs to be over a towel or outside.

In thinking of what plastic containers have holes and handles, you could easily build one of your own with a milk jug (best for its handle maybe), 2-liter bottle, or a wide cardboard tube lined with a garbage bag. The TT came with a styrofoam bumper for the hole so water and dirt wouldn't drain out- so cutting one of those is a good idea too, although FYI, we didn't use ours.

But once you find a casing that works, you slide the tomato starters (ours were about 6" tall, smaller is better) into the hole and then fill in from the top with dirt. Painless!

So for the cost of 2 small plants, dirt and fruiting fertilizer (a must for continually fruiting plants, we believe), you can skip the $29.99-as-seen-on-TV Topsy Turvy and make your own.

I'll check back in with this topic later on and let you all know how it does in Colorado... and if it does great you can bet we'll be making our own next year!

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