May 24, 2010

DIY Upside Down Vegetable Planter

It's no secret that this year I've gone a little gardening crazy.  It's my first year truly gardening so I've been testing out my green thumb by planting flowers and various edible plants.  I've especially been excited to plant bell peppers this year because of the crazy way I planted them: upside down!  (Don't worry; the plants are upside down, not me!)

Upside down gardening seems to have gotten popular with the introduction of the Topsy Turvey planters.  At first I thought they were just a late night infomercial gimmick, but after doing some research, I found a lot of up sides to upside down gardening!  Planting veggies upside down in containers saves space which is perfect if you have a small yard like me, or even only have a deck or balcony.  But upside down gardening is more than just a space saver, the upside down configuration is supposed to prevent weeds and provide the plants with more nutrients, water, sunlight, and air circulation.

Many fruits and vegetables can be planted upside down, tomatoes and strawberries seem to be the most popular, but I decided to try this system with yellow bell peppers:


However, the Topsy Turvey planter didn’t have the best reviews because the bags often rip, so I decided to make my own DIY upside down planter! I started off with a simple plastic hanging basket I already had on hand:


Then I cut a hole in the bottom of the planter for the pepper plant to grow through:


To prevent the plant and dirt from falling out of the hole in the bottom of the hanging basket, I cut a smaller hole in a plastic lid from a food container and used it to keep the pepper plant in place.  I cut a slit in the lid to carefully insert the pepper plant:



I then placed the pepper and plastic lid upside down into my hanging basket:


Next I covered the plant roots with dirt, just like any other potted plant:


At this point, I found another benefit of planting veggies upside down- you can hang them up high, out of the way of hungry four legged friends:


I topped the dirt with a little mulch to help keep in water (I bet some rocks on top would look pretty too), hung outside, and now have my very own diy upside down planter!

I've had the planter up for about a week and so far it seems to be doing well, but I'll keep everyone updated on how the upside down system works. How about you? Have you tried the Topsy Turvey, made your own DIY upside down planter, or have some other crazy way to plant veggies?

This project is shared on DIY Show Off, A Soft Place, Silly Little Sparrow, Reinvented, Today's Creative Blog; Between Naps on Porch, Persimmon Perch; stop by and see the other great featured projects!  This project has also been featured on Someday Crafts and Dollar Store Crafts!


Julia said...

What a neat idea. I never would have thought of a DIY upside down garden. Good luck with it!

Katie said...

Great way to DIY a product!! I wonder if you could double up and plant something else in the top of the planter, like a flower or something to give it some color? I might have to try that myself.

Richella said...

What a great idea! I've seen the Topsy Turvy planters and wondered if they'd work well. . . but really didn't want to spend the money for them. This is a great way to try out the upside-down concept!

Jenny @ DIY Newlyweds said...

Thanks everyone!

Katie, I've heard of people planting herbs at the top of the planter. I haven't tried that myself, but it sounds like a great idea. Just make sure whatever you plant on top has shallow roots.

Pam said...

This might be a great project for my elderly Uncle. He's wanting a garden but this idea saves space and a lot less work. Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

This is great. I hope it works for you. I am sending your post to my parents. Their bag also ripped! Great idea!!

Mrs. Money said...

Interesting! I wonder how well the plant will grow in that. I'd love to do this with strawberries!

Nanna said...

how neat is that, I've got a lot of those hanging baskets around here somewhere LOL

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

This is very cool! I would love to have one of these at my house! I will feature this tomorrow at Grab my "featured" button.

a little bit of everything said...

I just assembled my topsy turvy yesterday. Never tried it before but this is such a great idea. Wish I had seen it first!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I may have to try this!

Heather - said...

Fun! I wonder if you could grow kitchen herbs in small pots?

I'm liking to your post later this week at

Ashley said...

Very great idea! I'm going to try this.

Jenny @ DIY Newlyweds said...

Thanks everyone! I will keep you posted on how my pepper plant does. So far it seems to be doing well!

Daphne said...

My topsy turvies are doing great! I have squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs growing like crazy. I can't wait until my first harvest. I love your idea and it had to be a lot cheaper than what I had to spend. Good luck!